My Recipe Box

Pine Nut and Orange Cookies

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Yields about 28 cookies.

  • Make the menu:
    A Portuguese Tapas Party
  • by David Leite from Fine Cooking
    Issue 106

The addition of olive oil makes these tasty cookies moist and rich.

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 6-3/4 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar; more for rolling
  • 3 Tbs. finely grated orange zest (from 2 medium oranges)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

Toast the pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.

In a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, zest, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pine nuts. In a small bowl, whisk the oil and egg and add to the dry ingredients. Mix with your hands until the dough is evenly moist and holds together when squeezed, 1 to 2 minutes.

Fill a small bowl with about 1/4 cup sugar. Pinch off 1 rounded teaspoonful of dough (about 1/2 oz.). Shape it into a ball, coat it in the sugar, and set it in on a light-colored nonstick cookie sheet. Dip the bottom of a drinking glass in the sugar and flatten the cookie to slightly less than 1/4 inch thick. Repeat to make 13 more cookies.

Bake until the tops are golden and the edges are brown, 9 to 13 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for several minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. While the first batch of cookies bakes, shape the remaining dough into cookies and arrange on a second cookie sheet. When the first batch is done, bake the second batch.

The cookies will keep in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per cookie; Calories (kcal): 70; Fat (g): 4; Fat Calories (kcal): 35; Saturated Fat (g): 0; Protein (g): 1; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2; Carbohydrates (g): 9; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 15; Cholesterol (mg): 10; Fiber (g): 0;

Photo: John Kernick

Crisp and delicate and just sweet enough to make a satisfying treat. I did make one minor modification: I used three parts all-purpose flour to one part whole-wheat pastry flour. This ratio worked fine. Lacking nonstick cookie sheets, I baked these cookies on regular cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Unexpected but loved by everyone who tried them.

These cookies were a big hit. I rolled them in sugar as directed, but used raw sugar on the bottom of the cup to flatten them down. This more course sugar added a nice crunch. I also made one batch with 1T Gran Marnier added, as suggested on this site, and found that the cookies are equally good with or without this change. What a nice, unique cookie, an unexpected surpise.

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