Orange & Sultana Polenta Cookies

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A bit of baking on the blog today! These cookies are made with a mix of wholemeal flour, plain flour and ground polenta to give a lighter mix and uses both the zest and juice of an orange. The recipe uses dried sultanas, but you could easily increase the fruit content by adding dried dates, figs or cherries.

The cookies are best kept in an air-tight container or biscuit tin and will keep for several days. 

The recipe will make 16 cookies.

• 1 egg. Lightly beaten
• 2 teaspoons of honey
• 4 sweeteners. Crushed with the back of a spoon
• 1 large orange. Washed, zested and juiced
• 70g of dried sultanas (raisins would also work)
• 100g plain flour
• 100g wholemeal flour
• 60g polenta
• 1 level teaspoon / 5g baking powder
• ½ teaspoon of salt (or better still low sodium salt)
• 100g low fat butter spread 
• a little more polenta to sprinkle over the dough and tray
• a couple of sprays of Fry Light One Cal Spray oil

  1. Mix the the egg, honey, sweeteners in a jug and beat with a fork to combine.
  2. Zest the orange, then roughly chop the zest to break up any larger pieces. Add to the egg mixture and leave to one side.
  3. Next juice the orange and add to a small bowl. Add the sultanas to the juice and allow the fruit to plump up while you get on with the dough.
  4. Sift the flours, polenta, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl (also adding the wholemeal husks that won't pass through the sieve) and stir to combine. 
  5. Next add the butter to the flour mixture and rub it into the flour until it resembles biscuit crumbs. When it's starting to look like breadcrumbs, my Mum told me to shake the bowl gently from side to side to make the larger lumps rise to top and she was right! Mix the larger lumps in too. 
  6. Next make a well in the centre and add about half the liquid and stir to combine with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the rest of the liquid and stir again and bring together. (Add a little more wholemeal flour if the dough is too wet, a little low fat mix if it's too dry).
  7. Place a foot long sheet of cling film on a clean board and sprinkle approximately half a teaspoon of polenta to it. Next carefully remove the cookie dough from the bowl and form it into a rough sausage shape, lengthways, on the cling film. Sprinkle another half teaspoon of polenta over the dough and carefully wrap the cling film around the dough. You can reshape the dough if needed when it's wrapped to give it a uniform shape.
  8. Pop the dough into the fridge and allow to chill for approximately half an hour or until you're ready to bake the cookies. (If you are in a hurry, you can pop it into the freezer for 10-15 minutes to chill).
  9. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 190°C, line a baking tray with tin foil and lightly spray with the spray oil. Sprinkle a teaspoon of polenta over the tray.
  10. Remove the dough from the fridge and remove the cling film. Carefully slice the dough sausage in half, then half these into roughly equal quarters, then half again and again to make 16 pieces.
  11. Roll each piece into a ball and place on the tray, the flatten the ball with your hand to make a cookie shape. When you have made all 16 cookies, turn them over to coat the other side in polenta.
  12. Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool.

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