I am in love. No, not just with my darling husband and children, but with Matiz. If it sounds like a well-kept secret, well it used to be. And I used to feel like I had the show-stopping trend all tucked away in my own little box of culinary delights. But alas, no more. As with all good trends, like popular baby names or sunflowers or leg warmers, my little torta has been discovered. Soon, no doubt, Matiz will be everywhere.
‘Torta de Aceite,’ my sweet love. Matiz is the Spanish brand name scored across the crinkly parchment that is wrapped—like an envelope around a love letter—tenderly around this cracker-like sweet torta or ‘olive oil crisp bread.’
Coffee shops sell them, Whole Foods proudly displays them, little local deli’s and trendy grocers supply them. My first introduction to this sweet display of culinary bliss was years ago on a little Island, in a tiny little Italian delicatessen, tucked happily off the coast of Washington State. The whole shop is a gem; and they seem to import all the good food and best kept secrets.
But now that they have been found out, and Matiz has been put on the culinary stage, it is my secret no more. So if you see it, buy it, and if you don’t find it, go peek at their site. The little tortas are lovely with coffee or wine, as a simple dessert or a tantalizing appetizer. With pungent cheese, fresh fruit or shoot, a measly glass of water.
And, so as to bolster up my culinary snobbery, I thought I would attempt making a similar version of Matiz’s sweet little tortas. (Recipe found in Martha’s new Baking book).
Olive Oil Wafers
1 1/2 cups and 2 T flour
1/4 cup unhulled sesame seeds
3 T sugar
1 T anise seeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup plus 2 T ice water
2 egg whites, beaten until foamy
Oven to 400. Mix first 6 ingredients in blender. Combine olive oil and ice water, then add them to blender until just combined. Shape into golf-ball size rounds, placing two at a time on a rolling board, 6 inches apart. Place wax paper over top (I used silicone silpats underneath). Roll out into think cracker-like 8×4 inch ovals. Transfer to cookie sheet, brush with egg white and sprinkle with some sugar. Bake 6-8 minutes; store up to 4 days.