I decided I might take part in Dom’s February Random Recipe Challenge which involves choosing a page at random from a randomly chosen cookbook.
So I ran my hand along the cookbooks in my collection and picked out this book.
It’s a beautiful book full of gorgeous looking recipes but I had never cooked from it before. So I flipped the pages and it fell open at “orange polenta cookies”.
Well, fancy that. I didn’t know I owned a book with another recipe for these cookies. Having had a disappointing result with the Jamie Oliver recipe, should I or shouldn’t I have another go ??
My mum always said, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Einstein said, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.
My other half said “I don’t know why you keep making stuff like this, it never works”.
That did it. The next time I had a day off work, the minute he was out of the front door I fetched my pinny !!
In actual fact, this recipe used roughly twice as much flour as polenta, whereas in Jamie’s recipe it was the other way round. I decided to reduce the ratio of polenta even more to see what happened. I also decided to use caster sugar instead of granulated and omit the vanilla extract stated in the recipe.
The butter was at room temperature but was still not very soft so I used a tip taken from a Lorraine Pascale book and grated it to soften it. Because the quantities of butter and sugar were fairly small, I started out beating the mixture by hand but soon got fed up with that so put it into my Kenwood mixer.
The mixture turned out just the right consistency for biscuits, not too firm or sloppy. They were easy to shape but it all got a bit messy, which is inevitable really.
They had a delicate orange flavour and were not too sweet, with a nice crunch. There was a suggestion on the polenta packet to substitute some polenta for the flour in pastry or biscuit recipes to give them extra crunch and obviously it does work, if you get the ratio right.
I then found another recipe using polenta for a cake…… marmalade polenta cake…..hmmmmm…..next time perhaps.
Here’s what I used for my version of orange polenta cookies.
85g unsalted butter
140g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
1 large egg
150g plain flour
1 tsp granulated sugar
Here’s what you do.
Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 170°C/160°fan.
Beat the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest and egg and beat again until smooth.
Add the flour and polenta and mix gently until combined.
Take small lumps of the dough, about the size of a walnut, and roll into a ball. Space them out evenly on the baking sheets to allow for spreading. Flatten slightly with the heel of your hand and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and slightly browned at the edges. Lift carefully from the trays and cool on a wire rack.
Makes 18-20 cookies.