Christmas treats from Greece
Melomakarona: These are honey cookies made with flour, olive oil, honey, and chopped walnuts. After baking, they are soaked in a honey syrup and often sprinkled with additional nuts.
Kourabiedes: These are almond shortbread cookies dusted with powdered sugar. They are often shaped into crescents or balls and are a staple during Christmas celebrations.
Diples: Diples are thin sheets of dough that are deep-fried until golden and then drizzled with honey and sprinkled with chopped nuts. They are typically rolled into a cylindrical shape.
Christopsomo: Christopsomo, or Christ's Bread, is a festive bread that is traditionally prepared for Christmas. It is enriched with various ingredients like raisins, nuts, and sometimes flavoured with aromatic spices.
Amygdalota: These are almond cookies that are typically made with almond paste, sugar, and egg whites. They are shaped into small, round cookies and may be topped with a whole almond, granulated or powdered sugar.
Karydopita: Karydopita is a moist dessert cake made from walnuts and cinnamon, bathed in sweet syrup and occasionally covered in rich chocolate.
Kormos: Kormos, or Kormos tou Moria, is a popular Greek dessert that is enjoyed throughout the country. It's a type of chocolate salami or log, made with a mixture of crushed biscuits, cocoa, butter, and sometimes nuts. The name "Kormos" translates to "trunk" or "log," reflecting its cylindrical shape.
Baklavas: Baklava is a rich, buttery sweet pastry consisting of many layers of crispy filo, filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with an aromatic syrup. It is absolutely delicious!
Xerotigana: Xerotigana is a traditional Greek dessert, particularly popular in the region of Crete. It is actually the Cretan version of diples. The pastry is made from a simple dough consisting of flour, water, and sometimes olive oil. The dough is rolled out thin, cut into strips or shapes, and then deep-fried until golden brown. After frying, xerotigana are often sprinkled with powdered sugar and sometimes drizzled with honey or syrup to add sweetness. The name "xerotigana" is derived from the Greek words "xeros," meaning dry, and "tyganon," meaning frying.
Vasilopita: Vasilopita is the traditional Greek cake or bread served at midnight on New Year's Eve. After baking the Vasilopita cake, a coin is inserted through the base. The person who finds the coin in their piece, is said to be granted luck for the rest of the year!
These sweets are not only delicious but also carry a sense of tradition and festivity that adds to the joy of Christmas celebrations in Greece. Enjoy experimenting with these recipes and incorporating them into your own holiday traditions!