Olive Onion Bean Cookies // Finding Your Voice


It helps to put olives and onions near this plate, or else people will think they are sweet cookies. Which might be funny, actually.

Yesterday I got on the phone with my agent and the first thing she said to me was: I've been reading your blog. You've found your voice!

My voice! It's not that easy to find. I've spent my professional life in marketing using a call-to-action, sales-oriented voice. I've spent my fiction-writing life creating voices for characters not myself. I've even acted a little, and possessed myself body and soul to the voice of another. But my voice? That's another thing entirely and something I was hoping this blog would help suss out with time.

So how do you know when you've "found your voice"? Well, to me it's when the words are relaxed. My cadence reflects the things I've done that day -- contemplative after a movie, buzzing after a bike ride, wired after seeing friends.

It's when I start posting recipes that I like and not necessarily what other people like. Do you know that story about Family Circle Magazine's Cookie Cook-Off between the wives of the Presidential candidates? (Excuse the bizarre 1950's setup.) In 2004, Theresa Heinz Kerry submitted a Pumpkin Spice Cookie recipe and was clobbered by Laura Bush's Chocolate Chunk Cookies, which contained oatmeal, pecans, coconut flakes and chocolate.

This actually happened to me once, when I made salted caramel, chocolate, and peanut "egg" cookies hidden in a chocolate bark Easter terrarium. I lost to a chocolate coconut butterscotch cookie.

My whole life I've wrestled with this. Popular or weird, long black hair or short streaked hair, company woman or entrepreneur.

I can do the foolproof three C's of food blogging: carbs, chocolate, cheese. But that's not me. I am the Pumpkin Spice Cookie, the ridiculous Egg Terrarium cookie... and this, the savory Olive Onion Bean Cookie.


I like beans and I like baking. But honestly, I don't like baking sweets when it's not a special occasion. (Food blogger gone rogue!!) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop, season, and sautee 2 cloves of garlic and 1 Vidalia onion on medium-high until onion is browned, about 10 minutes. Add 6-8 chopped olives and 2 cups of very soft cooked white beans. If you're using canned beans, cook them in a pot with some water until they're nice and mushy.

Stir beans in pan and let rest so the beans and aromatics can get to know each other. Cool for 15 minutes, then mix in 1 egg. Form balls and flatten bean "dough" on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, or until bean cookies are no longer soft in the middle. Makes 12 cookies. Serve warm or cold.


Caramelized bean is an under-rated pleasure. Specially satisfying, like toasted bread and seared steak.