Portuguese Sweet Lemon and Black Olive Cookies

Portuguese Sweet Lemon and Black Olive Cookies

Adapted from The New Portuguese Table, Clarkson Potter (2009), this recipe combines two iconic Portuguese flavors: Olive and lemon. Serve these cookies alone, as a lovely accompaniment to tea, or as a crunchy bite alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream or lemon sorbet. Recipe provided by David Leite.

  • prep
  • cook
  • 15 servings


  • 1/2 cup Lindsay® Organic Kalamata Olives, coarsely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for coating

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • 1 large egg, beaten

Cooking Directions

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

  2. Cut 3 pieces of parchment paper to fit your baking sheet.

  3. Place the olives onto a clean kitchen towel or double thickness of paper towels. Roll it up tightly, cigar-like, and squeeze out as much of the brine as possible. (If using paper towels, you may need to repeat this step more than once.) When you feel the olives begin to give up their oils, stop!

  4. In a small baking dish, toss the pressed olives in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then spread them into a single layer to prevent steaming.

  5. Roast the olives until they begin to darken and shrivel, 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep them well coated in the oil. Remove from oven, stir again, and let cool.

  6. Stir together the flour, roasted olives, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.

  7. Whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup oil and the egg, pour the mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix with your hands until the dough no longer looks dry and holds together when squeezed, 1 to 2 minutes.

  8. Fill a small bowl with sugar and set nearby. Pinch off 1 rounded tablespoon (about 1 ounce) of dough, roll it into a ball, and coat it well with sugar.

  9. Place the parchment paper on your work surface and place the dough ball near one corner of the parchment.

  10. Place another piece of parchment on top and, using a rolling pin, roll the ball into a 3-1/2- to 4-inch circle that’s a scant 1/16-inch thick. The edges of the cookie will be ragged; that’s how it should be.

  11. Repeat with 4 or 5 more wafers on the same sheet.

  12. Lift off the top sheet of parchment and slip the parchment with the cookies onto the baking sheet.

  13. Bake until the cookies are edged with brown and pebbled on top, 10 to 12 minutes. Slide the parchment onto a wire cooling rack.

  14. Repeat with the remaining dough, using a new piece of parchment for each.

  15. Once cooled, the cookies will keep in an airtight container for several days, but I doubt they’ll stick around that long.