“Cookies aren’t exactly a specialty of the Portuguese,” David Leite writes in “The New Portuguese Table.” He then offers the following cookie recipe that is at once odd, because it mixes oil-cured olives and sugar, and yet boldly flavorful.
Since they were called wafers, I tried making them with less sugar. The end result was not entirely savory, and, well, it wasn’t nearly as good.
“Serve this alone, as a lovely accompaniment to tea, or, my favorite, as a crunchy bite alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream or lemon sorbet,”Leite writes.
Sweet Lemon and Black Olive Wafers
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup mild oil-cured black olives, rinsed quickly if particularly salty, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
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
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Stir together 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 (about 1 ounce) of dough, roll it into a ball, and coat it well with sugar. Place it on one corner of a sheet of parchment paper 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 five more wafers on the same sheet. Lift off the top sheet and slip the parchment with the 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.
Makes about 15 wafers.
Adapted from “The New Portuguese Table” by David Leite