When Katherine asked me to write a guest post for her beautiful blog, while she is on vacation, I wondered what recipe I could write about, since I wanted to share an Italian dish at all costs or, even better, a recipe typical of my Region, Piedmont. So, after all this thinking and after a lot of exclusions (but you'll find these dishes on my blog, anyway), I found out that the perfect recipe was already in my mind all along, waiting for the right trigger … and so, here I am with my meliga pastries.
So, if you want to read about my first experiment, my misadventures and my memories about these amazing cookies, come and read my post here, and take a look at Katherine blog… it definitely worths a visit!
Here you can find only the recipe
Ingredients (2 baking pans; about 30 cookies)
* 150 g unsalted butter (2/3 cup), left out of the fridge for several hours (very softened)
* 80 g powdered sugar (3/4 cup)
* grated peel of half a lemon
* 40 g egg (about a medium egg)
* 150 g confectionery cornmeal, ground more finely than the polenta one (about 1 cup)
* 50 g all-purpose flour (1/3 cup)
* a pinch of salt
In a bowl whip with the whisks softened (not melted) butter with sifted powdered sugar and lemon peel, until you have a fluffy mixture, increased in volume.
Then stir in the egg (if you increase the dose, incorporate the eggs one at a time) and, always beating,until you have a fluffy mixture, again.
Now add a pinch of salt and the two types of flour, sifted, and stir with a spatula (NOT with whisks, otherwise flour will precipitate) from the bottom up, until the mixture is homogeneous.
Put the dough in a piping bag (Sarah suggests not to use one a disposable one, 'cause the mixture is not very soft and it might break the bag) equipped with medium-large star nozzle and make your cookies with the classic flattened ring shape, squeezing the dough on non-stick baking pans or regular ones lined with parchment paper. If you, like me, have last-minute problems with an evil piping bag, you could use a cookie-press, instead (I have this one), perfect for this kind of dough. I made a flower shape, the closest to the real shape.
Put the baking pans (with cookies on them) in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (so the mixture will set, and it won't deflate during cooking). Preheat oven to 356° F (180° C) and bake your cookies in a pre-heated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes (if you bake more batches at a time, rotate them halfway through baking), or until golden.
Let the cookies cool down on a wire rack and store them in a tin box to keep them crunchy.
Delicious at any time of day: for breakfast, together with an afternoon tea or after a meal, if combined with a glass of Passito di Pantelleria or Passito di Moscato (if you want to stay in Piedmont).