Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Olive Oil Crumbly Biscuits

"You need better-looking cookie cutters" My mom said as I pulled the tray out of the oven.  Here in our house in Italy I only have a set of poker suit cookie cutters.  I thought they were cute, but my mother likes classic cookie shapes.  She also likes classic flavor combinations and classic recipes, and laments every time I do something slightly different.  "I hope they teach you this at culinary school, what foods shouldn't go with what. You do all these crazy things and you'll make your guests sick one day in your restaurant"  She said, after I explained the concept of surf and turf to her.  And I did the usual eye-rolling, forehead-banging-rhythmically-on-the-table routine as she droned on about what her Chinese medicine books say.

See, despite being 21 years old, I'm still an impatient teenager around my parents.  I've been flat-hunting and in all of my SpareRoom/EasyRoommate/Other-miscellaneous-roommate-finding-websites I describe myself as a student with a very mature mindset and lifestyle (because all the ads say "no students").  However, as soon as I'm with my parents, I go back in time and this attitude will leave me homeless.  On a side note, hey, know of anyone with a spare room in London?  I cook and share my creations and as long as my parents don't visit I have a very mature mindset and lifestyle.  

But anyway, let's go back to writing about these cookies.  I followed a recipe with butter and the author said that I could substitute the butter with other fats such as oils and lard.  I have never once cooked with lard in my life.  It's in all the classic pastry recipes in both Italy and China (sorry to burst the bubble, Jews/Muslims/vegetarians).  But I decided to do something more heart-friendly for my parents. 
Recipe adapted from Peccati di Gola 
Makes about 20-25 cookies
250g plain flour
150g extra-virgin olive oil
100g icing sugar
40g egg yolks
1 vanilla pod
pinch of salt

Mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.  Cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds with the back of the knife, put the seeds in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks and the oil together then add it to the dry mixture.  Mix until a dough firms - it will be very wet. 

Form into a flat disc, wrap in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C.   Roll out the dough with a bit of flour to about 5mm thick.  Cut out desired shapes with a cookie cutter, place on a greased and lined baking tray and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until slightly brown on the edges.  Leave to cool before consuming. 

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