The older I get, two themes keep emerging. One (and I've always known this) simple is best. And two (and I'm definitely a late convert) lemon practically rivals chocolate in terms of favorite tastes. Please don't hit unsubscribe--I said "practically", right? It's just that while I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all things chocolate, there are times when I actually prefer the light tang of lemon over the richness of cocoa. And for those times, in both simplicity and flavor, these wonderful Lemon Cornmeal Cookies will not disappoint. They are guaranteed to bring out the lemon Cookie Monster in you!!
I have to confess that these are not new. I've been making and loving them for over a year now (actually my daughter made them for me first) and I really have no good reason for not sharing them yet, except that maybe fancier, more sophisticated and unique treats have bumped them from their rightful place in the queue. Which really isn't at all fair because, basic as they are, these really do deserve to be showered with praise. Before they melt in your mouth, you get that wonderful crunch from that little bit of cornmeal in the batter. It's scientifically impossible to stop at one!!
Lemon Cornmeal Cookies
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours of chilling, plus another 10 minutes to roll out dough and cut out cookies; Bake Time: 13-15 minutes
- 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
- 2 egg yolks
- Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1. Place cornmeal in the bowl of a food processor and grind to make it as fine a powder as possible (honestly sometimes I forget to do this and the cookies are great with the texture of the cornmeal as is, so no huge worries if you can't grind it up or forget to). Add cornmeal to the large bowl of an electric mixer along with the flour, sugar and butter and mix on low speed until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add in the yolks and zest and mix together until a smooth ball of dough is formed. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
2. When ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. Sprinkle some flour on a board or counter and flour the rolling pin as well. Remove dough from fridge. If dough is very hard, let sit out until pliable enough to roll out. Using the rolling pin, roll out the dough to a little less than 1/2-inch thickness (this may seem too thick but if you go below 1/4-inch, the cookies will get too dark) and cut out the cookies with a 2-inch round or square cookie cutter. Transfer cookies to the prepared sheets, spacing them fairly close together since they don't spread much as they bake. Gather together the scraps, re-roll out the dough and cut out more cookies until dough is all used up.
3. Place cookie sheets in freezer for about 30 minutes. When cookies are frozen, remove from freezer and place in oven. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until edges are golden brown and cookies are sightly puffy. Place cookie sheets on wire racks and allow to cool completely. Cookies keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
Note: Recipe adapted from Food 52 Baking by Editors of Food 52 and Amanda Hesser.