I recently stumbled upon this fantastic recipe and it got me so intrigued that I bookmarked it and decided to give it a go. I have a folder full of recipes I would like to try and it keeps getting bigger and bigger as I can’t seem to keep up! But I simply could not take this particular recipe out of my mind. Why? What’s so special about it? There are so many cookie recipes out there… right? Yes, that’s true, but somehow the shape of these cookies captured me immediately and took me back to my childhood. These simple cookies reminded me of the crunchy cookies I used to eat as a child. The site I got it from is Italian, so I guess there is a connection of sorts. And then there is the main reason why this recipe caught my attention from the moment I read it. These cookies are not made with butter, nor with margarine… they are made with extra virgin olive oil. And that too, not simply with oil, but with an egg yolk, water and extra virgin olive oil mayonnaise! I had never thought of this before, so I had to try them. And boy, they were good! So good! Crunchy, light, lemony, delicious! Have them with a cup of hot tea and you will find yourselves reaching for more… believe me! Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Il giardino dei ciliegi
Ingredients (makes about 60):
330 gms – 11.6 oz. flour
100 gms – 3.5 oz. rice flour
100 gms – 3.5 oz. sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
For the mayo
250 gms – 8.5 oz. extra virgin olive oil (better if it is a delicate oil)
50 gms – 1.75 oz. water
80 gms – 2.8 oz. egg yolks (approximately 6)
Sift the flours together and keep them aside (3).
Put the lemon zest, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in the bowl of a mixer with a whisk attachment.
To make the mayo, put the egg yolks and water in a bowl or in the container of a hand/electric mixer (I used a hand mixer with a whisking attachment) (1). Start whisking while making sure to move the mixer always in the same direction. Now start adding the oil slowly. Start by putting it in drop by drop. Keep whisking while adding the oil. After a couple of minutes you can increase the quantity of oil you put in by adding it in a thin, slow and steady stream. It is essential that you keep whisking vigorously throughout the process. When you have incorporated all the oil and the mayonnaise has thickened, it is ready (2).
Transfer the mayo to the bowl of the other mixer and mix it with the sugar and the other ingredients. When the mixture is well incorporated, add the sifted flours and mix well until your dough comes together (4).
Then take it out of the bowl and knead it by hand for a couple of minutes on a lightly floured surface. Make it into a ball, cover it with cling wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Now roll it into a 5 mm (0.2 inches) thick sheet and cut the dough into squares (I made mine 6×6 cm big). Put them on a baking tray covered with baking paper and poke them with a fork.
Bake them in a pre heated oven at 175°C (350°F) for 12-15 minutes. When ready, let them cool down on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer them onto a wire rack to cool down completely.