In addition to the bizarre brown-sugar whole wheat apple turnovers that they served in my school cafeteria I was also obsessively enamored with a cornmeal cookie that made a command appearance every now and again. As far as I can remember the Livermore Falls lunch line is literally the only place I’ve ever seen one of these cookies in the wild so when I came across the Cornmeal Cookies recipe in Joanne Chang’s amazing new cookbook, Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe, I knew I had found my holy grail of desserts at last. To top it off (literally) the cookies are coated in a sweet lime icing that adds a slightly more sophisticated feel to the simple cookie. Plus the addition of bring green lime zest gives them a very festive feel.
I did have a bit of a snafu with the recipe though. I discovered that there have been a few recipe corrections in the book posted on the Flour website. So perhaps this may need to be an additional update? My question is whether or not the printed direction which states that the cookies should be baked for 25 minutes is accurate? The first batch I made was very brown, almost to the point of being burned and my take on the cookie is that it’s supposed to keep a light color. I only cooked the second batch for 15 minutes though and that worked very well. Of course, it could just be that the oven in my new apartment is completely off temp too. At any rate, my advice to those of you who attempts the Cornmeal Lime Cookies is to definitely keep an eye on the cooking time.
PS: Don’t forget about the Folgers contest. Check out some of my favorite holiday traditions and then learn how you could win a trip home for the holidays!
Cornmeal Lime Cookies
Originally published in Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe by Joanne Chang
Makes 14-16 cookies
1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest (about 4 limes)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flower
1/2 cup medium-coarse yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1 – 1 1/2 limes)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest (about 1 lime)
Position rack in the center of the over and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer or a wooden spoon), cream together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. (This step will take 10 minutes if using a handheld mixer or a spoon). Stop the mixer a few times and use the rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar. Add the lime zest and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute to release the lime flavor. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl and the paddle again to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. On low speed (or with the wooden spoon), slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and then mix until the flour is completely incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed.
Drop the dough in scant 1/4-cup balls onto a baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.
Bake for about 25 minutes (Erin’s Note: Definitely check the cookies after 15 minutes. Mine were done at that point.) or until the cookies are pale brown on the edges, still pale in the center, and just firm to the touch in the center. Be careful not to overbake the cookies and let the tops brown. Let cook on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool to room temperature or just a bit warmer before glazing. (if you try to glaze the cookies while they are still hot, the glaze will run off).
To make the glaze:
While the cookies are cooling, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, water, lime juice, and lime zest until smooth. You should have about 1/2 cup. (The glaze can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature).
Brush the cookies with a thin layer of the glaze, then allow the glaze to set for about 10 minutes before serving or storing.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. The unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.