Melomakarona - Honey-Dipped Spice Cookies
Melomakarona are a Christmas tradition in Greece (but enjoyed at other times of the year). All over Greece, kitchens will be filled with the wonderful smell of these spice cookies that will adorn tables, be given as hostess gifts, and eaten in huge quantities.
Kourabiedes (also kourambiedes) are traditional celebration cookies, served at Christmas, New Year's, weddings, and baptisms. Toasted almond shortbread-type cookies topped with a generous coating of confectioner's sugar, they melt in the mouth.
Variations of these delicious small sesame cookies can be found all over Greece, in bakeries and at home. They are made without butter and eggs and can be stored for up to two months. In Crete, they add yeast and form them into small wreath shapes once a year: at Christmas.
There are many species according kalitsounia region.
Sweet kalitsounia are made using sweet cheese – mizithra( looks like ricotta ) and there are two types: the lychnarakia that will make it today and anevata. The first is faster in their manufacture because they have no time-consuming process as you will see once you get used to making the pleats is a breeze. Anevata is more troublesome, not from the standpoint of preparation, but as the saying their name is the climb that must wait for the dough to rise.
Even though Diples is a dessert that you can find all time of the year, Greek people seem to be more interested in that dessert during Christmas holidays. Diples is dough rolled into long, thin strips, fried and folded in hot oil and then immersed in syrup. Traditionally, warm honey is used instead of syrup, and they are covered with chopped nuts and cinnamon.
Traditional Cake Xristopsomo or Stavropsomo
For the Christmas table, the Christmas cake is sweet, a blessed bread. It is eaten on Christmas day exchanging wishes. Previously in Crete animals were serving a piece of Christmas cake. Rub a little Christmas cake, mix it with bran and used to give it to the animals to eat in order to be blessed them too. The women make it with great care and patience. Kneading is a ritual. They use fine sieve flour, rosewater, honey, sesame seeds, cinnamon and cloves. Conjure up the dough and get half the dough and make a loop. With the rest make a cross with strips from the pastry symbolizing martyrdom comes. In the centre put an unbroken walnut. In the rest of the surface often plan shapes like flowers, leaves, fruits, animals, birds.
Vasilopita is a New Year’s Day traditional sweet that is beloved by all. This poundcake-like classic is not only good to eat, it also has a hidden coin inside. Whoever finds the coin in their slice wins a small cash prize! Traditionally, the cake is cut into slices for everyone in the family, with one for Jesus and one slice for the house. Whoever receives the coin will enjoy a blessed new year!