Friday, December 15, 2017

rice and cornmeal cookies

Whether you are busy Christmas baking or you simply enjoy making, eating and giving cookies, today we are sharing a recipe that very simply sums up Piedmont.

Piedmont is the top European rice producer, risotto is one of our staple foods so 50% of this cookies is made with rice flour. Piedmont is also famous for polenta or cornmeal which makes up to the other 50% of the ingredients. Yes, these are simply delish a gluten free cookies that sing out loud: Piedmont!

Rice paddies in the Vercelli area in April when they are flooded

We had them years ago in a tiny bakery in Turin near Via Garibaldi and Via dei Mercanti. Here they had quite a large artisan cookie production and these riso e mais cookies got our eyes and palates.
They are very simple and, at the same time, refined with their light texture and not so sugary flavor.
If you make them with butter they will be like a shortbread, if you prefer to use a vegetable oil, like corn oil, they will be lighter but equally scrumptious with their slight lemon scent.

Rice & Cornmeal Cookies

  • 200 gr - 1+1/4 Cup    extra fine cornmeal
  • 200 gr - 1+1/4 Cup    extra fine rice flour
  • 100 gr - 1/2 Cup        granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 90gr  - 1/4C +2Tbp    seeds oil (vegetable or corn oil)
  • 1 lemon zest (grated)
  • 2 tsp baking powder

oven: 180C- 350F for 15/20minutes

our Christmas whale cookie cutter

Mix all the ingredients together with a whisk or in a food processor. 

For the sugar you can use brown sugar or half brown and half granulated to tweak the flavor a bit.

You can sub the vegetable oil with butter or do half and half. See if you can find corn oil.

You will get a firm dough similar to shortcrust pastry.
If needed add extra flour/meal.

Let rest in the fridge for about 30minutes.

Get your cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then lay the dough and roll it down to about 0.5mm - 1/4in thick.
Don't worry if the dough is crumbly because while baking it will get firmer.

Cut out the shape you prefer - for Christmas, it is our tradition to use a whale shape cookie cutter.

Bake at 180C - 350F for about 15/20minutes. Keep an eye on them.

These cookies are great for breakfast, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, cold or hot milk, gelato, chocolate and jams, and pair perfectly with virtually anything, wines and liqueurs included.

As you make them and eat them, close your eyes and picture the Piedmont rice paddies, our unique biodiversity with leaping frogs and many singing birds. Then move your gaze over to our Alps, that's where polenta flour is mainly produced and eaten: snow capped mountains, woods and hot chocolate with a dash of grappa...

Sunset on the rice paddies in the Vercelli area in September before the harvest

This is Piedmont, where the very first Italian national park was open, where the core of the Italian nation started and you have all of this in a cookie!

Pretty powerful ain't it? 😉 

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