March 16, 2011

Polenta and Vanilla Shortbread

My Dad has recently cemented the floor of his big shed, with the help of a couple of neighbours and my brother in law. Each time 'the crew' came over to help out, my Mum would make them scones and coffee for morning tea. One morning though she was out so it was up to me to feed 'the crew'. She'd made her usual scones and left them,  but I decided to make something myself. I had quite a bit of polenta left over from the Polenta Fries that I'd made previously, so I decided to make this new recipe that I'd found for Polenta and Vanilla Shortbread.
270g plain flour
160g yellow polenta (cornmeal)
3/4 cup castor sugar
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla
icing sugar, for dusting
1. Mix together the flour, polenta, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor. Scatter the butter chunks over the top and process until the mixture resembles medium sized breadcrumbs.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and vanilla until combined. With the processor running, drizzle this egg mix through the tube and process until the mixture forms a crumbly but somewhat cohesive mass.
3. Tip this out onto a chopping board and knead it gently, to bring the mixture together. Divide the dough in half, then roll each into a log about 5cm in diameter.
4. Lay a large sheet of foil on a bench and cover it with a sheet of baking paper. Sit one of the logs along one side of the baking paper and roll it up in the paper. Next, roll it in the foil. Twist the ends tightly in opposite directions so you end up with something that looks like a bonbon. Do the same with the remaining log of dough. If the dough seems too soft for shape into a log, chill it for an hour or so to firm it up, then try again.
5. Chill the logs for at least 3 hours or overnight.
6. When you're ready to bake the biscuits, preheat your oven to 170C. Cut the logs into 7mm thick slices and put them about 2cm apart on baking trays lined with baking paper.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the biscuits are pale golden around the edges and feel quite firm when gently pressed. Remove the biscuits from the oven and leave them to cool on the trays. Dust them lightly with icing sugar just before serving.
Well these biscuits were a hit with the guys! They had a very subtle and lovely taste to them and were very easy to make. The only problem I had was when I was rolling the logs I think I made mine a little bit too small in diameter. Also I didn't realise how long I would have to chill the logs for either (I admit it - I didn't read the recipe properly before I began) - but luckily I started cooking these the night before, so it all worked out fine. Plus they were worth the wait.

Recipe Source: Mix and Bake by Belinda Jeffrey


  1. These look so Yummy! I love shortbread, especially the texture of it- similar to yoyo biscuits. Wish I was a part of the 'crew'!!

  2. They were pretty good :) The only thing is I'm not sure if I used a fine enough polenta because they weren't completely soft like normal shortbread and yoyo biscuits. Still had a nice flavour though :)


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