Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Simple Pleasures

Candles — instant atmosphere. Their soft warm glow makes even the most modest occasion a special one.

(photo by house number 15 via pinterest)

Atelier: Snug Studio

Today I'm admiring the lovely work of Etsy shop Snug Studio. Based in Hannover, Germany, its beautiful minimalist aesthetic translates perfectly to prints, home ware and jewelry. More here.

Good Cheer: My Paradissi

For the first Good Cheer guest post, Eleni of the gorgeous blog My Paradissi shares a delicious traditional Greek holiday recipe that's sure to become a favourite. Enjoy.

Hello automatism readers! This is Eleni from My Paradissi and I'm honored to be invited by Lori to participate in her 'Good Cheer' series. I'd like to share with you one of the most famous Christmas cookie recipes we have in Greece. It's called Melomakarona and actually means Honey Dipped Cookies. I can't begin to tell you how good they are but I can still give you the recipe my mum follows all these years and makes our holidays a tad more sweeter. Enjoy!


3 cups olive oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup cognac or brandy
1 cup finely crushed toasted almonds
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 kg all purpose flour, or as needed

For topping:
1 1/2 cup finely crushed walnuts
1/2 cup finely crushed toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the syrup:
1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice.
  3. Combine the oil, sugar, cognac, orange juice in a bowl and beat until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Combine the flour, crushed almonds and baking powder in another bowl.
  5. Slowly bring the flour mix into the liquids and mix until a very soft oily dough forms.
  6. Take small pieces of the dough (approx. the size of a small egg) and form them into small oval shaped cookies. Place them on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart. 
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes or until they just start to get a brown color.
  8. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely.
  9. In the meantime, prepare the syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Stir the mix until the sugar is dissolved and then add the honey. Reduce the heat to low just to keep the syrup warm.
  10. Dip the cooled cookies inside the warm syrup and let them stay for approx. 1 minute. Once soaked place them on a rack to drip off the excess syrup and sprinkle with the topping mixture.
  11. Enjoy in dozens (kidding =)
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