Radha Ma’s Recipes: Polenta Cookies

Updated: Jun 27, 2018


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted, high quality butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal (I use Italian fine instant polenta)

  • 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 1⁄3 cup golden raisins or dried cranberries

You will need plastic cling wrap and parchment paper for this recipe.


In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the lemon zest, pink Himalayan salt, then add in the egg yolks.

Next beat in the cornmeal and our. Stir in the golden raisins. Knead dough just to form a rough mass. Have ready your plastic wrap.

Using the plastic wrap as an aide, you will form the dough into three 2-inch by 5 1⁄2-inch logs. I form the dough in the bowl into three mounds, using the warmth of my hands to make each log smooth and uniform. Place one dough log at a time onto plastic wrap, and fold over part of the plastic to cover the dough. Tuck in the sides, and then shape the dough into a rect- angular log with square sides. Finish rolling the dough in the plastic, and continue with the other two logs. Chill until firm, approximately 3 hours or up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 325oF / 160oC. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or use non-stick baking spray. Remove the dough from the plastic wrap. Slice each dough log into 1⁄2-inch thick rounds. Be sure to use a very sharp knife and cut each cookie with direct pressure from above to slice through the hard dough and raisins. Arrange the dough rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Bake cookies until golden and just set, about 15 minutes. I actually like to under-bake the cookies, giving a more chewy texture, and avoiding cracking on the surface. But if you prefer the cookies crispier and more brown, you can keep them in the oven for up to 23 minutes or longer, depending on your oven.

Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet before removing them with a sharp edged spatula.

Transfer the cookies to a cookie rack. Cool and then freeze overnight. I keep them in the refrigerator so as to keep the chewy, cold, and dense texture I love for these cookies.

(This recipe was a find from Gourmet magazine (2002).)


What is a renaissance recipe? 

It is the embodiment of joy and the art of celebration. It offers intensity, signifiers of culture, human traditions, of bonding with goodness, with the life drive, with the grace of giving. 

Radha Ma is the Gyana Director and head of the teaching faculty at the Sat Yoga Ashram. She is the ashram’s first clinical atmanologist, as well as the ashram Musical Director. She was born in San Francisco and raised into psycho-spiritual adulthood under Shunyamurti’s guidance in her 20s and 30s.

She is currently writing her second cookbook, Tropical Renaissance, for her Costa Rican audience, and is in the process of composing her first opera.

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