Nearly a year ago, just out of curiosity and because we love homemade cookies ( we always search for some new recipe to try) I tried a recipe I’d found in Juls’ kitchen. It contains only few simple ingredients one can always find in the pantry, so it is really easy to go on for it. What really grabbed me though was the substitution of butter with olive oil.
Not that we had a particular reasons to avoid butter – it has a special place in our kitchen and I think it will always be this way. The olive oil however worked quite well, but somehow I had forgotten about this recipe, moving my attention towards more complex recipes. I just recently remembered again about it when I started gathering recipes for treats I can offer to my fast growing girl, but that can tempt us, grownups too.
Well, our daughter didn’t yet begin the exciting discovery of flavors, but we found recently we need to avoid all types of dairy products for a while. Cow’s milk protein allergy or intolerance seems to be the most commonly occurring allergy in children nowadays, but that is not a reason to leave the poor kids grow without tasty homemade treats.
The result as the last time was tender crumbly cookies which are the perfect addition to the homemade ice cream, or just with your afternoon cup of coffee or tea. These shortbread cookies are suitable for babies after 8 month, once gluten and eggs are introduced. They only contain less allergenic yolks, so you can use them even to introduce eggs.
Preparation time: 20-25 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
500 g cake flour
200 g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 g vanilla
250 ml light extra virgin olive oil
50 ml water
4 large egg yolks
a pinch of salt
In a big bowl sieve the flour and make a well in the center. Add the rest of the dry ingredients.
Add the egg yolks and water into a blender container. Place the hand blender to the very bottom of the container, start pouring the olive oil in a thin stream and blend until it thickens into mayonnaise. If you need to refresh your memory on how to prepare homemade mayonnaise avoiding any risks, look here.
Pour the mayonnaise into the centre of the dry ingredients mix and start incorporating it first using a wooden spoon. When all the ingredients are mixed together, work the mix with your fingers. At first most probably it will resemble crumbles than don’t hold together, but kneading it for just few minutes will give you a nice and smooth ball of dough.
Divide the ball into 4 smaller balls and leave them in the refrigerator to chill for about 15 minutes. This way, if it is too hot outside, you can roll one of the balls, leaving the others in the fridge until ready to proceed.
Roll out every ball into a rectangle, 3-4 mm thick. It is easier to roll out this dough between two sheets of parchment paper, as otherwise it will easily stick to the rolling pin or the surface. Cut the shortcrust pastry into desired shapes using a cookie cutter or a sharp knife. We prefer this small round shape, but you can make them larger, if you wish. Only don’t forget to prick bigger and thicker cookies with a fork. Place the cookies on a baking tin lined with parchment paper. They don’t spread too much so you can arrange them close to each other, if you need to. Make the whole dough this way, placing the ready rolled batches in the fridge.
Heat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Depending on the shape and thickness you choose, baking time can vary from 8 to 13-14 minutes. Just remember to take them out of the oven when just slightly golden. For this quantity I usually need 4 baking sheets and bake them in two series, changing the position of the baking trays in the middle of the process. As soon as you remove them from the oven, they will be still quite fragile, so you better allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.