Lemon Polenta Cookies

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The holiday break during winter is one of my favourite times of year. Somehow all of my hobbies are more enjoyable when the weather is cold! Reading, going on nature hikes, exploring the city… and of course, baking. Nothing warms up the house on a cold morning quite like an oven full of delicious treats.

This morning was one of those mornings where I’d made no specific plans, other than going to work in the afternoon, and I decided it would be a nice idea to bake. I’ve been on holidays for a little over a week but I haven’t had the chance to bake anything yet! Since my goal was to do as much baking as I can these holidays, it made sense to take advantage of the abundance of free time that stretched before me this morning. So I picked up a recipe book and fired up the oven!

I decided to bake some lemon polenta cookies today. Recently I’ve been quite interested in cooking with polenta. It’s a different sort of ingredient that I never tried when I was younger. Polenta is apparently rather healthy – low in carbs and rich in vitamin A and C. It’s also really versatile! Mostly I’ve been making savoury things with it – I made polenta chips several times, and the other week I cooked polenta, meatballs and napolitana sauce as dinner for my family, all of the recipes from a cookbook they gave me for my birthday.

The recipe said it would make 12 cookies, but I ended up making a bunch of small cookies for the first batch and then larger ones for the second batch, adding up to a total of 21 cookies. So I guess you could make them small or big (or both) depending on your preference.

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Lemon Polenta Cookies
(adapted from Cookies)

100g butter
70g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
150g plain flour
70g polenta
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of salt
almonds (optional) for topping

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the beaten eggs, lemon rind and lemon juice, and mix until well-combined and smooth. Sift in the flour, salt, cinnamon and polenta, and mix until combined. Place teaspoonfuls of the batter onto the greased tray, and smooth out with a knife (they won’t really spread when you cook them, so it’s okay to flatten them out a little). If desired, top each biscuit with a blanched almond.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until slightly browned around the edges. Cool on the tray for 5-10 minutes before placing on a wire rack.

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