Friday, March 7, 2008

Lemony Semolina Cookies

Lemony Semolina Cookies

Lemony Semolina Cookies

I called my mother to tell her about these cookies. "They have lemon juice and zest and limoncello in them," I said. "They're kindof like tea cakes-soft, good with coffee."

"They sound like the kind of cookies you pack in a box and ship to your mother,"
she said.

My roommates loved them. I took them to a Lost watching party and everyone there loved them. Liz leaned over to her fiance Brian and whispered a comment about how good they were, which he relayed to everyone else. They're definitely some of the best cookies i've had in a while.

I wasn't sure if i'd like the semolina; I made some semolina waffles once and they tasted like pasta. In this context, the semolina is like cornmeal, but less crunchy. It gives the cookies a lovely color and crumbly texture.

I've seen some photos where the cookies spread very flat, so I tried to keep the liquid and sugar measurements very precise. I used a small lemon too. Chill the dough thoroughly and keep the cookies small.

These cookies keep well and would ship quite nicely. They're dainty and sophisticated. Put them in a box and send them to your mother.

Lemony Semolina Cookies
adapted from Dolce Italiano by Gina De Palma
Makes 5 dozen cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup semolina
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for rolling
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
freshly grated zest and juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons limonccello
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk flour, semolina, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, oil and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and egg yolk, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Continue to add the lemon zest, juice, limoncello and vanilla, making sure to srape the sides of the bowl down.

Using low speed beat in the dry ingredients until a very soft dough is formed. Scrape out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, flatten into a disc, wrap and chill for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, line with baking parchment or a silpat.

Break off teaspoon-sized bits of dough and roll them into balls about an inch in diameter. Roll each in a small bowl of sugar and place on the tray. Make sure to space them an inch apart as they'll spread.

Bake for 14-15 minutes until they've flattened out and are crinkly on top. Cool on the sheet for 2 minute and then use a spatula to transfer to a wire rack.


Joy Through Cooking said...

sound yummy! weird question though. Your china the cookies are shown on... is that Minton Haddon Hall? It looks so similar to mine (which is that pattern but has a few different versions) and I have never seen anyone else with anything like it :)

Koren said...

Yum! I love the texture and flavor of semolina in cookies and cakes. These sound great.

Aran said...

These must be the ones out of Dolce Italiano right? I made them for Christmas and everyone loved them. They look gooooood..........

Anonymous said...

Is that you playing a cello? Very nice.
Is the cello related to the limoncello? If this is not the case :) then what is the latter, please?

robert said...

where can i get semolina? i've looked at whole foods, trader joes, market district and other grocery stores but no go. any suggestions?

Pittsburgh Needs Eated said...

Hi Robert:

I used to buy it at Whole Foods and Market District, I think. It's usually with other Bob's Red Mill products- sometimes in the baking aisle, sometimes in the grain or cereal aisle...

East End Food Co-op might have it as well. Hope that helps!