Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you, dear readers! If we were in second grade I would drop a valentine into each of your cardboard mailboxes. Instead, I thought I would go out on a limb with these lemon and olive cookies from The New Portuguese Table by David Leite. If you have spent any time on the internet these past few weeks you have undoubtedly heard people raving about the recipe for milk-based (and egg-free) mayonnaise, maionese de leite, which is also included in this incredibly beautiful book. The milk mayo is something special and a real wonder to behold, but I was immediately drawn to these simple cookies.
I’ll admit that these aren’t for everyone. I am sure a good number of you have already decided you do not like the idea of olives in a sweet biscuit, but I encourage you to try this recipe. The wafers have a beautifully chewy texture with a nice crunch at the start of each bite. The olive and lemon work with the sugar to make a very well balanced mouthful. They really are unlike anything I have ever made, and I love them. They are so incredibly beautiful and rustic. They are ideally served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream but we have been enjoying then on their own all week.
In other news, I wanted to let everyone know that I am now writing for ReadyMade magazine’s online food blog: Feast: Food and Entertaining. I have been impressed with ReadyMade since the first issue was published many years ago and was thrilled to be asked to join the team. They are in the process of launching several new blogs all written by a collection of already established and talented bloggers from around the web. I am proud to be in their company and look forward to what everyone has to share. I’ll be bringing you ideas for desserts, entertaining and beautiful objects for your kitchen. So, please stop by and say hi!
Sweet Lemon and Black Olive Wafers (recipe from The New Portuguese Table by David Leite)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup mild oil-cured black olives, rinsed quickly if particularly salty, pitted, and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for coating
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Stir together the flour, olives, sugar, baking powder, 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 of dough, roll it into a ball, and coat it well with sugar. Place it in one corner of a sheet of parchment cut to fit your baking sheet, place another piece of parchment on top, and using a rolling pin, roll the ball into a 3 1/2 to 4-inch circle, a scant 1/16 inch thick. The edges will be ragged; that’s how they should be. Repeat with 5 more wafers on the same sheet. Lift off the top sheet and slip the parchment with cookies onto the baking sheet.
Bake until the wafers 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. Once cooled, the wafers will keep in an airtight container for several days.
***Maybe it goes without saying, but make sure you like the taste of the olives you use in these cookies. They should be mild, and not bitter at all and not too salty. I went to our Whole Foods and tried a bunch to find the right one.