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.


singairishgirl said...

Congratulations! And thanks for the recipe. Love the heart. ;)

bee said...

congrats!!! love the spilled water.

Mandy said...

congrats on the DMBLGIT win again! Now I need to go spill some water everyway to see what I can get. ;p

Dwiana P said...

Congratulation Carol! I do love your picture submitted for CLICK. It is beautiful!

Brilynn said...

A well deserved win! Gorgeous photos and I'm sure your liquid heart qualifies, I love when things like that happen!

tigerfish said...

Congrats on your DMBLGIT win. I never got tired of those macarons pix. They are elegantly beautiful :)

A family of talent, too!

JEP said...

Amazing photos, congratulations!

daphne said...

You deserve the award! Those photos were lovely!!

Ming the Merciless said...

Congratulations on the award! That is amazing news.

And I love the heard shaped water spill on the table. How cool is that?

Love the way you cookies came out and the look of it tied up in that beautiful ribbon. You are not only a fabulous chef but a talented food stylist.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Congratulations, sweetie! You certainly deserve it - your photos are always stunning.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful recipe and great photo. Congrats on your DMBLGIT award!

Happy cook said...

I was in the click page and didn't know what your pic was so came to chek it out here.
Love the picture and they way you got the heart shape.

Sylvia said...

Congratulations Carol, you deserve this , your photos always are stunning

enjay said...

what a lovely picture of the water!

Ashley said...

Congrats! Polenta cookies, who would have thought... but they sound fabulous! My grandmother is Italian and makes polenta religiously... what a great spin on a fabulous dish!
Hope you are having a great New Year!

Nora B. said...

Dear Carol,
Congratulations on your win! That macaroon photo is indeed a winner.

And I also wanted to say that I love the pics in this post too - of the cookies and the cute naturally formed heart shaped spill. Your new camera is certainly getting some action I see.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that I finally made the date pudding recipe from your blog for a dinner party tomorrow. I made them in mini bundt pans and got 6, with a little leftover that I placed in a tiny tart mould. I tasted the little one and it was heavenly. As for the toffee sauce, I know that the original recipe would have been lovely, but I just couldn't bear using 400g of sugar and 250g of butter, so I cut it down to 250g brown sugar, 100g butter and added some golden syrup (maybe 2 tbsp). Thank you sooo much for the recipe, I am sure that my friends will be licking their dessert plates tomorrow nite ;-)

xx Nora

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

CONGRATS...You really deserved the win. The pictures & the post is lovely. Am dying to try the cookies. Hope you mop up another win with the heart!!! Great idea & lovely liquid as it gets!!

Anonymous said...

Hello I just entered before I have to leave to the airport, it's been very nice to meet you, if you want here is the site I told you about where I type some stuff and make good money (I work from home): here it is

Cecilia said...

Hi Carol!! I'm a reader of your very tantalising blog! This is my first time leaving a comment on your page! I'd like to ask you when are you gonna have a baking class?!! Is it gonna be hands-on baking? tehehehe...can't wait!! Oh wait..u live in perth right?!!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Well deserved indeed, Carol! And those cookies sound divine. I've got lots of leftover cranberries to use too.

SteamyKitchen said...

Congratulations!!! Love the heart.

Big Boys Oven said...

oh carol the class went on well this aftwenoon, it was fntastic, will email in details. I love you cookies and the way you arrange them. Congrat on your photography winning, that so cool!

Annemarie said...

Congratulations on the win, and thank you for the polenta recipe - I'm going through a polenta 'phase' and become incredibly excited with each new recipe I'm finding online. Bookmarked and looking forward to it.

Cakespy said...

Lordy! How delicious and wonderful it all is! I found you through your photography, but the food and everything is fantastic!!

Joy said...

Well done on the award! :D Rightly deserved. Though I think you should be first!

Love the heart water. I guess that's because there's so much love in your home.

A Pinay In England
Your Love Coach
The Goddess In You

Oh for the love of food! said...

Thanks for coming by and for the compliments, I would have loved to be able to thank you personally at your blog ;o)

Thanks for visiting and for the compliment. I would have loved to say 'hello' at your blog but I couldn't comment without signing up with vox :o(

Thank you for the compliment and for your interest in my blog and the baking n cooking classes. When the classes are ready to roll, I shall post the details on my blog. Thanks again, Cecelia, I really appreciate your interest in my work.

pumpkinpie said...

Beautiful cookies! My dough is chilling in the refrigerator now, but how long do they bake?

Oh for the love of food! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oh for the love of food! said...

Ooops, sorry, the cookies need to be in the oven for about 13 minutes, but I guess you'd already know that by now. Hope they turned out good!

pumpkinpie said...

Thanks! The cookies are delicious and unusual.

Eileen said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos!!!!!


(passions to pastry)

crunchbot said...

I have been eyeing those lemon polenta cookies ever since they went on tastespotting! I was about to make them the other day until i read the recipe && was unpoco confused. When you say polenta, do you mean to use cornmeal, or the true polenta pastey mixture?

thanks! i so cant wait to make these!

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