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X Italian Rice and Polenta Dishes
corn meal cookies
Corn Meal Cakes/Pasta di Farina Gialla (with anise seeds)
Originated from: Italy
Occasion: Special times
Contributed by: Taken from "The Italian Cook Book" by Maria Gentile (The Italian Book Co., 1919)

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Corn meal, seven and a half ounces
Wheat flour, five and a half ounces
Granulated sugar, five and a half ounces
Butter, three and a half ounces
Lard, two ounces
A pinch of anise seed
One egg

For dusting
Powdered sugar


"Mix together the corn meal, the flour and the anise seed and knead with the butter, the lard and the egg that quantity you can, forming a loaf that you will put aside. What remains is to be kneaded with water forming another loaf. Then mix the two loaves and knead a little, not much because the dough must remain soft. Flatten with the rolling pin until it becomes one quarter of an inch thick, sprinkle with flour, and cut in different sizes and shapes with thin stamps. Grease a baking tin with lard, sprinkle with flour, glaze with the egg, bake and dust with powdered sugar."


This recipe was taken from "The Italian Cook Book: the Art of Eating Well, Practical Recipes of the Italian Cuisine" by Mrs. Maria Gentile. It was published in the U.S. in 1919. For the entire copyright-free cookbook see www.archive.org. A variety of recipes from this cookbook can also be found on this website.... P.S. It seems that in the early part of the 20th century the word, "cakes," could also describe "cookies" -- at least, Gentile certainly uses the words interchangeably in her cookbook. Actually, I tried her recipe for "Corn Meal Cakes" and the result was satisfying -- not out of this world or anything like that, but the cookies were guest-worthy. The flavor of cornmeal (which I dislike) does not predominant, in fact it is not evident in the least. The recipe is rather easy to do -- actually, I simply mixed all the ingredients together (Did not do two loaves!) and came out with a nice enough cookie batter.... Photo: Mary Melfi

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