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BackstoryThese honey cookies (also called finikia) are a Christmas tradition all over Greece. The recipe is very forgiving except in two areas: the dough should not be overworked or the cookies will become too dense; and the shape should be rounded, not flat or they will harden during baking. The baked cookies should have a texture slightly more dense than spice cake in order to absorb the syrup
- 1 1/2 cups of sunflower oil
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3/4 cup of fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup of cognac (or 1 teaspoon of cognac flavoring)
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of fine-ground semolina
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- grated peel of 1 orange
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of grated cloves (or ground cloves)
- Preheat the oven to 320F (160C) with a convection oven, or 350F (180C) with a conventional oven.
- Dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice.
- Put all the dry ingredients (flour, semolina, sugar, spices) in a bowl and mix until blended with a whisk.
- In the middle, create a well and add the liquid ingredients (oil, cognac or flavoring, orange juice). Knead the dough until it sticks to your hands.
- To shape the cookies take a fistful of dough and make it into a log. Press the dough gently with your fingers on one side to flatten slightly. The shape of the cookies can be rounded, oval or a small log
- Place the cookies well spaced in a greased cookie sheet (or on parchment cooking paper, or on a non-stick cookie sheet), place on the middle rack in the oven and bake until browned (about 15-20 minutes}. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on baking racks.