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I want to make some "Tortas de Algarrobo" cookies like the ones they make in my grandmother's village. The ones I like are tender but the ones I make are crunchy. How should I modify the ingredients or preparation to get a tender cookie? No eggs please.

The ingredients are: wheat flour, sugar, extra virgin olive oil (24%), aniseed, cinnamon, almonds and yeast.

Each cookie has one almond on top.

The nutritional facts are. For each 100g:

  • 433 kcal
  • 22.6g fat
  • 57.1g carbohidrates
  • 24.1g sugar
  • 0.65g salt
  • 4.8g protein

The ones I make are crunchy and they are based on this recipe:

  • 60 gr of baker's yeast
  • 1 kg of wheat flour
  • 500 gr of sugar
  • 1/2 liter of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of aniseeds
  • 1 glass of hard liquor
  • Whole roasted almonds
  • Mineral water

Preparation Mode

  1. Slip the yeast into a little warm water and add it to the flour, along with the sugar.
  2. In a pan, heat a little oil. When it smokes remove it from the fire and add the aniseed, stirring a bit so that it is evenly roasted. Pour it also on the flour.
  3. Go slowly incorporating the rest of the ingredients, while you knead, except the almonds. Add a little water if you see that the dough is too compact.
  4. Let rest at least 24 hours in the refrigerator and form cookies of about 100 gr each. Give them round shape and not too thin. Bake for about ten minutes at 180 ºC, making sure they don't burn. Let cool in a rack.

The secret of Algarrobo This is an approximation of the recipe of the famous "Tortas de Algarrobo", as the genuine and original formula is a secret jealously guarded by the grandmothers and confectioners of the town.

From the book "La cocina de La Axarquía y sus fiestas" Pablo Castro.

  • Does the dough rise the way you make it? – Willk Feb 2 at 1:04
  • No, it doesn't seem to rise. – Arturo Feb 2 at 9:00
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Your yeast is not happy. Maybe it is the liquor.

I think a dough that calls for yeast should rise. Because otherwise, why the yeast and the resting? Dough that has risen will be tender. Dough that has not risen could be crunchy. Of course always proof your yeast - see if it bubbles in some warm water and sugar. If it bubbles it is alive. Dead yeast does nothing.

But I am suspicious of the glass of hard liquor added to the dough before rising. I have heard of vodka pie crust (which does not rise) and I have heard of beer bread but never spirits in dough. Ethanol suppresses yeast because it is a waste product of yeast.

Try your recipe without the hard liquor. Or if you really like the flavor of the liquor, cook it a little in a saucepan to drive off the ethanol before adding it. The ethanol will all be gone after baking anyway. I suspect your yeast will be happier without the ethanol. Your dough will rise and you will have tender cookies.

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