These not-too-sweet cookies remind me of taralli, those wonderful Italian bagel-shaped dough rings. Traditionally, when making taralli the formed dough is first boiled then baked. That process makes them crispy and shiny. For now, we’ll stick with just baking these treats. The dough is a bit different since we are using Einkorn flour made from ancient grains.
In case you are wondering what on earth is Einkorn flour, here is my attempt at explaining the whole thing from my post on Parmigiano-Reggiano Einkorn Cheese Crackers…
There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of it. As of a few months ago, it was all new to me, too. But I must admit that I am intrigued by the whole thing. You see, this grain came very close to being extinct …until a young couple from Connecticut entered the picture. Carla Bartolucci and her husband, Rodolfo, had many years of experience in the organic food industry as owners of Jovial Foods and (my family’s very favorite gluten-free pasta) Bionature. It turns out that their young daughter had been diagnosed with a considerable intolerance to dairy and eggs at the very young age of two. Even though those items were immediately eliminated from her diet, she continued to experience serious various symptoms. It wasn’t until quite a few years later that the doctors realized that those symptoms could be caused by gluten sensitivity. Why do so many folks live with this condition these days?
The Bartolucci’s had already been researching the ancient grains …with a focus on the significant changes in our agriculture over the last century. The introduction of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, GMO’s, the over-processing of our grains. The point here is that einkorn wheat is very different than what we’re used to. It is pure and simple, with fewer chromosomes than any other wheat. More nutritious with about 30% more protein, antioxidants, vitamins & minerals. But here’s the most important fact…
“In genetic testing, einkorn was found to lack certain proteins that people with wheat intolerances cannot digest.”
The Bartolucci family proceeded with their own clinical study. They made everything from scratch at home with einkorn flour. Within two months, their daughter’s symptoms vanished. Quite remarkable. Their story is encouraging and inspiring. Especially for those who deal with gluten intolerance or sensitivity.
Since this is very different from modern wheat, the flour is not easily substituted in your average recipe. But have no fear. Carla has written an excellent cookbook, with detailed instructions on how to use einkorn wheat in your everyday cooking and baking. She has also shared her knowledge with us on all that she and her husband have learned about this ancient grain in their extensive research. I plan to bake and cook my way through this one …it just may take some time. I’ll be happy to report my findings.
It would be worth your while to check it out. Einkorn: Recipes for Nature’s Original Wheat: A Cookbook.
These delicious little nuggets come together like magic with just six ingredients. If you want to kick them up a notch, feel free to add some anise or fennel seeds to the mix. But really, they are so good just as they are.
I highly recommend that you use a food scale to measure your dry ingredients. It can make quite a difference in the outcome.
And did I mention that this cookie dough is prepared in one bowl? With just a fork to blend the ingredients? I mean really …how great is that?
Once the ingredients are well incorporated, the dough will seem to be on the wet side. Einkorn flour tends to absorb liquid a bit slower than overly processed flour. After just a few minutes of kneading the dough, it will be relatively smooth.
Cover the dough with plastic and let it hang out in the fridge for about thirty minutes. This is when the real fun begins. Grab the kids and let them help form the cookies.
So cute, right? Each formed cookie is brushed with olive oil then topped off with a dusting of sugar.
These guys need to bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Keep a watchful eye on them to be sure they don’t get overly-browned on the bottom. I find that moving the shelf up to about the halfway mark in my oven protects them while baking.
Once cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Not that they’ll last that long!
einkorn flour cookies with olive oil & wine
These cookies store very well and are a nice choice for those who avoid eating dairy & eggs.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided (100 grams)
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose einkorn flour (270 grams)
- pinch of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for brushing (75 grams)
- 6 tablespoons dry white wine (80 grams)
Set aside a tablespoon of the sugar on a small plate.
In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 7 tablespoons (87 g) sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Drizzle the oil over the flour and mix with a fork until the dough is very clumpy. Add the wine and continue mixing with the fork. The dough will seem overly wet, but keep working until the flour has absorbed the liquid. Knead the dough on a clean work surface for about 2 minutes until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the shelf at the midway point in your oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take 1 tablespoon of the dough and roll it between the palms of your hands to form a ball. Place the ball of dough on your work surface and roll with your fingers until it is about 5 inches long. Form a circle by pressing together the 2 ends. Brush the cookie with olive oil and dip the top of the cookie into the reserved sugar to dust lightly. Place the cookies on the baking sheet, spacing them about 1 1/2-inches apart. Continue in the same manner until you have formed all of the cookies.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges have begun to brown. Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and carefully transfer them to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before serving. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
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