There are many reasons to fall in love with the delicious polenta cookie, a beloved, traditional sweet from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy—including the fact that it's created with just a few simple ingredients. Serve them to guests with a warm espresso for dipping, or with a glass of sweet Moscato (a dessert wine). While they’re most commonly made in a ridged, ring shape, writer Emiko Davies, who riffs on the cookie for food52.com, rolls the dough and then cuts them with a round cookie cutter.
Makes: about 32 cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup fine polenta (cornmeal)
½ cup sugar
2/3 cup butter, cubed
2 medium egg yolks
Zest of one lemon
1. Combine the flour, polenta and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the chopped butter and beat in medium-low speed until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If mixing by hand, rub butter into the dry ingredients to achieve this texture.
2. Add in the yolks and lemon zest and mix until you form a smooth ball of dough. Rest the dough at least 30 minutes in the fridge (it can also be left overnight).
3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
4. Roll the dough on a well-floured surface until about 1/3 inch thick and cut out rounds with a cookie cutter (about 2 inches in diameter). Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until just golden.
1. Place a wide saucepan filled halfway with water over medium heat and bring the water to a moderate simmer.
2. Use a stainless steel, glass, or copper mixing bowl that will comfortably fit on the saucepan. Make sure that the simmering water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Place the egg yolks in the bowl and whisk in the sugar. Continue whisking until the egg yolks are light in color and fluffy in texture. Place the bowl over the simmering water, and, whisking constantly, dribble in the Moscato slowly. Continue whisking the mixture. It should become increasingly fluffy and double in volume. Test the Zabaione for doneness by lifting the whisk and allowing some of the mixture to fall on top of itself. If the Zabaione mounds and holds its shape nicely for three to five seconds, it is finished.
3. Remove the bowl from the heat. If you are serving the Zabaione warm, it is ready to be spooned over fruit or into dessert glasses.
4. To cool the Zabaione, continue whisking it until it is cool.