Orange and olive oil cookies


A traditional Algerian cookie posted on Radia‘s blog called twabaa; the ring shape of these Algerian cookies is similar to the Lebanese kaak flavored with anise or mahlab. The dough is richer (with eggs) but the cookies are plain and rather crunchy. Radia flavored hers with lemon rind and vanilla and coated them with an egg wash.

INGREDIENTS: 30 cookies

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of oil (light olive oil is best here)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • rind of one or more oranges
  • 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla or orange blossom water
  • enough flour to form a thick but moist and sticky dough ( I used about 2 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose)
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • dash of salt

Glaze: 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 tbsp of unsalted butter, several tablespoons of fresh orange juice, 1 tsp of orange rind: Melt over low heat and dunk the cookies one by one in the glaze.


  1. Beat the eggs and sugar for a few minutes until a bit thick; add the oil in a thin stream while beating, add the orange rind and orange blossom water or vanilla. Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl and add the dry mixture to the batter until combined.
  2. Using a 1-inch cookie dough scooper or a tablespoon, form even-sized balls of dough; poke in the middle with the handle of a spoon to form a hole and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 350F oven (180C) for 15 minutes or so until the cookies are lightly golden. If glazing, dunk in the glaze one by one. Cool.
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  1. Posted October 19, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Une petite douceur étonnante et pleine de saveurs originales….

  2. Posted October 19, 2011 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    A novel way to poke a hole in the cookies, ideal for a Greek coffee (little bite). I’d still use regular olive oil…love the flavour in baked treats.

  3. Posted October 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    These look wonderful!

  4. Posted October 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful cookies! Delicate flavor….

  5. Posted October 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Loved your creative recipe. Have bookmarked this page…I definitely have to try it out…Its an awesome cookie :)

  6. Posted October 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    délicieusement parfumés!! il faut que je teste ta version à l’huile d’olive!! bonne soirée!!

  7. Posted October 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Marvellous,flavourful cookies..would love to have with a cup of coffee.

  8. Posted October 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Awsome cookies! I bet they are really addictive and go perfectly well with a cup of black coffee.



  9. Posted October 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    I know I would love these.

  10. Posted October 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I predict that these cookies will be a hit at our Thanksgiving office party. Although the cookies appear (in the pictures) to be a pastry chef’s work, the recipe and directions seem simple an straightforward. Truth be told, I’m fearful of baking, but nothing horrible has happened when I’ve baked (except for burning here and there).

    Again, you’re an inspiration.


  11. Posted October 19, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    I love coming here! Everything is so new and exciting. At first I thought they were doughnuts. I have baked cakes a lot with olive oil but never cookies – love the trick making the hole in the cookie. Would’ve taken me years to figure that out!

  12. Posted October 19, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    So much nicer than choc-chip! Fabulous recipe and instructions as always.

  13. Posted October 20, 2011 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    Plain cookies like these always move me somehow. They are everywhere – in southern Italy we flavour them with aniseed as well. I love the orange twist.

  14. Posted October 20, 2011 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    The hint of orange in these must make them so refreshing to bite into!

  15. Posted October 20, 2011 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    They look like little doughnuts – I really like the combination of orange and olive oil – simple and traditional, but so good!

  16. Posted October 20, 2011 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Hello! I a new to your blog. I am intrigued about Lebanese cooking (I am Mediterranean: from Italy, and I know there are a lot of common themes with our cuisines, like the use of olive oil, even in desserts). These cookies look wonderful!

  17. Posted October 20, 2011 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    The ring shape looks great! These must be so deliciously fragrant, and the glaze looks fantastic.

  18. Posted October 20, 2011 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    This a wonderful and flavorful recipe as always Joumana. I know I wuld love love love these with a vuppa. And a special thanks for answering thwe mystery of how I am to get a hole in the middle of the donut with no special gizmos :)

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  19. Posted October 20, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Hi Joumana,

    I normally use olive oil in savory dishes. I need to branch out a bit. These cookies look delish!

    On a different note, I think the TV dinner challenge idea is excellent! Sign us up, let me know what the rules are and the date! Can’t wait.


  20. Posted October 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Oooh, how I wish I had these to enjoy with a big cup of tea. They look splendid!

  21. Posted October 21, 2011 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    Nice.. the olive on the doughnuts looks good… so mouth watering. love this post.

  22. Posted October 21, 2011 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    How delicately flavored these are and how wonderful they look. I often crave these cookies – remember them from the Lebanese bakery next to my parents home. Never tried making them so will have to give it a go now!

  23. Posted October 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    These look lovely and like the orange flavor. Always so curious about sweets with olive oil.

  24. Nancy
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    these look lovely, i will try them, but i have a question, do you beat the eggs and the surger by electronic mixer, then fold in the dry ingredients?

  25. Joumana
    Posted October 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    @Nancy: yes

  26. Posted October 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    i like the look and sound of these cookies.! i love the basic flavors!

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