500ml corn oil or sunflower oil
160ml orange juice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200gm castor sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
(or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 tsp five spice powder)
Grated rind of 1 orange
900gm plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
400gm castor sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
250gm finely chopped walnuts
Heat the oven to 170 degrees.
Sift the flour and the baking powder into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
In another bowl put the oil, brandy and sugar and mix together. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the orange juice and add to the oil, brandy, sugar mixture. Mix well together with a balloon whisk or a mixer. Add this mixture to the flour and mix again this time with a wooden spoon. You will have a fairly soft dough and it is good not to over work it.
Take small amounts of the dough (about the size of a walnut) and, with your hands, make them into egg shapes. Some people like to bury a piece of walnut into the middle of each biscuit too, which is a nice touch.
Place on buttered baking trays – don’t overcrowd them. Before you put them in the oven, gently press each melomakárono with the back of a fork to make a light pattern.
Bake at 170 degrees for about 20 minutes.
When they are done, put the biscuits on racks and allow to cool.
Now you need to make the syrup.
In a medium sized pan, dissolve the sugar in the water, then add the honey and the lemon zest. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, skimming off any froth that comes to the surface.
Keep the syrup on a low heat and gently dunk each melomakárono in the syrup for about 30 seconds on each side.
Put the dunked biscuits on a plate and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.