Surprise invites are wonderful, not the least because I then have the excuse to cook something and bring it along. And on this occasion I decided to again, go with something simple, something which used what ingredients I already had in the house. I flipped through one of my books and pulled out this recipe for polenta cookies. It seemed straight forward, but I was a little nervous about whether polenta would even make good cookies, never having used it before. I was also wondering how such a small amount of dough could produce a decent amount of cookies. But it turns out that I worried for nothing. Polenta is delicious in cookies. And despite the dough ball being quite small, once I re-rolled it twice, I was able to get quite a few cookies out of it.
But making these was also fun when it came to watching them rise and then harden in the oven. This new oven is awesome! It has a great timer, which is good to use when someone else has pinched the one meant to live in the kitchen. And despite being fan-forced, the cooking times have been more or less the same as what is listed in the recipes for convection ovens. I was always told that fan-forced ovens meant less cooking time, but in this case the times are still spot on, even though the temperatures are different. So, so far I am more than a little impressed with the oven. I’m even a little bit bewildered. Our first oven had no handle and need re-calibrating, our second oven had inconstant temperatures and a badly fitted temperature dial, and our new oven works. It’s…wonderful and strange.
Adapted from Hamlyn: 200 Gluten-Free Recipes’
Orange and Polenta Cookies
Makes: 20, Prep: 20-25 mins, Chill: 30mins, Cook: 8-10 mins
- 75g polenta
- 25g rice flour
- 25g almond meal
- 1/2 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
- 75g icing sugar (gluten free)
- 50g unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 egg yolk, beaten (I used an egg from a 700g pack)
- Rind of 1 lemon
- Flaked almonds, to decorate
- Food processor (can use hands instead)
- Cookie cutter, 1.5 inch
- Rolling pin/bottle
- Thin edged egg lifter
- Put the polenta, almond meal, rice flour, baking powder, icing sugar and butter into a food processor, and process until well combined and the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Or, use your hands to do the same.
- Add the egg yolk and lemon rind and combine to form a dough. Then wrap the dough in cling wrap and chill it for 30 mins.
- Preheat your oven to 180C/160C (fan-forced), and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Lightly dust the surface of your bench top or chopping board with rice flour, and roll the dough out thinly, I rolled it out until it was about 2-3mm thick. Using your cutter, cut out the 20 cookies. You may need to re-roll the dough scraps up to 2 more times.
- Using the thin edged egg lifter, as the dough is quite fragile (or it was for me), lift the cookies from the bench and places them on the baking tray at least 1.5cm apart.
- Bake the cookies for 8-1o mins or until their edges have browned. Remove the tray from the oven and leave the cookies to harden on the tray for 5-10 mins, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.