Baked goods: Polenta-plum thumbprint cookies


When I bake, I tend to make several varieties of things at one time. I guess this is a move to try new things while also making tried-and-true favorites. This ensures that there will usually be something for everyone. I was not sure when making these polenta-plum cookies whether they would meet with approval or not, but it seemed a worthwhile gamble.

Oddly, my local grocery store has an entire aisle devoted to jams and jellies, and I figured it would have plum jam. I was surprised to find that all manner of exotic flavors exists there, but not plum. The less upscale grocery store in the same shopping center, however, came through with plum jam (and interestingly offers a far wider array of imported cheeses and a whole section of Balkan food).

While people seemed skeptical of these at first (especially seeing this unfamiliar word — polenta), they ended up being relatively popular/well-liked.

2 cups polenta flour (I used a mix of fine polenta flour and cornmeal/polenta, which is less fine, grittier)
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup salted butter
2 egg yolks
plum jam

Mix sugar and butter until smooth; add the egg yolks. Mix the two flours and then add it to the sugar-butter mix. Quickly mix these items together into a dough and form a ball. Leave it to rest for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 175C/350F). Roll the dough into small balls, put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make a small hole/thumbprint in the middle of each cookie and put a teaspoon of jam into each hole. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Cool before moving to racks. (These cookies can be a little bit fragile when warm.)

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