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Crumiri (Cornmeal cookies)

Need a coffee break after all that shopping and wrapping gifts? Ma certo! And you’ll need something to go with that, no? These crumiri cookies, traditional in Italy’s Piedmont region, are the perfect treat to accompany a good cup of espresso. They’re sweet, but not overly sweet. In fact, a sprinkling of powdered sugar or drizzle of chocolate adds just the right touch to make these cookies stand out. They’d also make a great gift to ship to some of those friends and relatives you can’t see due to the Covid pandemic.

The hardest part is squeezing the dough through a piping bag. After my initial attempt, when I put all of the dough in the piping bag, I realized it would be easier if I put only about 1/4 of the dough at a time. It was pretty easy after that adjustment. But if you don’t have a piping bag, you can just roll the dough into logs, then shape into “horseshoes” and bake that way.

You won’t get the ridges that give the cookies the distinctive shape that comes with a piping tip, but they’ll still be delicious. I used white cornmeal because that’s the only type I had on hand, but if you have yellow cornmeal, they’ll be a prettier color and closer to the traditional crumiri you see in Italy.

To drizzle with chocolate, just melt a few squares of dark chocolate (or milk chocolate, if you prefer), and scoop it into a pastry bag. You don’t need a special tip, just snip a bit off the bottom of the bag.

Then drizzle some, and leave others just coated with confectioners’ sugar.

Don’t forget to get the espresso brewing!

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Crumiri (Cornmeal cookies)
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • recipe from Carol Field's "The Italian Baker"
  • 1½ sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • ⅔ cup plus 1 tablespoon fine yellow cornmeal (I had only white so that's why my cookies aren't yellow in the photos)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer bowl until very lkight and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  4. Sift the flour, salt and cornmeal together and sift again over the batter.
  5. Mix well.
  6. To shape the cookies, I used a pastry bag with a large star tip and piped the dough into curved horseshoe shapes.
  7. If you prefer to roll them, you can roll pieces of the dough, each about the size of a large walnut, then bend each rolled log into a horseshoe shape.
  8. Bake at 325 until lightly golden, which for me took about 15 minutes.
  9. Cool on racks and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar or stripes of melted chocolate.