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11 December 2013

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap - Orange & Polenta Cookies

I didn't need to read past the first line... 

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things scrumptious.

I'm in! 

I signed up without reading any further, and then figured out the rest of the process of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap along the way. 

I received my "match" email letting me know which three bloggers I have been allocated to send a dozen cookies each to. The only hitch was there was only one other gluten-free blogger out there that signed up for the swap. So, Emma and I were matched with each other. I then got a really sweet email from Emma wondering if it would be totally weird if rather than posting our gluten free cookies to each, if we should maybe meet up 

So Emma and I met for lunch in Marylebone and exchanged cookies. I don't know whether it is the mutual antipodeanness that made it such an easy and fun lunch, but this Kiwi blogger is a seriously good baker! She made me a batch of Melting Moments (how VERY AustraZealand right?!) and they were so incredibly soft and buttery that you would never know that there was any flour in them at all, let alone whether it was GF flour. 

They were heavenly, seriously good!! Do yourself a favour and pop over to her blog Adventures of a London Kiwi to snag the recipe. She filled mine with three different fillings...Pumpkin Spice, Lemon and Jam, all of which were incredible, but I was a sucker for the lemon!

I wasn't sure what to bake for my dozen because the rules stipulate that you can't share anything that you have already blogged about. Hmm... my trouble is that whenever I stumble upon something yummy, I blog it right away! So, I had to find a new recipe to try out. I had a think about what my favourite cakes and cookies are and one of my new found favourites are the financiers and so set out to make some cookies with polenta in them. 

I found this recipe on Baking in Frangrais and absolutely loved it, and only tweaked it a little. I've made this batch multiple times and think it is sensational. 

I think they are the perfect cookie to have with a hot cup of tea or cold glass of milk! 

3oz polenta (75g)
1oz rice flour (25g)
1oz almond meal (25g)
1/4 tsp baking powder
¼tsp bicarbonate of soda
3oz icing sugar (75g)
2oz butter, cubed (50g)
1 beaten egg yolk
Grated rind of 1 orange
Flaked almonds


Preheat oven to 180°C/350F. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

1. Put the polenta, rice flour, ground almonds, bicarb, icing sugar and butter into a food processor and blitz until you have fine breadcrumbs.  

2. Add the egg yolk and orange rind and process again until a ball of firm dough is formed.

3. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

4.  Dust a work surface with rice flour and turn the dough out onto it.  Roll the dough out thinly and cut into circles about 4cm diameter.

5. Put the biscuits on the baking sheets, allowing a little room for spreading.  Sprinkle each one with flaked almonds.

6. Bake for about 8 minutes until golden.  Leave to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, dust with icing sugar and then remove carefully and cool completely on a wire rack.

The biscuits are crisp and crunchy and fresh and nutty. 

I love my little helper in the kitchen! She is never far away when I'm baking!!

And because everyone loves a good before and after shot... Here's the packaged cookies ready to give to Emma, and she sent me a photo of what happened when her co-workers found the cookies!!

I loved being part of this cookie swap. It felt good to contribute to the Cookies for Kids' Cancer and I always love baking for a happy reason. I really enjoyed getting to meet another expat foodie blogger in London (particularly one who is gluten intolerant too!) and am now looking forward to reading everyone's submissions on their blog!

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  1. that looks like such a fun thing to do

    1. It really was! I wish try did them more frequently than once a year!!

  2. These were so, so delicious! And healthy!
    Meg, maybe we should think of arranging a UK one in a few months if we could get enough interested bloggers? Is that crazy?

    1. I'm not sure we could call them healthy, but definitely can agree on them being yummy!! 1000% in for organising a UK GF Cookie Swap. Let's DO IT! I think it would be great fun! We'd probably need to have some "meetings" at Natural Kitchen to plan it all...shame! xx

  3. Polenta?! How unique. Every recipe you share sounds amazing. Thanks Meg!

    Wishing you a lovely day.

    1. I know it was a bit of an odd choice, putting polenta in a cookie but it really worked! AND had a really good shelf life too! I ate one that was a week old and it was still crunchy!! xx


Thanks for your comments, I SO love hearing from you! xx Meg