Monday, April 15, 2013

Olive (yes, olive) Shortbread

I like a little challenge. That is exactly why I love Kitchen Play - the site often challenges me to think creatively about a particular ingredient. So when Kitchen Play hosted a progressive party (with different bloggers taking on each course) for Lindsay Olives, I wanted to join in. Five bloggers posted delicious recipes, and readers were invited to add their own course.

Now, the post was worded in such a way that immediately made me want to try making a dessert. But what to make? There are plenty of olive oil desserts out there, but not many that use actual olives.

Since cookies are probably my favorite thing to bake, I went for that. Shortbread, which doesn't have a lot of flavors already competing with the addition of olives, seemed perfect. I wanted to enhance the flavor of the black olives, so I subbed out a little of the butter in my normal shortbread recipe for olive oil.

The resulting cookie is floral and citrus-y and just a little bit unctuous. I had a very nice lemon olive oil sitting around from my trip to Italy last fall, but you could certainly use a plain olive oil instead. The chopped olives gave a nice amount of chew to the crispy cookie, plus they gave a little bit of a burst of olive-y goodness every once in a while. I sprinkled black sea salt on the tops of some of the cookies, and I enjoyed those even more (but then I'm a sucker for salt in my sweets).

Will I be making olive shortbread again? Oh yes!

Olive Shortbread
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) butter
1/4 cup good olive oil (lemon olive oil, preferably)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups flour
12 Lindsay large pitted black olives, washed and minced
black sea salt (optional)

Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Cream in olive oil. Mix in egg and salt. Add in flour and mix until just combined. Gently mix in the minced olive so it doesn't get mushed. Halve dough and shape each half into a squared log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap in parchment paper and freeze until firm, at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 375°. Cut dough into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place slices on parchment-lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until edges are golden, about 15 minutes. Do not let the cookies brown, just look for hints of color at the edges.


Kathy said...

Yum. I need more sweet/savory shortbread in my life.

Unknown said...

Great idea! Nice way to think outside the box! I love these challenges for the same reason--they really get you thinking differently.