As our first full week at the new apartment draws to a close, it feels fitting to write about a baking project that straddled both apartments: lemon cornmeal cookies. I made the batter at our old place in an attempt to use up the cornmeal pre-move, but most of the dough ended up in the freezer (apparently we can only eat so many dozen cookies at one time). And what better way to feel at home in in the crazy mess of unpacking than with instant cookies from frozen dough? They were the first thing I baked at the new apartment.
These are unexpected cookies: thin and lacy, they have crispy corners and a chewy, nestle-into-your-molars centre. I love the edge of lemon, the crunch of sugar & cornmeal, and the smooth buttery finish. If my mum ate wheat, I’d completely have broken them out for our one-day-early Mother’s Day lunch we had today when she came to visit – they’re pretty, brunch-y springtime cookies. (Instead, we had a gluten-free/dairy-free lunch – eggs florentine with soy milk & lactose-free cheese, bell pepper hash browns, dressed-down broccoli salad, and Megan’s almond-cluster cookies. I’m getting better at hosting my family.)
Notes: This recipe makes a lot of cookies. As I was putting it together, I remember thinking, “Whoa, two cups of butter?!” … then saw it made over 100 cookies. Oh I see. Happily, the batter will store in the freezer so you can hack off a bit at a time, as your cookie needs demand. Also worth noting: the delicate, buttery nature of these cookies means that you can’t casually take them out of the oven to rotate the pan while multitasking with some other chore – if your wrist wobbles even a little bit and the tray shifts, those nascent cookies will roll their buttery selves into each other and create a single massive sheet of unified cookie. Don’t get me wrong, that massive sheet cookie is still good – you can tear off strips, like custom-sized cookies – but is likely not the result you’re aiming for.
Lemon Cornmeal Cookies
slightly adapted from One Sweet Cookie
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pastry flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2.5 cups white sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla
1. In a medium bowl, stir the following until combined: both flours, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Slowly pour in the eggs & vanilla mixture; stir until combined. Add the dry ingredients; stir until combined. Chill in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes.
3. Place twelve 1/2 tbsp spoonfuls of batter onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325 degrees for 5 minutes. Carefully rotate the tray and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter.