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What’s cooking today: Olive oil cinnamon biscuits



What’s cooking today: Olive oil cinnamon biscuits

Olive oil, orange and cinnamon cookies. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

The elasticity of this dough is a joy to work with, sensuous, smooth and malleable. The resulting biscuits have a light crunch to them.

This is a version of koulourakia lathiou, Greek biscuits that are free of dairy products, crunchy and pleasingly spiced with cinnamon. They’re moreish in the way that shortbread is moreish, so don’t expect them to last long.


2 cups/ 500 ml/ 240 g plain flour

1 cup/ 250 ml extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 2 oranges

50 g/ ¼ cup white sugar

50 g/ ¼ cup caramel sugar

1 heaped tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 Tbsp white or caramel sugar

½ tsp ground cinnamon


If electric, preheat the oven to 180℃ (though with my gas oven I made it 190℃).

Grease an oven pan with olive oil, lightly.

Mix together the 2 Tbsp white or caramel sugar and ground cinnamon and keep to one side.

In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, two sugars and olive oil.

Sift the flour into another bowl and stir in the baking soda and bicarb.

Add the flour a little at a time to the first bowl, combining it with a wooden spoon.

The dough is ready when it ceases to be sticky and becomes beautifully smooth and pliable. It might need a little more flour to reach that stage, but go slowly, just a Tbsp extra at a time if necessary.

Put a tea towel over the bowl and let it stand for 15 minutes.

Now comes the fun part. Flour a clean wooden board or work surface. Take a generous teaspoonful of dough and roll it into a ball, then lay it on the surface and roll it forward and back gently with a flattened palm so that it elongates. Then “fold” the strip in half and start plaiting it. It’s quick and easy.  I also coiled some up like snails, starting from the inside out.

Roll a bit of dough into a long strip with your palm. Then fold, plait or coil to make the shapes you’d like. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Dip each piece in the cinnamon sugar on all sides and lay them out on the oiled oven pan.

Bake for between 15 and 20 minutes (most likely 15), then remove and allow to cool. They will be soft when you take them out of the oven but will turn hard and crunchy as they cool down.

Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar over them. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. DM/TGIFood 

To enquire about Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau) please email him at [email protected] 

SUBSCRIBE: Our Thank God It’s Food newsletter is sent to subscribers every Friday at 6pm, and published on the TGIFood platform on Daily Maverick. It’s all about great reads on the themes of food and life. Subscribe here.


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