The mother of a very good friend of my mother’s used to make a version of these, and very well too. She knew I liked them, so whenever she made a batch she would kindly make sure some came my way. I came across this recipe by Steve Manfredi, so thought I would give them a go. Maybe it was the size of my lemon or my eggs, but I did find the dough way too sticky once combined, so I did end up adding another 1/2 cup of flour in addition to the 200g suggested in the recipe. Also the dough is already quite sweet, so the rolling in the sugar step I’d say is optional. I used a tablespoon measure to form the biscuits, and ended up with about 36. These are delicious!
200g plain flour
100g fine semolina
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
110g unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
200g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
Grated zest and juice of a lemon
½ tsp vanilla extract
60g caster sugar, extra, for rolling (optional)
1. Mix together in a bowl, the flour, semolina, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and set aside.
2. Cream together the butter, olive oil and 200g of sugar in an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Add the egg, yolk, vanilla, lemon zest and juice until well combined (may be necessary to scrape down the sides).
3. On low speed add the dry ingredients and mix till soft dough is formed. Wrap the dough in some cling film, flatten into a disc and refrigerate for 90 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 170C. Put the 60g of extra sugar in a bowl. Using lightly floured fingers, take a small piece of dough and roll each biscuit to the size of a golf ball. Roll each ball in the sugar and place on baking sheets covered with baking paper. Each ball should be about 4cm from the other.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes till lightly golden. Cool and store in airtight containers.