My cousin is selling his fresh ground cornmeal at the farmers market this season. He’s been talking about expanding and trying some cornmeal-based products. We’d talk about ideas driving back and forth together to master gardener classes. We both liked the idea of cornmeal cookies, so I came up with a recipe. I’m not sure I’ll get him to make cookies for the market, but it was fun creating the recipe anyway.
If you love cornbread, you’ll love this cookie.
If you’re one of those people who loathe, despise, and abhor cornbread, forget that I mentioned cornmeal. You won’t even be sure what’s in here. It’s just a darn good cookie with an interesting texture and unique flavor complemented by the dusting of cardamom and sugar on top. Morgan came in from school as I was taking the last pan of cookies out of the oven. She (thinks she) doesn’t like cornbread. She ate a cookie then said, “These are good!”
Ha. (And of course I said nothing about the cornmeal in the recipe.) I gave some to my cousin to try and he said he could taste the cornmeal. Though I’d already told him they were cornmeal cookies, so that wasn’t exactly a blind taste test.
I’m experimenting, and I made this batch plain, but I think they would be excellent with raisins or any diced dried fruit, too. Blueberry-Cornmeal Cookies. Strawberry-Cornmeal Cookies. I’ll have to try that next time. Or you try it and tell me about it! Don’t let me experiment alone!
How to make Cornmeal Cookies
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup hot water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup raisins or diced blueberries, strawberries, etc (optional)
1 1/4 cups sugar
ground cardamom and sugar for sprinkling
Place cornmeal in a small bowl. Add 1/3 cup very hot water. Stir the water and cornmeal until the cornmeal is completely moistened. Let sit 10 minutes for the cornmeal to soften.
In a large bowl, measure flour, butter, baking soda, salt, almond extract, eggs, and the 1 1/4 cups sugar. Add softened cornmeal. Mix till well blended.
Stir in dried fruit, if using. Shape dough into logs and wrap.
Chill dough for two hours or until easy to handle. Cut slices and place on a greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
Combine 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle cardamom-sugar mixture on tops of cookies. Cardamom is a sweetly aromatic spice, and I think it’s underused. It suits the slight earthiness of this cookie. Pull out your cardamom!
Bake at 400-degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies, depending on size.