Lightly lemon polenta biscuits

A few days ago, my (food) world fell apart a little bit, with a friendly nurse in a cardigan and a swooshy skirt gently uttering six little words.

“You need to cut out carbs.”

Outwardly, I nodded solemnly as she clarified – because we all know that cutting out whole food groups is a bit ridiculous – “Well, maybe have them once a day, definitely not more than that.” But maniacal laughter echoed around my head through all the talk about BMIs and pasta, as I envisioned my life without starchy deliciousness. Stir fry without noodles. Poached eggs without English muffins. No more cake.

But this time, it’ll be more sensible – not like the disaster  month that saw me shed a stone and almost a few friends when I did the Dukan diet (not even allowed fruit) and went a bit mental. It’s a good story, but one that illustrates why carbs are not optional for me.

So here we go. I’ve not really eaten much meat, until now – not because I don’t like it, but because both meat and my rent are expensive, and I am unfortunately contractually obliged to pay for the less delicious of the two.

But for now, let’s focus on biscuits. Obviously the best way to deal with all this is to make biscuits which contain both flour and polenta, as a last supper, if you like. If I was doing it properly, it’d be a last supper of something crazy like mashed potato toasties (I have no idea if that’s a thing people do. But I can’t try it out for the foreseeable future).

With the butter (£££) swapped out for margarine, these biscuits are a little cakey like a Viennese whirl biscuit, and a whole lotta delicious, thanks to the subtle addition of lemon.

Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes 20

Ingredients

110g plain flour
1/4tsp salt
75g polenta
110g margarine
70g sugar
Zest of half a lemon
1 medium egg + 1 yolk
1/2tsp vanilla extract

Method

1) Preheat your oven to 180C (170C for fan ovens, 350F, gas mark 4) and line two baking trays with baking parchment. Combine flour, salt, and polenta and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the margarine, sugar, and lemon zest.
2) When light and fluffy, add the egg and then the yolk, beating until just combined after each addition. Add vanilla, and then, gradually, the flour mixture, beating until combined.
3) Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, and pipe onto the baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
4) Bake until just going golden at the edges – about 15 minutes.

The lady behind The Dinner Bell! I’m that person who doesn’t let you leave their flat without eating something, and will probably press a parcel of cookies or cake into your hands as you head to the door.

I’m a sub-editor by day, avid book-reader by night, and octopus fan always. I live in north London, but little bits of my heart still belong to Norfolk, where I grew up, and Sheffield, where I went to uni and finally lost my bumpkin accent.

4 Comments

  1. Hi Hannah, as promised some ideas for lower-carbing. Best advice is not to tell yourself (or others) you’re low-carbing – but choosing to eat more veg instead of processed foods (pasta & noodles I’m looking at you.). First up get yourself a julienne peeler – perfect for making pasta or noodles out of courgettes and carrots so you can still use your pasta sauce recipes. I have loads of recipes on my blog. Also – cauliflower grated works as a rice or mashed potato substitute. Other roasted veg such as beetroot, butternut squash, tomatoes, courgettes, peppers – work great as side dishes along with green veg or salads instead of where you might have rice for example.
    For cheap proteins my best advice is – tinned sardines or mackerel in olive oil (dirt cheap and tasty!), lean minced lamb or beef (best quality you can afford) to make burgers, and chicken thighs. There is organ meat too but I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
    Hope this is helpful, and sorry if I’ve suggested anything obvious and you know already – duh!
    Good luck – will be totally worth all the effort xxx

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