To have a blog, what does this mean? It means to have the chance and the opportunity to meet special people and spend a beautiful day feeling like teenagers on a school trip. We were three, like the three musketeers, like the Three Graces … or rather, seeing what we were able to eat, buy, think… I would say more like the three little pigs!
After a day spent with Caro, from Semplicemente Pepe Rosa, the girl in Technicolor, and Fra, a foodblogger-to-be, who sooner or later will decide to open her own blog, I came home with a bundle of precious ingredients! Long pepper – so long known but smelled fot the first time, real and fragrant vanilla essence, tragacanth gum, candied fruit …
Thanks to these ingredients, and due to the sudden lack of butter exactly when I decided to prepare cookies for a friend, I dared my first approach with the pastry made with olive oil. That was love, love at first sight! It seems that the butter can be replaced with a quantity of olive oil equivalent to its 2/3. Mostly it is probably an oversimplification, but with these cookies, the proportion has worked magnificently!
I am usually a fierce supporter of the use of butter into desserts, but in this case the result was truly beyond expectations, creating cookies that were very different from the original shortbread, with their own well-defined and very unusual character. I also used the candied fruit and long pepper.
The only care is to use a proper extra virgin olive, light and fruity: you may prefer then light extravirgin olive oils such as those pressed in Liguria and Lombardy, or you can choose other olive oils where the bitter or the spicy are not predominant features. In my case it was an extra virgin olive oil DOP Laghi Lombardi.
- organic flour 00, 350 gr
- caster sugar, 150 gr
- egg, 1
- light and fruity extra virgin olive oil, 100 gr
- vanilla salt, 1 pinch
- baking powder, 1 tablespoon
- candied red fruits (mostly strawberries, then cranberries and cherries) about 150 gr
- vanilla essence, 1 tablespoon
- grated long pepper, half berry
Preheat oven to 180°C, static. Sift flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Combine sugar, salt, red fruits, vanilla essence and grated long pepper berry. At this time pour in one beaten egg and extra virgin olive oil and stir with a spoon, then roll the dough into a cylinder shape. It will be very crumbly and soft. You will sense, smell and taste extra virgin olive oil a lot at this point, but after baking, it won’t be so dominant.
Dust a work surface with plenty of flour and roll out the dough with the help of a rolling pin to a thickness of about 5 mm, but not less. Cut out biscuits with cookie cutters and with the help of a spatula put them in a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges of cookies are lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Talking about cookie cutters, I made large cookies (using the butterfly cutter), which are perfect for a quick snack, and tiny and pretty cookies (using my wonderful bunnies, kittens and turtles cutters) which suit very well the afternoon tea. From the leftover dough I made irregular lozenges – I was fed up with the knead/roll/cut operation: at the very end, this really seemed the most suitable shape for this kind of olive oil cookies, giving their simple and refined taste.
Tasting moment. I think I can safely say that these are the best biscuits I’ve ever done: I really loved them, yep! Crunchy, light, defined by the resinous aroma of long pepper that marries beautifully with the sweetness of red fruits and vanilla. You can store them in an airtight container for several days, the problem is that you won’t be able to save the for long time!