Jessica bakes Greek Christmas honey cookies with one of her besties

California Cooking

Jessica recently caught up with one of her long-time best friends, Nikki Glekas.

Even though they haven’t lived in the same state for more than 20 years, the two are still close.

Nikki started her own cooking show — “Nikki’s Modern Mediterranean” — during the coronavirus pandemic, where she showcases delicious family recipes.

The besties made a traditional Greek Christmas cookie that both Jessica and Levi enjoyed.

This segment aired on California Cooking with Jessica Holmes Episode 120.

Melomakarona (Christmas Honey Spiced Cookies) Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies


  • Syrup
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 1 ¼ cup of water
  • Cookie dough
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup of cognac or brandy
  • ½ cup of orange juice
  • Zest of one large orange
  • ½ tablespoons of baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoons of ground clove
  • 5 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • Sprinkle on top of cookies
  • 2 cups of walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar


  1. To make the syrup: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, honey and water and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Set the mixture aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. For the cookie dough: In a large bowl, combine olive oil, brandy and stir to dissolve the sugar. Then, add orange juice and orange zest to the mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with baking soda, cinnamon and clove.
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring well to combine everything completely. Mix them well until the flour is no longer visible, but do not overmix.
  6. Use a cookie scoop to make 1 ½-inch round pieces of cookie dough. Roll the cookies into an oblong shape, that’s about ½-inch thick, leaving 1-inch between each cookie on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake the cookies at 350 for about 20 to 25 minutes until they are golden brown on the top and bottom.
  8. While cookies are baking, use a food processor to grind the walnuts, cinnamon and sugar together. Set aside.
  9. When the cookies are done baking, allow them to cool for 3 minutes. Then, submerge the hot cookies in the cool syrup or pour syrup over the cookies in a deep pan – let them soak for about 20 to 30 minutes. They will soak up most of the syrup.
  10. Place the cookies in cookie liners and sprinkle them with the nut mixture.
  11. The cookies will last about a month. You can make them early in the season and store them in an airtight container in a cool dry space.

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