When I turned the page of Jamie’s new book Orange Appeal and saw this recipe I was immediately transported back to Cannes (which is not far from Marseille).
There’s a shop in the old city where these little “boats” are stacked on a table from my waist to my head (okay, maybe not as tall as I thought) with flavors including pistachio, chocolate, and anise.
I easily doubled this recipe weighing out 2 ounce pieces of dough before rolling and forming into the boats as Jamie instructs below. I ended up with 48 cookies.
The only other adaption was that I used heavy cream for brushing on the cookies prior to baking. I was out of milk and wasn’t about to forgo baking these because of it. It work just fine.
1/2 cup (4 1/2 oz / 100 g) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 rounded teaspoon orange zest
3 teaspoons orange blossom water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (9 oz / 250 g) all-purpose flour
Milk, for brushing the cookies before baking
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar and the egg on medium-high speed until pale, thick, and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the zest, orange blossom water, and oil.
Stir the salt into the flour and then beat 2/3 of the flour into the batter in 2 or 3 additions. Finish folding the flour in by hand, kneading until all of the flour has been added and a smooth dough has developed. Form the the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and slightly flatten the ball into a disc. Cut the dough into 12 even wedges. Roll each wedge into a 3-inch-long (7 cm) oval log and place on the prepared baking sheet. Shape the pieces of dough into small “navettes” or little boats by pressing to flatten just a bit, and pinching the 2 ends into rounded points. Make a 2-inch (5 cm) slit down the center of each with a sharp knife, cutting only halfway down into the dough, and carefully push the slit open slightly. Brush each cookie lightly with milk.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden; the tips and undersides should be a deeper golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on a rack. Store in a covered container.
Recipe by Jamie Schler from Orange Appeal, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.