Greek Skatsounia Christmas Cookies Poros Odyssey Greece food photography

Skaltsounia Christmas Cookies

As you probably know we love baking cookies at Odyssey. What better time to do this than Christmas time! In addition to Kourabiedes that we shared on the blog before, it’s a Greek tradition to make Skaltsounia. This is a vegan cookie made from olive oil, white wine and stuffed with walnuts, figs, dates, apricot, pomegranate seeds and honey. You will love it.

I always made the Skaltsounia with my mother and grandmother in the days before Christmas. My mother used another recipe that had a similar stuffing, but she used homemade filo and formed it into similar shaped cookies like the one we are making today. I am going to try to find my mothers recipe and share it with you in the future.

Vegan Christmas cookie

The time before Christmas is a time of fasting for many Greeks, so eating meat, fish or dairy is not allowed. That makes the Skaltsounia extra perfect, since it’s a vegan cookie. If you have cookies like this, why would you want to eat something else anyway?

Greek Christmas Odyssey Poros Greece

Skaltsounia are not the type of cookies you will be able to hang in your Christmas tree. They don’t look perfect (they do taste more than perfect), but my dear friends, perfection is not what matters in life (also my motto when it comes to cooking). The tasty result of a recipe and the enjoyment of creating something nice that will make your family and guests feel warm and cosy at your home is what matters the most! Skaltsounia is perfect for this; easy to make – even last minute with your guests at home – wonderful to bake with your children, and the smells will welcome you to the Christmas Season!

Christmas time

“What is the best thing about Christmas?” a friend asked me the other day. I gave it much thought, and here is what I think: For me Christmas is the best excuse to devour loads of food like roast potatoes, cakes and cookies, and drink a few extra wines!

Even more than that, Christmas is a time to be surrounded by friends and family. A time of joy and togetherness, creating magical moments for your loved ones and making happy memories for your children!! Not that we manage to do that every year, but we keep trying and that is what matters. Lets hope that this is going to be a real magic Christmas this year with our family and friends!

Making Skaltsounia Christmas Cookies

For starters, cut all the walnuts, figs, dates and the apricots on a chopping board and place them in a bowl. Mix them with the honey, add the pomegranate seeds and set them aside.

Ingredients for the Greek Skatsounia Odyssey Poros Greece

Stuffing for the Greek Skatsounia Cookies Odyssey Poros Greece food photography

Prepare the dough and make 25 balls of it the size of a walnut. Flatten each ball of dough to the size of the palm of your hand.

Making Greek Skatsounia Cookies Odyssey Poros Greece food photography

Put a bit of the mixture in the middle and close the dough around it.

Making Greek Skatsounia Christmas Cookies Odyssey Poros Greece food photography

Folding the Skatsounia Christmas cookies Odyssey Poros Greece

 

Put the Skaltsounia cookies on non-stick paper and bake them for 15 minutes at 170 C or until golden brown.

Baking Skatsounia Christmas cookies Odyssey Poros Greece food photography

Allow the Skaltsounia to cool and sift over the powdered sugar…

Powdering the Skatsounia Christmas Cookies Odyssey Poros Greece food photography

…and your Skaltsounia Christmas Cookies are ready! Merry Christmas!!

Greek Skatsounia Christmas Cookies Poros Odyssey Greece food photography

Skatsounia Greek Christmas Cookies Poros Odyssey Greece

 

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Instructions

  1. Turn on the oven to 170 C.
  2. On a chopping board cut all the walnuts, figs, dates and the apricots (quite fine) and place them in a bowl. Mix them with the honey, add the pomegranate seeds and set them aside.
  3. In a large bowl mix the oil, white wine and sugar until the sugar dissolves in the liquid.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and vanilla stirring with a spoon. It will become a soft dough that is easy to mold in your hands.
  5. Make 25 balls the size of a walnut. Flatten each ball of dough to the size of the palm of your hand, put a bit of the mixture in the middle and close the dough around it.
  6. Put the cookies on non-stick paper and bake them for 15 minutes at 170 C or until golden brown.
  7. Allow the Skaltsounia to cool and sift over the powdered sugar.
  8. Tip: bake the cookies as soon as they are formed and ready. If they stand they lose their shape and they get to dry!! Trust me on that!