Saffron Olive Oil Cookies

Saffron Olive Oil Cookies

April 27, 2015

Elegant and savoury Saffron Cookies accented with orange and olives refresh tradition. A touch of sweetness preserves the saffron’s delicate perfume. The orange creates a dazzling tingle. Easy to bake, easy to mix. Great cookies like this are memorable. Don’t miss out.

This recipe is from Mark Bittman’s recommended 2007 book How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. I have it and it’s worth buying. It can also be found on Amazon.

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Makes 3 dozen cookies
  • 1/8 teaspoon 1/8 teaspoon 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 2 cups 240 grams 8.5 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch or two of salt (i prefer more salt as it makes the cookie more savoury and heightens the saffron)
  • 3/4 cup 141 grams 5 ounces white sugar
  • 1/2 cup 99 grams 3.5 ounces extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 100 grams (2 large) 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons 2 teaspoons 2 teaspoons grated or finely minced orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons 2 tablespoons 2 tablespoons grand marnier, triple sec, or orange juice



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Crumble the saffron into a small bowl and combine it with 1tbsp of super hot water.
Saffron infusion.
Saffron infusion.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium size bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.
  • Measure the sugar and olive oil into a large bowl suitable for a hand mixer or one for a stand mixer.
Measure the olive oil.
Measure the olive oil.


  • Add saffron to sugar and olive oil and beat until light, a minute or two.
Saffron and sugar mixture.
Saffron and sugar mixture.
  • Add the eggs and continue beating until creamy and fluffy, another couple of minutes. This will develop the cake-like structure of the cookie.
  • Beat in the orange zest and liqueur.
  • Gently stir the liquid mixture into the dry one, just until well combined.
The wet ingredients go into the dry.
The wet ingredients go into the dry.
  • This is where I forgot to take pictures of the cookie dough before baking. For a beautiful look at the texture of the dough, click here


  • Use 2 teaspoons to drop mounds of dough about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake in a 350ºF oven until lightly browned on the bottom, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • If the cookies are browning too quickly, drop the oven temp to 325 degrees to minimize the browning. This will give the cookies time to bake through.
  • The cookies are done when they feel firm to the touch. Immediately transfer the cookies to a rack to finish cooling.
  • Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature.
  • Note: The perfume from the saffron will mellow with time, which is a blessing and a curse. If you find the saffron too strong initally, it will mellow with each passing day. If you find the intensity of the saffron just right, eat them within a day or two.
Saffron Olive Oil Cookies, The Finer Cookie.
Saffron Olive Oil Cookies, The Finer Cookie.


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