Time to Feed the Blog

Time to Feed the Blog

I’ve been slacking on my blog. This is probably the longest I’ve gone without blogging. I’ve just been too darn busy lately and the first thing that gets pushed to the back burner is my blog. I work about 45-50 hours a week as an Insurance Agent (exciting… I know!) and then part time with my hubby for our business, Maloman Photographers. That leaves little time for the blog. Also, I refuse to blog anything I personally wouldn’t want to see… which is 99% of the quick dinners I make. Who wants to see grilled chicken teriyaki for the 15th time, or even worse… sandwiches again?? :P

So to get back into the swing of things, I made these cookies mainly to feed the blog. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Italian cookies made with cornmeal, so this was for me AND the blog. Stephan doesn’t care for cornmeal cookies, but he still eats them. They are not overly sweet, but have a fantastic clean buttery flavor and a lovely crunch. Perfect paired with a cup of coffee. I used dried cranberries instead of the raisins called for in the recipe. Great choice, not just for flavor, but gorgeous red color.

Zalettini Cookies
(adapted from The Essential Baker by Carole Bloom)

3/4 c cranberries
1/3 c rum
5 1/2 oz (11 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 extra large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c fine yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt

1. Place cranberries in a small bowl and cover with rum. Wrap with plastic wrap and let soak for at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and position the oven racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line sheet pans with parchment or a Silpat.

3. Place the butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Use the flat beater attachement or a hand held mixer to beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar, and cream together until light and fluffy, another 2 minutes. Using a fork, lightly beat together the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl. With the mixer on low, add the egg mixture to the butter mixture. The eggs will sit on top and look curdled, but keep mixing and scraping down the bowl, and it will smooth out.

4. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the cornmeal and salt and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in three stages, blending briefly to distribute evenly. Drain the cranberries well and pat dry with a paper towel. Gently fold into the dough.

5. Pinch off 2 tablespoon size pieces of the dough and roll in your hands into log shapes about 3 inches long, 1 inch wide and 1/2 inch thick. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving 2 inches of space between them so there is room for them to expand as they bake.

6. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes. Switch the baking sheets and bake another 8 to 10 minutes until they are lightly golden and set. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and cool on racks for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies form the baking sheets and cool completely.

Makes about 25 large cookies