Meyer Lemon-Olive Shortbread

By • February 6, 2011 • 38 Comments

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Author Notes: My husband and I are going to Portugal in May, so, for inspiration, I got David Leite’s wonderful new book: The New Portuguese Table. In it he has a recipe for sweet lemon and black olive wafers –cookies—that contain both lemon and olive. His are… well, let’s say they’re rustic looking. I love the idea of a cookie that has both lemon and olives in it, and wanted to see if I could make them… well, let’s say more like cookies. So I decided to make shortbread instead of wafers. I adapted Alice Medrich’s recipe for twice baked shortbread. She says that the secrets to tender, buttery, crunchy shortbread are letting the dough rest in the pan for at least two hours (or overnight) before baking and adding a second baking-- to toast the cookies slightly for extra flavor and crunch. What I like about her technique is that the dough comes together with very little mixing, and is very easy to spread in the baking pan. When the dough rests at room temperature, the melted butter firms up and the flavors all meld together. - drbabsdrbabs

Food52 Review: Drbabs's recipe fuses a great technique and a wonderful flavor combination. The shortbread is crumbly and toasty. The flavors are balanced, highlighting why the combination of olive and citrus works. The salty bites of mild olives work are a smart addition to the sweet shortbread.Stephanie Bourgeois

Makes 1 8x8 pan, cut into as many pieces as you like

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar?
  • ?1/4 teaspoon kosher or flaky sea salt
  • 1/4 cup mild oil-cured black olives (about 10 medium sized), pitted, rinsed, drained, finely chopped, and dried in a tea towel
  • 2 tablespoons meyer lemon zest (from about 4 medium-sized lemons) or 1 tablespoon regular lemon and 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) all-purpose flour?
  • ~1 tablespoon Turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top of the cookies
  1. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil then butter the insides.
  2. In a large (not nonstick) saucepan, melt the butter and let it cook until it is just starting to brown and become fragrant. Keep warm.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, lemon zest, olives and salt. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Pat and spread the dough evenly in the pan. Let rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  4. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Bake the shortbread for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and increase oven temperature to 325. Lightly sprinkle the surface of the shortbread with Turbinado sugar. Let the shortbread cool for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the shortbread from the pan, being careful not to break it. (It will be very soft and fragile.) Use a thin sharp knife to cut it into oblong fingers, wedges, or squares. Place the pieces slightly apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put them back into the oven for 15-20 minutes. They will still be soft and crumbly, but will be golden brown on the edges. Cool thoroughly on a rack.
Jump to Comments (38)

Tags: Buttery, can be made ahead, sweet and savory

Comments (38) Questions (0)

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Parmigiano-reggiano_gal

over 1 year ago PRST

Have you tried your recipe with olive oil instead of the butter? I think the combo of the olive oil, lemon and olives plus the texture and look is what makes David's "wafers" shine.

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over 1 year ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I haven't. I actually set out to make a more conventional shortbread cookie, but with the same flavor combination that he uses in his wafers, so I used butter instead.

Open-uri20140928-17648-zhrnbd

almost 2 years ago herbidacious

Hello I would like (love) to make these but am a little confused about the oil cured olives. Can I just check that these are ones that are dry cured in salt then steeped in oil?

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almost 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes I think that's right. (I haven't made these in a while. I made them with olives in oil that were in the olive section of my grocery store.) I hope you enjoy them!

Open-uri20140928-17648-zhrnbd

almost 2 years ago herbidacious

Thanks! I will have a go this weekend!

Open-uri20140928-17648-zhrnbd

almost 2 years ago herbidacious

Hello I would like (love) to make these but am a little confused about the oil cured olives. Can I just check that these are ones that are dry cured in salt then steeped in oil?

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over 3 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Love, love, love these. For sure I'll be bringing back Meyer lemons and key limes when I go to the States in March.........for the first time! So excited!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow--your 1st time in the states! Where will you be going? Can we organize a Food52 meetup?

Winnie100

over 3 years ago WinnieAb

LOVE the sound of these!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, Winnie.

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over 3 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

dr. babs, i haven't been keeping up b/o work busyness but dropped by recipes to see what was new. now i have a new recipe AND 2 new cookbooks to look out for, very inspiring! look forward to hearing about portugal.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, luv! Barnes and Noble has a coupon for 15% off one cookbook:
http://www.barnesandnoble...
(Sorry to feed your addiction...)

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

YUM! Beautiful and I bet they are delicious. So cool that David Leite posted here!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks--yes, it made my day!

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

Hopelessly behind, I just found your lovely recipe! What a dream to have the author comment!!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Liz--hope you are OK. Yes, David Leite's commenting was so exciting!

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over 3 years ago Midge

I bet these are delicious! Look forward to seeing more Portugal-inspired recipes from you.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks--we're looking forward to going!

Bike2

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

I was able to tour the Algarve, which is so inspiring. So many specialties to discover! Looking forward to more recipes, too.

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Just beautiful!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

:) Thanks--please let me know if you make them!

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over 3 years ago dymnyno

These sound amazing! What part of Portugal are you traveling? (our winery intern is from Portugal)

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks! I know we're going to Lisbon and Algarave--I'd have to look at the intinerary to remember the rest.

Me

over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

These look amazingly delicious. I love shortbread and love the ingredients you have here. How incredibly cool that David Leite responded so warmly to your recipe. I'm going to have to look into his cookbook now! And on Alice Medrich - I'm a huge fan of hers. I was lucky enough to meet her and take a few classes from her a couple years ago. She is amazingly detailed in how she approaches everything and her instructions, I've found, have always been dead on accurate for technique and flavor. I love her books. Have a wonderful trip to Portugal!!!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks, Susan. Yes, David Leite's comment is a huge thrill for me! And I'm jealous that you were able to take classes from Alice Medrich--that must have been amazing!

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over 3 years ago Rivka

Weighing in to say a) this recipe looks awesome; b) I, too, love Alice Medrich; and c) how cool that David Leite commented!

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over 3 years ago Stockout

How exciting for you....on both. A trip to Portugal and a wonderful comment from the author of the cookbook that inspired this recipe. Kinda kewl, huh? Day doesn't get any better then this. Great recipe!!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Way cool...thanks!

David-leite

over 3 years ago David Leite

Wonderful adaptation! I have to try it. How I wish I could have made them more cookie-like in the book, but I had to hew to the traditions of cookie (biscoito) baking in Portugal. But you've opened up whole world for the ingredients. Thanks!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I can't even tell you how excited I am that you noticed this and that you commented on my adaptation of your recipe--thank you so much. I LOVE your book. It is such a wonderful introduction to the cuisine of Portugal-- so personal and welcoming. We are very much looking forward to our trip in the spring.

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over 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh this is too funny. Brilliant minds obviously think alike. You were posting this as I was reaching into my cheese drawer, to see if I had some cream cheese, also to make a shortbread, which I did. I'll post mine, but won't enter it . . . . .;o)

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Can't wait to see it! (You should enter it also!)

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over 3 years ago sticksnscones

I can't wait to try these!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks--please let me know if you do.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Nicely done, drbabs!! This sounds delicious! Thx!!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, mrsl!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

These look amazing, drbabs!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks!