Ok, the headline here might be a bit confusing. You’re excused for thinking I’m doing something Spanish (or something nonsensical in general since none of those words are even particularly Spanish. This heading could also be mistaken for the sound I make when unpleasantly roused from sleep on a cold winter morning). If you had really had your heart set on doing a Spanish themed thing though, feel free to crumble up these cookies and sprinkle them on Paella or some other traditionally Spanish dish…although that sounds really terrible, but, you know, whatever you want to do. Or toss in a traditional Spanish spice like saffron or something…maybe that would be good? Using the world’s most expensive spice would at the very least allow you to say it’s high end. Incorporating expensive and/ or high end things are like the culinary equivalent of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, no one wants to admit that they don’t like it because then they feel like they’re saying they’re not classy enough to appreciate it. So commence with your terrible dessert making idea! 🙂
These cookies are actually a honey syrup soaked Greek dessert often served around Christmas time (as per usual, I’m a vegan who doesn’t have an issue with honey, you are always welcome to substitute for agave, maple syrup, or some other liquid sweetener of your choosing). The name sounds so much like the “Macarena” that I couldn’t resist using that as my terrible pun inspiration though. If you do not want your memories of dancing to this song (badly dancing if you’re me) in the 90’s (or yesterday, I don’t judge), then you may not want to learn the following information that I sadly discovered while looking it up 🙁 . Have you ever thought about what this song is about? I had not at all (to be honest, I don’t think my brain had ever processed that the song was not actually mostly instrumental…aside from the “Hey Macrena” part (which apparently was also wrong, since they were really saying “Eh…Macarena”, but that’s a topic for another day). That’s what happens when you’re totally dance-challenged and it’s all you can do to not fall behind everyone else on the dance steps while simultaneously not tripping over your own feet…or tripping over someone else’s cause I’m all crashy like that 😉 ). Anywho, basically it’s about a woman named Macarena who cheats on her boyfriend with two different guys all while her boyfriend was being conscripted into the army. Can you really blame her though? All that death and mayhem can really kill your sexy-time buzz. Plus, I mean, he left her side for 5 seconds, how long can a girl be reasonably expected to wait?
For your reading pleasure, here’s an English translation of one of the verses:
“Macarena has a boyfriened who’s called…
who’s called the last name Vitorino,
and while he was taking his oath as a conscript
she was giving it to two friends …Aaay!”
(For some reason I can’t help but read that last lane with an Italian accent as in “Eh, oh!”).
Also, his last name’s Vitorino – she clearly can’t marry him if she planned on changing her last name (which she probably was in the 90’s), who wants to go through life with the name “Macarena Vitorino”? ….scratch that, that name’s actually pretty awesome. The only thing that would make it better would be if it was Vinorino (who doesn’t want wine to be part of their name? It allows you to have a built in excuse to whine about things and solve all of your problems with wine. It’s biological, it’s not your fault 😉 ).
Anyway, that tangent went so far into left field that it circled the globe and ended up in the right field 😉 .
I saw a recipe for these cookies quite a while ago and kept intending to make them. I figured this would be a good opportunity to give them a go though because I’m actually doing Christmas cookies soon (yes, you read that right. I make sixteen different things though which is not exactly something I can whip off in an afternoon), and I wanted to test run these to see whether or not they freeze well (I’m suspecting not because of the syrup, but some of them are sitting in my freezer right now, so I will cross my fingers and see). The concept of the cookies really appealed to me. It kind of reminds me of baklava (which I love), but more cookie and less pastry. The Greeks really know their stuff when it comes to making things that sound delicious to me (because I’m sure I’ve always been their main source of inspiration. “Sounds great, but the real question is, will Amber circa 2015, like this?” Said Aristotle…he was just really forward thinking and knew that I’d be born a gadgillion years later. And by a “gadgillion” years, I clearly meant a couple of thousand years (ahmem…yes, it’s true, I had to look up when Aristotle was alive just so I could sound smart, damn you full disclosure!!)).Melomakarona
Yield: 4 dozen cookies
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 orange flavoured liqueur
- 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice (or juice from half a lemon)
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon hazelnut extract (optional)
- 4 cups flour
- 1/3 cup almond meal/almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- chopped almonds and/or pecans (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fully combined. Add in the coconut oil and olive oil and mix well. Add the orange juice, orange liqueur, lemon juice, rum, vanilla and hazelnut extracts and mix until fully combined.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients.
- Add the dry mixture into the wet mixture in 3-4 batches, fully mixing between each addition.
- Using a tablespoon or a small cookie scoop, scoop out cookie dough and form into oval shapes with your hands and place on cookie sheet with a couple of inches of space between each.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges just start to turn golden brown.
- While cookies are baking, making the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, water and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and place in the refrigerator to cool for 20 minutes.
- Remove the syrup from the fridge and pour it into a large shallow dish.
- Arrange all the cookies in the dish so the bottom half of each is sitting in syrup. Allow to soak for ten minutes.
- Flip the cookies over and allow the tops to soak for an additional 10 minutes. Remove cookies to a wire rack for 10-20 minutes to allow any excess syrup to drip off. Sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired.
- Since these are a bit sticky, I stored them in muffin liners, but it’s not really necessary.
- Store and enjoy at room temperature./recipe]