Melomakarona are popular Greek Christmas cookies that are covered in a honey syrup and topped with cinnamon and walnuts.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Place the sugar for the cookie dough in a bowl and press the orange zest into the sugar with a fork until well combined.
Place the sugar mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a beater blade on slow, add the olive and vegetable oils until well combined.
Add the orange juice and brandy to the mixing bowl and continue to mix until well combined.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Slowly add the flour to the mixing bowl one cup at a time. The mixture will start to pull away from the edge of the bowl and form a soft dough. It should be somewhat dense and not loose, runny or sticky.
Using a cookie scoop that holds approximately 1 Tbsp take a slightly heaping scoop. Drop the scoop into your palm, roll a ball then squeeze to an egg shape.
Place the dough ball on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Press with a fork to make a criss cross pattern.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. The bottoms will be more brown.
While the cookies are baking, make the syrup in a sauce pan. Add the honey, sugar, water, lemon rind, and cloves to the pan.
Stir to combine and set the heat to medium-high.
Bring to a boil then set the heat to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes uncovered.
Allow to cool, remove the cloves and lemon rinds and get a large slotted spoon ready to soak the cookies.
Once the first batch of cookies come out and the second is baking, soak each cookie in the syrup. You can drop them in for 10-15 seconds. Flip them over and soak for another 10-15 seconds. It is fine to soak them while they are still warm. Repeat for each batch.
Remove them from the liquid with a slotted spoon and place on a tray. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts while they are still wet and sticky from soaking. You can lightly press the walnuts into the tops.
You can lightly dust a little powdered cinnamon on top of each cookie.