Rather a lot of people were disparaging about this book and its recipes, to my surprise. They said the recipes didn't give enough detail, and that some of them just didn't work. I decided to look for a non-bread recipe and came across this one for cornmeal cookies. I always have some polenta in the pantry for muffins and loaves (you know, the easy non-bread type loaves), so this one was a no-brainer for me. I am joining in with other bloggers for this month's The Cookbook Guru Book Club, where brave and intrepid cooks storm the bastions of the culinary world, one book at a time. Or maybe like me, they just limp along carrying the ladders:)
(Makes around 30 large walnut-sized cookies; Carol says it makes 50!)
90g. dried fruit - currants/sour cherries/cranberries etc - (chop bigger fruit to currant size)
20g. plain flour
155g. butter at room temp.
120g. caster sugar
2 large eggs at room temp.
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
210g. plain flour
140g. polenta (cornmeal)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
Toss the dried fruit and the 20g. of flour together in a small bowl - put aside
Throw the softened butter and the sugar into a food processor (or beat with a wooden spoon in a large mixing bowl) till smooth and creamy. This is best done by pulsing rather than continuous blending, till the mixture is blended well together
Add in the eggs one by one and pulse till you have a smooth mixture - do not despair if your batter now looks curdled and akin to scrambled eggs - it will be fine!
Add the vanilla extract and pulse briefly again
Spoon out into a large bowl and give it a good stir with a wooden spoon
Grab a separate medium bowl; throw in the flour, polenta, baking powder and salt - and whisk!
Mix these dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients very well - you will have a fairly dry and stiff dough
Stir in the dried fruit and flour mixture
Form the dough into a rectangle about 10 x 18cm
Swaddle like a baby in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about an hour till firm
Take it out of the fridge, unwrap and cut it down the middle lengthwise
Cut off small walnut-sized shapes and roll into balls, or just cut into small squares
Place them on baking-paper lined trays at even intervals
Flatten gently with a fork
Bake for about 12 minutes at 170C, rotating the trays after 6 mins.
(depending on your oven and your ball size, it could take longer - mine took about 17 minutes)
When they look very light brown on top, take them out
Cool on the trays for 10 mins, then place on wire racks till completely cold
(or if you are Mr P., grab one or 2 while still warm)
This looks like a heap of instructions but it is really quite simple, especially if using the food processor (or a stand mixer as Carol suggests). She also gives a bit of info. about freezing the dough; in fact that is her primary course rather than just baking them straightaway. She says you can wrap the cylinders of dough and freeze them till you want to bake them. She then suggests slicing them into 1/4 inch slices (once they have defrosted a bit I guess), and baking them for the same amount of time. That is helpful info, but I would have thought that should be a footnote rather than the "baking now" instructions.
|tossing dried fruit and flour together|
|tip butter and caster sugar into the food processor|
|creamed and ready for the eggs|
|popping in that first egg|
|yes it looks curdled but don't worry - it turns out just fine|
|mixing in the dry ingredients|
|stir in the dried fruit - you will have a firm and fairly dry dough|
|spoon the dough out onto plastic wrap|
|push the dough into a loaf shape about 10 x 18cm|
|okay so I measured it out! but you don't have to do that|
|after an hour just chillin' in the fridge, dissect it:)|
|form little walnut-sized balls (or bigger if you like)|
|flatten them gently with a fork after placing on lined baking trays|
|take them out of the oven when lightly golden brown - mine took 17 minutes to bake|
|yep doodling again! this is my currant-y cookie doodle :)|