Being a wannabe food tester I test a lot of recipes. Over the years I have gained enough experience to know that however weird sometimes the ingredients might seem you can often be pleasantly surprised. This is one of those recipes.
These wafer thin, crisp biscuits from David Leites’ new book ‘The new Portuguese table’ are nothing more than genius; and while the technique, at a glance, may seem a little complicated once you’ve tried it you will realise that it is really quite simple.
Last year the olive harvest here in Portugal was excellent. I now have many litres of olive oil and many jars of home cured olives stored away; and with butter prices continually rising I know these cookies will be making a regular appearance on my table.
SWEET LEMON-OLIVE COOKIES
Makes about 15 cookies
185 g all-purpose flour
25 g pitted black olives in oil, rinsed quickly if particularly salty, coarsely chopped
45 g sugar, plus more for coating
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
40 ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 large egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 190°C / Gas Mk 4. Cut 3 pieces of parchment paper cut to fit your baking sheet.
Stir together the flour, olives, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
Whisk together the oil and egg, pour the mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix with your hands until the dough no longer looks dry and holds together when squeezed, 1 to 2 minutes.
Fill a small bowl with sugar and set nearby.
Pinch off 1 rounded tablespoon (about 25 g) of dough, roll it into a ball, and coat it well with sugar.
Place the parchment paper on your work surface and place the dough ball near one corner of the parchment. Place another piece of parchment on top and, using a rolling pin, roll the ball into a very thin 9 – 10 cm circle that’s a scant ¼ cm thick. The edges of the cookie will be ragged.
Repeat with 4 or 5 more wafers on the same sheet. Lift off the top sheet of parchment and slip the parchment with the cookies onto the baking sheet.
Bake in the upper third of the oven until the cookies are edged with brown and pebbled on top, 10 to 12 minutes.
Slide the parchment onto a wire cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough, using a new piece of parchment for each.
Once cooled, the cookies will keep in an airtight container for several days.