Recipe 41: Italian Polenta Cookies

Polenta. I can’t say cookies come to mind when I think of it. Whatever you say, Martha.

It felt good to bake again. I went almost 3 weeks! I’ll never do that again.

This one required a piping bag, which I’ve had bad luck with. Here it goes! 

Step 1: Gather ingredients: flour, butter, polenta, vanilla, salt, lemon zest, egg + egg yolk, sugar.

The recipe calls for Italian polenta, or yellow cornmeal. I went to the store and asked where to find polenta. They told me it was in a tube (like sausage), but when I found those, they were pre-cooked and flavored. I wandered over to the bulk section and found Italian polenta there! It is clearly not the same consistency as the tube stuff, so I hope it’s right.

Step 2: Whisk together flour, polenta, and salt.

I couldn’t find my whisk anywhere! Luckily I have this KitchenAid attachment. #snob

Step 3: Beat butter and sugar.

Step 4: Add vanilla.

Step 5: Add eggs.

Step 6: Add flour mixture.

Easy enough! Now comes the scary part.

Step 7: Transfer dough to a piping bag.

I had some bad experiences with my IKEA set, so I went to Michael’s and bought a new Wilton bag and set of tips. Now I feel like I need to practice and become a pro decorator. (Carrie, I’m looking at you.)

Martha showed me this trick. You put a little dough down on all the corners of your parchment to keep it down while you pipe and while it bakes.

Step 8: Pipe dough into 3-inch S shapes.

Ow, ow, ow, this dough is way too thick for the star tip I had on the bag. It hurt my hands.

I switched to this larger tip, but was afraid the star would look weird.

Oh, this is much better!

It was still difficult! That dough was thick!

These are ugly.

Step 9: Chill for 30 minutes, then bake for 15-18 mins.

Shit. Some burnt!

The next batch was better, phew!

Link to original recipe

Yields: 36
I got: 45

Start time: 8:30
End time: 11:05 (2 hours, 35 mins)
Martha’s estimated time: 1 hour, 10 mins

What did I learn? 

  • Piping is still hard, but it can be fun.
  • Piping is going to require a lot of practice.

What do I need to learn? 

  • Why did some overcook and others didn’t?
  • Why don’t mine have the star texture like Martha’s? Was it the tip I used?

I made myself an “N” too.

Martha described these as crunchy, and they are. Not like any cookie I’ve had before. I think you should try them, though. They’re not too sweet (none of her cookies really are), and pretty fun.

3 responses to “Recipe 41: Italian Polenta Cookies

  1. Lindy

    They’re tasty. And it was fun watching you struggle with the piping bag

  2. I love that you want to pipe! These cookies sound pretty cool.
    Yours look different because you used the french tip (lots of tiny points) and she used a large open star. May have made it a little more difficult to pipe but otherwise the only difference is the look of it.
    When you come to CA we will decorate some cookies together, k? 🙂

  3. These were certainly crunchy and a little grainy but not in a bad way. You also inspired me to get polenta bread from Eugene City Balery for dinner. It was great.

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