Monday, January 14, 2008

Lemon Polenta Cranberry Cookies and my first DMBLGIT win!

In my previous post, I mentioned that Paige and I baked a batch of Lemon Polenta Cookies after Christmas – some of you who know us would have had little puzzled expressions on your faces. “ Paige??” no, don’t you mean ‘Chloe’??” you might think aloud. Nope. It was Paige. These days Chloe bakes all on her own and might I add, very confidently too. Paige on the other hand becomes an eager assistant if we’re making something she loves.

...And she definitely LOVES this!!

I saw this recipe on JenJen's fabulous blog last year I think it was, I tried it, had first time success and fell in love with the cookie ever since. The only difference to the recipe was that JenJen used raisins (or was it sultanas?) (Both) of which I’m not a big fan. I prefer cranberries, but you can substitute them with a dried fruit of your choice. The most gorgeous thing about this cookie is the incredible texture that the polenta imparts. The grainy texture will leave your taste buds very happy and if you think you have the will power to stop at one cookie, you are kidding yourself. I love to watch Paige eat something she totally loves – it’s as if that cute little mole on the side of her mouth is dancing!

I have lots to show and tell today so I’ll get on with the recipe, shall I?

Lemon Polenta Cranberry Cookies
Makes: Approximately 56 Yummylicious Cookies

220 g salted butter, softened
1-cup caster sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
½ tsp salt
4 large egg yolks
1 cup Polenta
2 ½ cups plain all purpose flour
1-cup cranberries

Add softened butter to sugar in a mixer and whizz until just combined. Add zest, yolks and salt, whizz again just for about 5-6 seconds. Then add the flour, polenta and cranberries. Whizz again until it all comes together, but only just. Make sure you do not over beat the cookie dough! Knead the dough into 2 balls, then using some cling wrap, cover and shape the balls into 2 cylinders, then using a rolling motion to smooth and neaten the cylinders. I find it helps to wrap the cylinders with 3-4 folds of the cling wrap. Chill in the freezer for about 45 minutes before slicing and baking in a pre-heated oven of 180 degrees Celsius. The cookies only need 2cms apart on the baking sheets.
Tip: resist the temptation of adding more than the recommended amount of cranberries, as this would undermine the quality of the texture.

Two days ago when I was having my dinner in front of the TV, I accidentally spilled some water onto the glass table while adjusting its position. (You know the type of side table with castors that are sometimes used as Cocktail servers – I just love them, they are so retro! And so versatile too!) I didn’t worry about it too much and continued to enjoy my dinner and my current Korean soap. Then with an excited tone of voice, Paige said, “Mom! There’s a heart-shaped puddle of water on your table!” And sure enough, there it was, a naturally formed heart-shape water puddle! It’s just one of those wonderfully peculiar unexplainable things. All at once the other family members were crowding around my dinner and my pretty water puddle. “Don’t move Lou Poh!” (Meaning ‘wife’ in Cantonese) In a flash, Ming had the camera in his hands, my dinner was removed by the camera crew, i.e. Chloe and Paige, my soap was put on ‘pause’ and I was instructed not to breathe.

Ming started ‘clicking’ left, right and centre. Isn’t it beautiful? What do you think? Incidentally, this month’s ‘click’ (a monthly themed photo competition hosted by Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi) theme is ‘Liquid Comfort’. I don’t know if this water puddle will qualify as an entry, but I’m going to submit it anyway and let the Judges decide.

Next but not least in today’s order of news.. (Drum roll…..) I’m very happy and honoured to announce that I’m the Third Overall Winner (in all three categories, Edibility, Aesthetics and Originality) in the December 2007 DMBLGIT (Does my blog look good in this) Photo Competition hosted by Dayna of Food and Photography. Thank you Dayna, Andrew of Spittoon Extra the Organiser of this wonderful event and the Judges, namely
Bea of La Tartine Gourmande
JenJen of I love milk and cookies
Lara of Cook and Eat
Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything
Patricia of Technicolor Kitchen
Congratulations to all the other winners!

Third Overall Winner in three Categories: Edibility, Aesthetics and Originality

This is indeed a very special event for me as it’s my first win in the DMBLGIT Competition – I see it as my 1st Blog Birthday Present.