Paste di Meliga
Adapted from Cookist
Paste di meliga are cornmeal cookies from the northern Italian region of Piemonte. Like a corn-infused shortbread cookie, they are delicious as an afternoon treat with espresso or tea, and can even make a great topping for ice cream or gelato when crumbled. The dough is easy to make, and the hardest part is probably just piping them into circles, but I found that it was much easier than I anticipated.
I’m a big fan of half recipes, especially when I try something for the first time. This recipe is for a half batch of relatively small paste di meliga (it makes about 20 2”-2.5” inches in diameter), but if you’d like to double the recipe, you can simply double the ingredients. The original recipe called for one egg and one yolk, so you can also just add an additional yolk to the full batch instead of a second whole egg. You can make your cookies as large or as small as you want, just pay attention to the baking time.
1 cup (125 grams) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (60 grams) cornmeal or finely ground polenta
8 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup (60 grams) sugar*
1/2 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
Zest of half a lemon
Pinch of salt
*For this take, I used a mix of white and light brown sugar, but you can use any sugar you like.
Step 1: Prepare dough
Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl with a hand or standing mixer. Add egg, lemon zest and vanilla and incorporate.
In a separate bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients (the flour, cornmeal, and salt). Add dry mixture to the large bowl and mix until you have a soft, creamy dough.
Step 2: Pipe
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer dough to a pastry bag, and using a star-shaped tip, pipe them on the baking sheet in a circular shape (as pictured). Many recipes don't fill them in all the way, so you can also just pipe to form a hollow circle.
Step 3: Bake
Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack, and then enjoy!