Meliga Pastries (with Whipped Short Pastry)
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These authentic Piedmontese cookies are delicious at any time of day: for breakfast, together with an afternoon tea or after a meal, if combined with a glass of Passito di Pantelleria or Passito di Moscato (if you want to stay in Piedmont).
Recipe Type: Dessert
Yield: About 30 cookies
  • 150 grams unsalted butter (2/3 cup), left out of the fridge for several hours (very softened)
  • 80 grams powdered sugar (¾ cup)
  • Grated peel of half a lemon
  • 40 grams egg (about 1 medium egg)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150 grams confectionery cornmeal, ground more finely than the polenta one (about 1 cup)
  • 50 grams all purpose flour (1/3 cup)
  1. In a bowl whisk the softened (not melted) butter with the sifted powdered sugar and lemon peel until you have a fluffy mixture, increased in volume.
  2. Stir in the egg (if you increase the dose, incorporate the eggs one at a time), always beating, until you have a fluffy mixture again.
  3. Now add a pinch of salt and the two types of flour, sifted, and stir with a spatula (NOT with whisks, otherwise flour will precipitate) from the bottom up, until the mixture is homogeneous.
  4. Put the dough in a piping bag (Sarah suggests not to use one a disposable one, 'cause the mixture is not very soft and it might break the bag) equipped with medium-large star nozzle and make your cookies with the classic flattened ring shape, squeezing the dough on non-stick baking pans or regular ones lined with parchment paper. If you, like me, have last-minute problems with an evil piping bag, you could use a cookie-press, instead (I have this one), perfect for this kind of dough. I made a flower shape, the closest to the real shape.
  5. Put the baking pans (with cookies on them) in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (so the mixture will set, and it won't deflate during cooking). Preheat oven to 356° F (180° C) and bake your cookies in a pre-heated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes (if you bake more batches at a time, rotate them halfway through baking), or until golden.
  6. Let the cookies cool down on a wire rack and store them in a tin box to keep them crunchy.
Recipe by Katherine Martinelli at