I love really great food but my favorites aren’t trendy foodie finds in the hippest restaurant. Instead it’s the simple things like a turkey sandwich with a big hunk of cheddar cheese the day after Thanksgiving, a runny poached egg, anything with lemon and lime flavor and polenta…I just love polenta. Must be my Southern Italian genes.
This cookie recipe developed by Wendy Jo Peterson, my co-author for the Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies®, combines that wonderful fresh lemon flavor with the chewy texture of polenta with a little pinch of floral cardamom. Yum! Right up my alley!
I also appreciate the lightly sweetened flavor of these cookies. There’s a relatively low amount of added sugar, about 3/4 teaspoon per cookie. If you know me, you know I’m not a fan of teeth rattling sweetness in my sweets. Let’s just say the thought of a skittle makes me cringe.
Instead these cookies offer a light refreshing flavor you could serve at a tea party. Not sure if anyone does that sort of thing but if you did, they’d be perfect! If you are a fan of lemon bars or lemon pie, these cookies are for you- for real.
PUCKER UP LEMON POLENTA COOKIES Recipe
PREP TIME: 45 mins
COOK TIME: 14 mins
TOTAL TIME: 59 mins
Author: Wendy Jo Peterson, The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies, Wiley 2012
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 36 cookies
- ½ cup room-temperature butter
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon juice
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup pistachios
- 1⅓ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon half and half
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- With an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, brown sugar, honey, and lemon zest until fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and lemon juice (minus 1 tablespoon) and mix until incorporated.
- In a food processor, grind the pistachios to a flour consistency. In a small bowl, combine the ground nuts, flour, cornmeal, cardamom, and salt.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Chill the dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough into balls 1 tablespoon at a time, place the balls 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet, and flatten gently. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until the edges brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Whisk together the remaining lemon juice, the half and half, and the powdered sugar in a bowl. Drizzle the cooled cookies with the glaze and cool until the glaze hardens. Serve.