My mom has the greatest Greek cookbook. Any recipes not passed on from family is taken from this cookbook. It’s one of those books that are used so often there are stains all over, notes written in every margin, and it is literally falling apart at the seams. I’ve recently tried to purchase myself a copy, but it is out of print. Out of print?!?! I was so upset. I’ve made copied of recipes, written them down, and now they will be here to share with all of you.
My all time favorite cookie ever is a Greek Honey Cookie, known as Finikia. And the recipe is taken from this sacred cookbook. The holidays are not the holidays without this cookie. Holiday time is not holiday time without the smell of this cookie baking in the oven. As with most Greek desserts, it’s time consuming…but well worth it once you take your first bite.
This cookie recipe was another favorite to watch my mom make. My sister and I would have two tasks. We would help roll out the dough and we’d help sprinkle the walnuts on. I love watching my mom dip these delicious morsels of goodness in the honey mixture before our little hands sprinkled on those walnuts. These cookies disappear quick at every holiday between everyone taking one at dessert time and people hiding some away to take home with them. Everyone loves these cookies. Even people that don’t like cinnamon or honey love these cookies. So, I beg you, take the time to try them.
recipe taken from The Complete Greek Cookbook: The Best From 3000 Years of Greek Cooking by Theresa Karas Yianilos, copyright 1970
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup orange juice
1 oz whiskey
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 vegetable oil
1/8 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
syrup: (I normally half this part)
2 cups honey
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
In abowl, blend together egg, juice, soda, salt, whiskey and suagr. Add oil and continue blending until thick.
In a bowl, sift flour with baking powder and spices. Mix into batter, and finish by kneading smooth. Place in the refridgerator for about 30 minutes.
Place a teaspoon of dough in your hand and squeeze together to form an oblong egg shape. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and press top slightly with a fork making a crisscross design. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 350 degress.
While baking, bring the honey and water to a boil and allow to simmer. Once the cookies have cooled a few minutes, dip the cookie in the honey mixture for a few seconds and place on a cookie sheet to absorb the honey (I dip them twice!). Sprinkle the nuts on top and allow to cool.
Once cooled, place each cookie in a cupcake liner. These cookies keep very well and taste better after a day. Enjoy!