We’ve returned to Italy and this time I’m making a sweet treat, because honestly who doesn’t need more yummy sweet treats right now? (Admittedly I did make risotto earlier this week, and actually had to look up the recipe on the blog. 🤦♀️) It also seemed like a great time to finish off some slightly past its prime cornmeal, so it’s a corn party on the blog today!
Italian sweets were so much fun to research, though finding something I could make with what I had on hand was a bit of a challenge. Good thing I found cornmeal that was marked “best by” 2018 in my pantry. Also it seems that was merely a suggestion, because we are all still alive! 👍
DW: I think the brand-compliant phrasing is “Pyeongchang-era cornmeal.”
LW: We made biscotti di meliga, which are essentially a sugar cookie with cornmeal/polenta and are so, so amazing. The recipe was super simple too, so if you have some cornmeal in your cabinets I would highly recommend giving this recipe a try!
Once again, simple substitutions:
Earth Balance vegan butter for butter, one for one replacement
King Arthur Gluten-free Flour, one for one replacement
I had to leave out the lemon and fiori di sicilia, because pandemic, and I can only imagine these cookies are even more delicious with them. But they were plenty delicious without!!
The dough was simple to pull together and our kiddo did most of the work, which was awesome. The one challenge we had was with piping, because the dough was stiff. But I was committed to making these look close to some of the pictures I saw online, and luckily I had a cookie press from thirteen years ago lying around! It was challenging to get them into the piped swirls. It was also totally worth the effort. It made the cookies thinner, crispier, and extra delicious!
DW: The outer texture of these was delightful. Light and slightly crispy, with just a hint of sweetness.
LW: If you’re looking for a different type of cookie to try, give these a shot. We will definitely make these again!
Cornbread time! I pulled veggie chili out of the freezer for lunch this week and you must serve cornbread with chili. I also live with two humans who adore Johnny cake, and given the state of things, making sure there was something comforting for breakfast seemed smart. I love making different cornbread recipes and was already on the King Arthur website looking for bread recipes, so I decided to make their skillet cornbread.
DW: Johnny cake was a staple of my childhood, using the “Jiffy” box recipe.
LW: Here are the replacements I made:
King Arthur Gluten-free Flour, one for one replacement (would’ve been ironic if I chose a different gf flour!)
Hemp milk and vinegar for buttermilk – mix nearly 1 1/2 cups milk with 1 tablespoon white vinegar and allow to sit for 15 minutes, then stir before you add to the recipe
Canola oil for bacon drippings, because I forgot to cook bacon
Overall it was pretty good, though I think I’m a fan of northern cornbread more than southern. Also, I learned there is a difference between northern and southern cornbread—northern cornbread is sweet. I do like my cornbread sweet.
DW: Agreed. A little sweeter is the way to go, and maybe thicker too. Very interesting that there are such regional traditions for cornbread!
LW: We enjoyed this cornbread, but it wasn’t my favorite. If you have favorite cornbread recipes, please share them in the comments!