Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
As we have less than one month to go, I feel it’s PC of me to say Merry Christmas. I know some of you may already be over the festive period (whenever I hear that phrase now I think of Jack from 30 Rock!) but to you I say “Bah Humbug!”. We haven’t even got to the best parts of Christmas yet; I’m yet to see Tim Allen in a fat suit!
We started our family Christmas celebrations today with an early Christmas Day with my MIL. I cooked up a giant Turkey (next time I’m going to do it Not Quite Nigella style with lots of bacon) and we ate Golden Roasted Potatoes and Whipped Maple Pecan Sweet Potatoes (both from The Sugar Hit) as well as a side of beans and a stuffed pumpkin. Of course there was a truck load of gravy and stretchy pants were required.
For dessert I made a mini version of my Chocolate Christmas Pudding from my recipe eBook ‘Mummy Made.It A Healthy Christmas’. As much as I love Christmas Pud we didn’t need a whole pudding so I cooked up a smaller amount and boiled it for only 2 hours. It was enough to feed us all, and the left overs won’t be taunting me all week. The giant turkey will, however, be making a guest appearance in most meals this week as we attempt to finish it off. I also made a Chocolate, Cranberry and Pistachio Icecream (Nana-icecream style) for the kids and lots of Dairy Free Vanilla Custard because it tastes so darn good! And then there were these cookies…
Last week I asked readers to tell me what their favourite Christmas treat was and Stella said hers was Melomakarona. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what this was and had to google it to find out. What I found out was that Stella loves sweet Greek cookies that crumble in your mouth yet are soft and delicate in the centre. I knew that I too would love them and immediately set to ‘healthifying’ Melomakaronas (I’ve told you before that I have baking ADHD!).
Melomakarona are a traditional Greek Cookie that is made with lots of Olive Oil and coated in honey and walnuts. There are several different versions on the interwebs but I went with Queen Martha as she knows everything. The cookies themselves are very easy to make (3 yo S made mine) and you will only need 2 mixing bowls, a hand whisk and a stirring spoon. After the cookies are baked allow them to cool completely before dunking them into the warm honey syrup. Make sure you sprinkle the walnuts and cinnamon on immediately before the glue (aka honey) sets.
Full disclosure; as much as I loved these Melomakaronas (and so did everyone who had one) I have no idea if they taste like the real thing as I’ve never (and can’t) have them. So if you have had Melomakaronas before (Stella; I’m talking to you!) please bake these and let me know how close (or far away!) we are to Greek perfection.
Please make sure you enter the competition to win yourself a free copy of ‘Mummy Made.It A Healthy Christmas’. All you need to do is comment and let me know what your favourite Christmas treat is. You never know; you might find that I make a healthier version of it for you!
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Bandy
- 1/4 Cup freshly squeezed Orange Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- Zest of 1 Orange
- 1 Cup Almond Meal
- 1 Cup Arrowroot Flour
- 4 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
- 3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1/2 Cup Honey
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1/3 Cup chopped Walunts
- Ground Cinnmamon for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F and line and grease 2 baking trays.
- Put the olive oil, brandy, orange juice, maple syrup and zest into a large bowl and lightly whisk together.
- In another bowl, sift/whisk together the almond meal, arrowroot, coconut flour, baking soda and baking powder.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingedients in 3 lots, mixing well with each addition. After all the dry has been added the dough will sticky but firmish. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
- Take 1 tablespoon of dough and form into an oval shape and palce on the lined tray. Repeat with the remaining dough (will make approximately 15 cookies).
- Bake, 1 tray at a time, for 13-15 minutes. Rremove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool completely on the tray.
- Once the cookies have cooled; place the honey and water in a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium/high heat. Reduce to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened slightly (you don't want it too thick). Use immediately.
- Using a slotted spoon, take 1 cookie at a time and drop it in the syrup, flipping it to make sure it is evenly coated. Use the slotted spoon to allow the excess syrup to drip back into the saucepan. Place on baking paper and top with walnuts and lightly dust with cinnamon.
- These cookies are best eaten within 24 hours. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.