I think I found my favourite cookie!!! It’s sweet and salty and has olives! Eh?! you must think. Think again! I mean everyone loves a chewy double-chocolate chocolate chunk cookie, but come on, these shortbreads are nothing to sneeze at 🙂
I am making them cause I am invited to a New Year’s party and couldn’t make up my mind what to make, sweet, salty, dip, cookie, crackers… so maybe these are an alternative? I could see how they could go well with some harder cheeses…. cause they are still sweet, but they are also buttery so I’d keep them away from the gooey cheeses, no matter how much fat the hard cheese deceptively packs, this is the holidays so it’s ok to have a bite or two (more than usual) haha
I found them via the New York Times; they had a slideshow on reader’s recipes. It’s on the Glutton For Life blog and there too, it has been forwarded/shared by someone else.
Their name is Les Scourtins Aux Olives de Nyons – scourtins with olives from Nyons. If you are able to locate these olives, go ahead. I didn’t look and I don’t know that I would have even found them. Besides, as much as I love French cooking, I am not making a country-wide expedition to locate the olives. It was going to have to be oil-packed black olives. (you know the ones I said in my bread recipe that you need to pit yourself? Yeah, those! You like me now, don’t you? Come on, do it, have the cookies and then we’ll talk!)
The recipe requires confectioner’s sugar and as much as I tried powdering my granulated sugar in the food processor (forget the cornstarch, this is how my mom makes it), it didn’t work, so I had to sit down, research how much is granulated sugar I need to use in order to equal the same amount in confectioner’s. I could’ve gone 1:1, but I didn’t want them to be too sweet. And they are not, they are perfect.
Do note that you will need to work fast. There is a lot of butter and they soften waaay to quickly once out of the fridge. You need to roll them between two sheets of parchment paper and by the time you have cut them out, and you start peeling off the first one off the sheet, they’ve already softened and you would need to be patient, work delicately, but fast to pull them out and transfer them to the cookie sheet. I guess you can always use that parchment paper with the cookie dough cut-outs and save yourself the trouble of transferring them, but then you’d be wasting a lot of electricity for baking 10 cookies at a time.
Other than that, a definite keeper of a cookie recipe!
½ cup black olives, chopped, not too too finely (I counted 17 olives, if you’re being picky)
85 gr granulated sugar (or the equal in ¾ cups confectioner’s sugar)
1 tbsp olive oil (it’s for flavour, believe me, it’s good)
1 ¼ cups flour (175 gr)
9 tbsp (4.5 oz) butter, softened (128 gr)
sugar and flaky salt for sprinkling
1. With a mixer or in a food processor, process the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and process again. Add the olive oil and whirr again.
2. Add the flour bit by bit and process after each addition. You can do this here with a spatula or almost by hand if you wish.
3. Once it’s all nicely incorporated, add the olives. This portion I could not imagine doing in the processor. I did it by hand. I wanted to make sure that the olives all around the dough and haven’t stuck to only one area. Form the dough in a ball.
4. Place a large piece of parchment paper on your work surface. Place the dough on top and cover with another parchment sheet of equal size. Roll out the dough using a rolling pin until it’s some 5 mm thin. Refrigerate (the recipe says minimum 30 minutes (or overnight). I think it’ll need more than 30 minutes. I left it overnight).
5. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F and line two baking sheets (or one) with parchment paper.
6. Take the dough out of the fridge and using whatever shape cutter you wish (or a glass, which I always use) cut out the cookies and place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar and flakey salt and bake for 15 minutes. (watch out that they’re not too brown)
7. Form the scraps of dough in a ball and roll out again between two sheets of parchment and refrigerate. Continue until all cookies are baked. (The recipe talks about not overworking the dough by too much rolling and suggests to make a log of the scraps, refrigerate and then cut them. I don’t think it hurt that I continued making them like the first batch. What’s more, because I already had the oven on, I doubt the log would’ve firmed up as that quickly in 15 minutes. And putting it in the freezer would’ve been the wrong approach)
8. Cool on a cooling rack and enjoy!
Yield 34 cookies (I had 37 but the last three were wafer thin – still awesome!)
Bon appétit !