Thursday, 13 September 2012

Really? Polenta?

When I was small, once in awhile my dad would purchase these Italian cookies that were shaped as the letter 'S'.  I don't remember the texture, but I thought they were good especially because my name begins with the letter 'S'.

When I first came across this recipe, I thought of the orginal letter 'S' cookies.
However, the polenta threw me for a loop.  Really?  Polenta?  Us, Italians cook with it, and believe me, I hated it when my mom made it.  How could this be good?  Polenta, in a cookie?

I don't know but, it was a Martha Stewart recipe, how could I go wrong?

I must tell you, that I have baked the Italian Polenta cookie at least 5 times and for a different crowd each time.  And each time, I have rave reviews.  Their question, each time, is "Polenta, really?"

The polenta gives it a different texture and because of the hint of lemon, this cookie is light and different.  In a good way.

Polenta is coarsely or finely ground yellow or white cornmeal. 
For more information, please see

Italian Polenta Cookies

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

*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
(I used Wilton # 4B)
*Pipe S shapes about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide, spaced 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment.    (I used Sil-Pat).
*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.

Yield: approx.  24 cookies.

Please Note:  I used salted butter and just omitted the salt when the recipe asked for it.

Godere! (Enjoy!)

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