• Crunchy lemon and polenta shortbread flowers (Chris Middleton)

There's something about the texture of polenta that I find addictive. I like cutting these shortbreads into flower shapes, but you can use any cutters you have available.






Skill level

Average: 4 (10 votes)

If the dough becomes too warm and difficult to handle, wrap it in plastic wrap and pop it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up.


  • 125 g (4½ oz) butter, softened
  • 40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) dextrose
  • 1½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 110 g (4 oz/¾ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 75 g (2¾ oz/½ cup) brown rice flour
  • 40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) fine polenta (cornmeal), plus extra to sprinkle

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 10 minutes

Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (fan-forced). Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

Beat the butter, dextrose and lemon zest with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary.

Combine the two flours and the polenta in a separate bowl, then gradually add to the butter mixture until combined. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead gently until smooth.

Roll the dough between two sheets of non-stick baking paper to a thickness of about 5 mm (¼ in). Cut out shapes with your cookie cutter of choice, re-rolling the dough as necessary.

Carefully transfer the shapes to the prepared trays using a small spatula and place about 3 cm (1¼ in) apart. Sprinkle with a little extra polenta and bake for 8–10 minutes or until cooked through and just starting to colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

These biscuits will keep for up to a week in an airtight container.


This recipe is from Incredible Bakes (Smith Street Books). Photography by Chris Middleton.