Sunday, December 19, 2010

[Cookie 093] Italian Polenta Cookies


JUST IN TIME FOR HOLIDAY COOKIE CRUNCH TIME......I AM BACK!!!! Sound the airhorns, stop the presses, release the carrier pigeons, send the fair eyed virgins a-dancing! This boat is real!


Seriously now, how has it been so long? Oh yeah, I remember now: I was in Ghana with a gas stove which had no temperature gauge, could only be set to "inferno" (...more commonly known as "broil" I think), no measuring spoons, no chocolate that costed less than 1 arm and 1 leg, and oh yeah, baking in 90ยบ+ weather...yeah right. But now I'm sitting in my cozy new apartment in Brooklyn and it is cold cold cold! And I've already baked up a new batch of cookies to cut the ribbon, so to speak, of my new life in BK. (Did I mention I live above a Polish Bakery?!)

Some shots of my new place! Kitchen, fridge, window to the fire escape.

Yeah, lot's to say in this post, that's for sure! I am just so glad to be back in America, and able to cuddle up with my roommates, make hot tea, watch 30 Rock and Arrested Development, and celebrate my 21st birthday by drinking some hot, boozy apple cider. It's so great. Oh, but you're here to get a cookie recipe right? You're in dire need of a new recipe for that cookie exchange right? Or something new and special to bring to that nondenominational holiday party at your workplace right?


Well, this recipe might be it. I say "might" only because I found the cookies to be only so-so. But they are still really tasty and definitely unusual; plus, when you tell people they have polenta in them, they'll think you're such a hotsy totsy food snob, which is always a good thing!


I was technically supposed to make these cookies LAST YEAR for my good friend/roommate/"I-only-eat-Italian-food" Long Islander, but I failed her. And she never let me live it down, until two days ago when I made them. Unfortunately, they didn't look remotely like the photos in the book because a) I used whole wheat flour which gave the dough that lovely beige/sand color (yuck), and b) the dough was way too dry and crumbly for me to squeeze it out of a pastry tube into cute little S shapes. I have no clue why this happened, and I really should have just added more liquid to thedough, but I'm a moron, so I just decided to make drop cookies. The result: THE UGLIEST COOKIES I HAVE EVER MADE, EVER!


Plus, they tasted a tad bland, so we decided to dip them in chocolate. This did not help their looks, but did make them taste real nice. But the chocolate isn't 100% necessary if you intend to eat the cookies a day or two after you make them, because they do taste better with a little bit of aging. Also, I would recommend using a high quality chocolate if you take that route, because Toll House chocolate morsels are pure shit.


But hey! What's with all this negativity? What I liked about this recipe was the inclusion of a hefty amount of lemon zest, which you could actually taste. Plus, polenta (I used cornmeal, same diff) is a great texture for a cookie, and definitely different than your usual Christmas gingerbread/peppermint/who-cares cookies. Seriously, no one wants to eat another gingerbread snowflake, OKAY? Well, I'd eat it, but that's because I have to eat at least one of every edible thing within my sight.


So, now that I'm back fer reeeeal, get ready for major cookie updates. I miss baking so so so0o0o0o0o0o much and cannot wait to really dig my teeth in and bake up a storm. Storm o' flour and butter, watch out! This is only the beginning. I have 1 month and 5 days until classes start, so I'm goin' crazy. Get ready. To get fat. j/k!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

xoxo--missed you all, fair readers. (thanks for the emails by the way, they light up my day!)


Italian Polenta Cookies
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Italian polenta, or yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, (1 lemon)
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, polenta, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Put butter, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add egg and egg yolk, one at a time, beating after each addition to combine. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip (such as Ateco No. 826).
  • Pipe S shapes about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide, spaced 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake cookies until edges are golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookies on parchment to wire racks; let cool about 10 minutes. Remove cookies from parchment, and transfer to racks to cool completely.

  • ****
    {End Results}
    Baking Difficultly: 2/5
    Ingredient Accessibility: 3.5/5
    Tastiness: 3/5
    Attractiveness: 1/5
    Is it worth it?: Yeah, I guess so.

    Drink: A 7-and-7. Don't ask why.
    Song: An oldy, but goody!!!!!!!!
    Activity: LOVING AMER-CUH!!


    Barbara E said...

    I missed you so much! So glad you are back!!! See you in a couple of days. -- BTW, started a bread tonight. It will bake tomorrow and be yummy for you on Tuesday.

    Rusty said...

    it's really nice to see you back, i missed your posts!

    Eclair said...

    *shakes you* WE MISSED YOU SO MUCH! TTwTT Welcome back! *hugs*