Diples : taste the delicious Greek Christmas rolls

Diples or Thiples is a Greek dessert from the Peloponnese, made of thin sheet-like dough. They are essentially the same as angel wings, except that they are dipped in syrup rather than served dry. The dough is rolled into long, thin strips, fried and folded in hot oil and then dipped in a sugar or honey syrup. In case you are not familiar with them, Diples get their name from the Greek word for “fold.” They are thin sheets of dough that are folded while being fried into a crispy package that is drizzled with honey and dusted with cinnamon and ground walnuts. This recipe has been adapted from the cookbook of the Ladies Philoptochos Society of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Elgin, Illinois.

Ingredients

  • egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tbsp. butter (melted and cooled)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. brandy
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 inches of vegetable oil (or shortening for frying)
  • For the Syrup:
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tsp. water
  • Garnish: cinnamon (ground)
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts

Steps to Make It

  • Gather the ingredients.
  • Sift the flour with the baking powder into a bowl and set aside.
  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and whole egg on high speed until the eggs are thick and smooth and the color is light yellow – about 4 to 5 minutes.

  • Combine the melted butter, orange juice, and brandy. With the mixer running, add to the egg mixture until incorporated. Read more...

Christopsomo – The Greek Christmas bread

christopsomo greek christmas bread

Photo By Argiro

Christopsomo (Χριστόψωμο), Christ’s bread is a very old Orthodox tradition. In most Greek Orthodox homes, the bread is made on the 24th of December with high quality ingredients and a lot of care. It is usually round in form with decorations on top. In the old times, people would fast until the morning church service on Christmas day and would eat this bread as their dinner just with olives and red wine. Read more...

Melomakarona, the delicious Greek Christmas cookies

Photo By polkadotbride
If you happen to visit a Greek house during holidays season you will surely be served a melomakarono. Small or bigger in size, these biscuits make Greek houses smell like Christmas. They are made of semolina, olive oil, walnuts, cinnamon and orange zest and after they are baked they are soaked with honey syrup. Being dairy and egg-free they are the best sweet for those who fast during the 40 day pre-Christmas period.  
Photo By kalisasorexi
  Although they are sold in most bakeries and sweet shops during Christmas, most housewives put an effort to make their own melomakarona. There are loads of recipes on the internet and they are so easy to make. Melomakarona are also sold online in packages.  
Photo By foodgawker
  Tip: If you visit Greece during Christmas period, try also the chocolate version of them. It is the ultimate mouthwatering experience!

The nostalgic Greek Christmas Boat decoration

Photo By newsandtrash

Across the globe, decorating a Christmas tree is the symbol of holiday season. In Greece, a country with strong bonds with fishing and the sea generally, decorating ships at the ports has been a long standing tradition especially in the islands for centuries. 

The custom made its appearance along the coast, where seamen were coming back to their families for Christmas holidays after long periods away from home. Their kids would decorate these ships to welcome their dads back home. 

Photo By SunnyFotini

This tradition spread in mainland, but the “imported” Christmas tree has become a favorite in people’s hearts since its appearance in the last century.

Photo By rena-wwwrena

Handmade paper and/or wooden boats in small sizes with lights decorate most houses to revive the old tradition. Christmas Boats are still sold in Christmas shops everywhere in Greece. 

Read more...