I am a total sucker for cornmeal. Perhaps it’s a texture thing: cornmeal is both grainy (in a good way) and soft. It’s responsible for creamy, buttery, polenta, and for crumbly, steaming-hot cornbread. Substitute 1/2 a cup of flour for an equal amount of cornmeal in your go-to pancake recipe, and I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you like cornmeal, that is. D conveniently hates cornmeal. Isn’t it funny how things work out?
Even the confessed cornmeal hater didn’t hate the cookies I made last night. In fact, D said “they’re good, they’re just not cookies.” (Cookies=chocolate chip cookies, for those in need of some translation.) Admittedly, these aren’t soft and chewy like tollhouse or the delightful blue chip variety that Deb made this week, but they’re not meant to be. Cranberry cornmeal cookies have a texture more like shortbread: buttery and not overly sweet, with an irresistible melt-in-your-mouth quality. And cornmeal sets them apart from your average icebox cookie. For one thing, it turns the cookies a pleasing shade of yellow. It also gives each bite a coarseness that can’t be achieved with regular or whole wheat flour. Finally, lemon zest and cranberries team up with cornmeal’s flavor so harmoniously that the final product is a song in your mouth. Have cornmeal and I won you over yet?
Don’t think I can’t hear the murmurs from the peanut gallery…Another cookie? But it was just the holidays, and I ate so many cookies, and now I’ve got cookie chub and I can’t look at another sweet, so can’t you post some salad recipes? The answer is yes, but not right now. People, you always have room for more cookies. I promise to post a healthful and delicious dinner idea this weekend, just as soon as I can take some better pictures of it. For now, find some room in your tummy because these are scrumptious. Take it from me — or take notice of cornmeal cookies popping up all overtheplace. (That last link is where I discovered the recipe — thanks, Carol!) They’re really, really worth a try.
p.s. If you’re really hankering for healthy recipes, try some hearty carrot soup, href=”http://www.notderbypie.com/indian-round-1-potato-and-eggplant-curry/”>potato and eggplant curry,asian cabbage slaw, or a simple recipe for delicata squash.
Cranberry Cornmeal Cookies
makes about 20 cookies — some people got way more, I dunno how
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 1/4 cups plain all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Add softened butter to sugar in a mixer and whizz until just combined.
- Add zest, yolks and salt, whizz again just for about 5-6 seconds.
- Then add the flour, cornmeal, and cranberries. Whizz again until it all comes together, but only just. Make sure you do not over beat the dough!
- Knead the dough into 2 balls, then using some cling wrap (I used wax paper, but don’t), cover and shape the balls into 2 mounds.
- Use a rolling motion to smooth and neaten the cylinders. It helps to wrap the cylinders with 3-4 folds of the cling wrap.
- Chill in the freezer for about 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice about 1/2 to 2/3-inch slices, and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are golden.
- Remove, and allow to cool completely before storing.
- Cookies will keep, packed and sealed, for upto 1 week (maybe more, if you can let them last that long.)The dough will keep in the freezer for at least 1 month…I’ve never had it around for longer.
Tip: resist the temptation of adding more than the recommended amount of cranberries, as this would undermine the quality of the texture.