Krumiri—Italian Corn Meal Cookies
The Piemonte, or Piedmont region of Italy, is known for fine wine, truffles and corn meal in regional cuisine—think polenta. These 19th C., barely sweet, crunchy, dippable biscuits are also a famous culinary contribution—dippable, as in everything from morning coffee to zabaglione to an after-dinner dessert wine. Created by a local confectioner and originally shaped like a handlebar, (or the mustache of King Victor Emmuel II), they remain a staple in the region and beyond. A simple recipe, a little bit fussy to make—but well worth the effort. Vanilla is the traditional flavor, but lemon, almond or chocolate works too.
• 1 cup yellow cornmeal—finely ground
• ¾ cup flour
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 1 egg
Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in stand mixer until very light and fluffy—about 5 minutes. Add egg and mix well. Whisk dry ingredients together and add all at once—mix until just combined. Scrape dough onto sheet of wax paper, shape into square about ½” thick, and chill until firm.
Place chilled dough on well-floured parchment paper sized to fit a cookie sheet. Flour rolling pin and top of square. Rolling gently from the center out, enlarge the square so dough is a little more than 1/4” thick for crisp cookies—thicker for a more substantial bite. Score the dough with a fork in one direction to create those crunchy ridges. Cut dough in half, then cut 8 strips in the other direction to create 16 cookies.
Lift the parchment paper and cookies to a baking sheet. Bake at 350’ until bottoms start to brown—10-15 minutes. Don’t overbake!
The Kitchen Hive