Author Notes: These yummy, dough encrusted and spiced olives come from an Israeli recipe, called roughly in Hebrew 'Za'it B'ba'it', and translated into English, also roughly, as 'olives at home'. They would make lovely hors d'oevres, served with or without your favorite drink. Make sure to get some za'atar for coating the olives while they are hot. This spice, which includes sumac, is distinctive. It will take some patience to make these, but they are guaranteed to be a hit at your party. —thirdchild
cups Unbleached all purpose white flour, plus extra for rolling the dough bits
cup Unsalted butter, at room temperature
cup Sour cream
cup Za'atar (Middle Eastern spice)
cup Sesame seeds
cups Pitted kalamata olives
- Mix together butter, flour, salt, and sour cream, by hand or with a Kitchen-Aid type mixer. The dough will be a bit sticky. Set aside while you prepare other ingredients.
- Mix together the za'atar and sesame seeds. Set aside.
- Prepare two cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper or Sil-pat. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Take a slightly-bigger-than-a-marble-sized piece of dough, and flatten with your hands. Use a bit of extra flour on your fingers if the dough sticks. Carefully wrap the olive with the dough, making sure there are no holes. Place on cookie sheet, and repeat this process until your first cookie sheet is covered with olives. The dough will not spread upon baking, so you can put the dough-wrapped olives quite close together on the sheets. Get someone to help you, because the wrapping can be time-consuming. But persevere, because the final result is really good!
- Bake one cookie sheet at a time, full of olives, at 425 on a middle rack of the oven. It will take about 17 minutes or more until the dough becomes nice and golden. The cooked dough should be slightly crisp. Watch carefully until they are quite thoroughly golden.
- As soon as the olives are done, immediately roll them in the spice and sesame mixture. It works well to place the cooked olives in a small bowl, and then sprinkle with the spices on top, rolling with a spoon. Place on a plate to cool.