Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cornmeal-Lime Cookies...

If you remember from back in 2007 (yikes...), we made these lemon biscotti that utilized a technique of using your hands to rub fresh citrus zest into the sugar called for in the recipe that I gleaned from one of Dorie Greenspan's cookbooks. Ever since then, any time a recipe calls for zest in a dough or batter, I instinctively do this extra step and am always fascinated by how intensely aromatic and moist the zest turns the sugar. I used this method today, making these shiny Cornmeal-Lime Cookies for the Weekly Wednesday Treat Day.

Besides the refreshing zing and lightness of lime, what makes these cookies special are the crunchy bits of coarse cornmeal in the dough - seek this out if you don't carry any in your pantry as you won't get the same unique bite using a fine grind of cornmeal. I found the combined dough to be soft, yet a bit tacky to the touch - meaning it would start to stick to your hands if you tried to roll the dough into balls, but it is still firm enough to hold its shape.

Once scooped out onto the baking sheets though, you will want to flatten each slightly - keep your fingers lightly moistened with water and the dough won't cling to you.

You can make these cookies bakery-sized by using scant 1/4 cup measurements for the dough (you will need to tack on a few extra minutes to the bake time), but we scaled them back to roughly 2 tablespoons for each. This ended up being a generously heaped tablespoon cookie scoops' worth, giving us 22 cookies instead of the 14 to 16 listed.

I recommend you keep an eagle eye on these cookies as they bake - you want the tops of them to remain pale, while the edges should have a light golden ring around the edges. If they are taken much farther than that, the cookies won't have that soft, a-couple-steps-away-from-being-a-cake-like quality. I did let two cookies go for a few minutes extra for comparisons sake (curiosity got me!) and instead of being crispy, they just became drier and more crumbly.

While the cookies have a solid hit of lime already, to punch up the pucker, each cookie is painted with a sweet, zest-studded opaque glaze made from confectioners' sugar thinned out with water, fresh lime juice and of course, more of that vibrant zest.

You could dunk the tops of each cookie (not as easy since they are tender) or drizzle it over, but I agreed with the recipe directions by brushing the glaze on with a pastry brush. This gave me the control to make an even, thin coat without making a mess - I was left with this though.

And trust me, none of it went to waste - a few swipes with a spoon (and right into my mouth!) made quick work of any leftover dribbles.


  1. That looks like a terrific cookie to have on hand for the upcoming fresh berry season!

  2. These look fantastic! I love citrus in cookies...it's such an awesome summer flavor!

  3. Peter - I'm with you!

    Baking Serendipity - Spot on! We've made a few different citrus cookies and they have always been fantastic.

  4. What a great technique. Never used it before. This is a really nice cookie that I would enjoy :)

  5. Helene - Definitely give it a try sometime.