Monday, May 6, 2013

Corn Meal Cookies

The Italians certainly know what to do with corn meal. Take for instance polenta, corn meal cake or zaletti. The latter, if you are not familiar with it, is a corn meal cookie made with rum soaked currants.

But for me a simple corn meal cookie with a bit of vanilla and lemon is all I need to start ironing the linens and scrubbing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees (although I wish I looked more like Sophia Loren while doing that).

These simple corn meal cookies are delightful and have, as my sister said, a "fatto in casa" quality about them. "They're buttery and cake-y... delicate and substantial at the same time, mmmmm" to quote her. And, might I add, they have a rustic finish from the corn meal but the lemon rind adds a hint of sophistication. Perfect with an espresso or a dunk in something stronger, if you know what I mean.

I don't know if it's because I'm just a 135 pound weakling, but I'm not going to lie to you, they were a bit of a bear to pipe out. I ended up using my cookie press with the star tip dye to pipe out. Having said that, I ended up loving the shape and of course you already heard how tasty they are!

corn meal cookies (adapted from Martha)

1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup corn meal 
1 cup soft butter
3/4 cup raw cane sugar 
1 egg
1 yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
rind of one lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour and corn meal together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer cream butter and sugar on medium, scraping the bowl as necessary, until light and fluffy.  Add egg, yolk, vanilla extract and lemon rind; continue beating for a minute or two. Add flour and corn meal and mix well. 

On parchment lined cookie sheets, using a pastry bag or a cookie press with a star tip, pipe out cookies in the shape of an "S". Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Makes 24 to 30 cookies.

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  1. I think your hard work with the piping paid off. These cookies sound so interesting and you're so right about how talented the Italians are with corn meal (and coffee, nuts, olive oil...I think the list goes on and on!).