Genie Milgrom's Aceitadas Cookies. Photo: Michael Milgrom
Genie Milgrom's Aceitadas Cookies. Photo: Michael Milgrom
Recipe

Aceitadas Cookies

Traditionally made in the lead up to Easter Sunday, aceitadas cookies are a traditional Zamoran delicacy

This is a recipe from one of my great aunts, Angelita, from the Zamora region of Spain, where the family lived for centuries. She sent this recipe in the 1920s to my grandmother, who made it many times, and it has been preserved to this day. These cookies were usually eaten during Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter Sunday), and, along with many of the desserts in this book, are considered artisanal. I made these melt-in-your-mouth cookies a couple of times, and the ingredients list and instructions below already reflect the modern tweaking of the recipe. They remind me a bit of shortbread, and while they are a bit oily (aceite means oil), these are the best cookies ever! The ever-present anise is in the recipe but I think any liqueur flavor can be substituted.

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Genie Milgrom’s “Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers”

Ingredients for Aceitadas Cookies

  • 4½ cups olive oil
  • 3 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup anise liqueur (not anise essence)
  • 6 eggs separated
  • 5½ lbs (2½ kilograms) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup Sugar for brushing
  • jam or jelly (optional)

Instructions

  • 1. Mix the oil, sugar, liqueur and egg yolks together until well blended.

  • 2. Slowly start adding the flour and baking powder and mix by hand until you can make balls 1½" (nearly 4 cm) in size. Make a star shape in the center of each with your knife.

  • 3. Mix egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until sugar is dissolved. Brush the top of each cookie before baking. At this point you may wish to add a tiny bit of your favorite jelly in the center for color. It is absolutely not necessary, as they are just as delicious without.

  • 4. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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This recipe is from Genie Milgrom’s cookbook “Recipes of My 15 Grandmothers“, which shares the recipes and the story of Genie’s journey to uncover her Spanish Jewish roots.

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