Orange Cornmeal Biscuits

orange cornmeal biscuits

A frequent response I get from Damian when I ask him if there is anything he would like me to bake is “something crispy”. That’s it, no more detail, he’s awkward like that…and a bit texture obsessed. He loves crispy textured things and hates things with the texture of cheesecake…which is rather annoying and why I never really make cheesecake as I’d end up eating the entire thing by myself…and as amazing as that sounds it’s probably not the best idea…(Pretty much the only time I make cheesecakes is when visiting my sister…she’s very much pro cheesecake).

orange polenta biscuits

The “something crispy” line usually leaves me a little clueless as to what to bake (any suggestions?!), I tend to go by flavours, not textures… but this time I knew exactly what to make, It’s been a while since I last made biscuits and I’d been thinking about making some before I even asked him, so that’s what I went for. But of course they had to be crispy biscuits, I figured that the addition of some cornmeal would help create a crisp texture and flavour-wise I went for orange as there are some really nice ones around at the moment. So here they are – perfectly crisp, buttery biscuits with a delicate orange fragrance and sunny yellow colour, perfect for dunking in your tea.

orange polenta cookies

They are very simple to make – just whisk together some butter and icing sugar then add vanilla extract and orange zest and whisk again, then mix in plain flour and cornmeal to form a stiff dough. The dough is rolled out and cut in to rounds straight away, no chilling first, as it is quite crumbly and would be difficult to work with cold. Instead the biscuits are chilled until the dough is cold and firm before being baked, this helps to create a crisp biscuit that doesn’t spread too much in the oven. They should be baked for about 10-15 minutes, until golden; I baked mine for the full 15 so that they were properly crunchy, but if you prefer a softer biscuit then just bake for 10 minutes, or even 8 if your oven is fierce. Finally, I sprinkled them with a little (entirely optional) extra sugar as they came out of the oven (doing it while the biscuits are hot helps it to stick), before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

orange cornmeal cookies

Orange Cornmeal Biscuits

(Please note: although I have provided a conversion from grams to US cup measurements I cannot guarantee the accuracy as I do not bake using cups, I thoroughly recommend investing in a digital metric scale, it is far more accurate.)


  • 115g (1 stick) soft unsalted butter
  • 85g (3/4 cup + 2tbsp) icing (powdered) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • finely grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 150g (1 + 1/4 cups) plain flour
  • 55g (1/3 cup + 1tsp) fine cornmeal (polenta)
  • caster/granulated sugar for sprinkling

Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.

Beat the butter and icing sugar together with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy, add the vanilla extract and orange zest and beat again until combined. Mix the flour and cornmeal together and add to the butter mixture, beat gently, then bring the mixture together with your hands into a stiff dough, it will be quite crumbly, knead very gently for a few seconds just enough to form it into a smooth ball.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thick and cut out biscuits using a 6cm plain round cutter (or cutter of your choice), place on the baking sheets and chill in the fridge for 1 hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Bake the biscuits in batches, one tray at a time, for 10-15 minutes until golden. As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle with a little sugar then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

(Recipe adapted from Leiths Baking Bible by Susan Spaull and Fiona Burrell)

I am sharing these with Showcase Your Talent Thursdays, Totally Talented Tuesdays, Create Link Inspire , Foodie Fridays , Fiesta Friday and Foodie Friends Friday


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18 Comments on Orange Cornmeal Biscuits

  1. sebsmummy
    January 20, 2015 at 9:18 am (4 years ago)

    These look lovely, I’m sure my little ones would love them x

    • hannahhossack
      January 21, 2015 at 9:39 am (4 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂

  2. Coombe Mill
    January 20, 2015 at 12:44 pm (4 years ago)

    I bet the orange gives them a lovely fresh taste. #TastyTuesday

    • hannahhossack
      January 21, 2015 at 9:44 am (4 years ago)

      Fresh is exactly the word I was looking for to describe them and couldn’t think of at the time!

  3. Helen at Casa Costello
    January 21, 2015 at 12:55 pm (4 years ago)

    I am both pro cheesecake and texture! Just so you know! Love these – I have a huge bag of cornmeal awaiting a use in my cupboard – thanks for sharing the recipe and joining in with #Bakeoftheweek x

    • hannahhossack
      January 21, 2015 at 9:29 pm (4 years ago)

      Haha!I really like the texture of cheesecake, he’s just a bit weird… :p x

  4. The Free From Fairy
    January 22, 2015 at 11:13 am (4 years ago)

    Oh my goodness they look seriously delicious! I like things that are chewy so I can’t really give you any crunchy recipe suggestions! I might well have to adapt these to be gluten and dairy free though and give them a try. Thanks for sharing!

    • hannahhossack
      January 23, 2015 at 7:17 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you! I think these would probably adapt quite well as gluten/dairy free 🙂

  5. Honest Mum
    January 22, 2015 at 11:21 am (4 years ago)

    Ooh will make gluten free variations, gorgeous! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

    • hannahhossack
      January 23, 2015 at 7:21 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you!

  6. Linkouture
    January 24, 2015 at 1:44 pm (4 years ago)

    These look delicious! And I really like how simple they are. Cannot wait to try them out! Stopping by from #FoodieFriday.

    • hannahhossack
      January 25, 2015 at 12:07 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you! Sometimes it’s nice to just make something quick, simple and satisfying 🙂

  7. Nancy
    January 30, 2015 at 7:11 pm (4 years ago)

    There’s no doubt in my mind that Damian was pleased with your “crispy” choice… these biscuits look scrumptious. Thanks for sharing your recipe with the Fiesta Friday group. 🙂

    • hannahhossack
      February 1, 2015 at 9:44 am (4 years ago)

      He was pretty happy 🙂 they disappeared very quickly!

  8. Johanne Lamarche
    February 1, 2015 at 4:55 am (4 years ago)

    Love the simplicity and flavors in these.


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