Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

by Jeannette Ordas of Everybody likes Sandwiches

I'm not much of a sugar cookie fan. Maybe because I don't have the patience to roll out dough into cute shapes or maybe it's because I always end up burning half the batch. Or maybe it's because sugar cookies just don't have that buttery rich flavour that I associate with a really good cookie. But shortbread cookies are another matter altogether. I love shortbread and I don't make it often because of that fact. Too much shortbread makes my pants too tight. I have no willpower, you see. But then a cookie emergency arises (ie. no brown sugar in the cupboard) and what's a girl to do but make shortbread.

These cookies were delicious. The texture is crumbly and sandy due to the cornmeal and it's that winsome texture that makes these cookies truly unique. Plus, they've got a nice burst of lemony brightness which is always welcoming in the deep dark winter. Yes, this is a fantastic little cookie. Just don't let me love you too much.

Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies
(adapted from a Gourmet recipe)
2/3 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c yellow cornmeal
2 T cornstarch
1/4 t salt
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c confectioners (icing) sugar
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
Demerara sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, blend together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the vanilla and lemon zest and mix. In another bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, cornstarch and salt and whisk together. Slowly add in the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture and stir until just combined.

Prepare your baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat, and using your hands, pinch off about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Press each ball with a fork and repeat, spacing each cookie about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the undersides of the cookie are slightly golden. Cool on wire racks. Makes 18 cookies.

Jan Halvarson


Kimberly said...

I've been on such a cookie binge lately and this will add a nice variety between all the chocolate chip ones I've been making. Oh and I love the idea of adding lemon, yum!

Katy said...

Those sound really quite amazing!

pixie said...

oooh-yumm! this should add some nice texture to those boring old holiday kids cookies that show up at preschool!

Julia said...

That's good enough for me! Nom nom nom nom nom!

The Bonfiglio Family said...

I made these cookies this evening for a co-workers birthday tomorrow. They were easy and so delicious!

Sarah said...

Thank you for this brilliant recipe. We made a few changes (splurged on the cornmeal and lemon) and made a batch..they turned out awesome. I also did a post about them for our University...you can see it at www.UeaT.utoronto.ca (post from November 26, 2009).
Thanks again!

Elaine said...

I know this is a late comment, but I made a batch of these with a tablespoon of ground chamomile tea leaves in it, and holy crap: it elevated an already-stellar cookie to new heights. Also great, because this is the perfect dough to freeze in log form and slice off a bit at a time. Thanks for posting this recipe!

Unknown said...

yikes! what happened! mine pooled out really thin in the oven and i took them out after 10 minutes, let them cool a little, but i can't even scrape them off the cookie sheet. they just crumble... what's the deal? maybe were they too warm when they went into the oven?

Sharon said...

Delicious and unique! Also these are my go-to cookies for when I don't have eggs. Thanks for the recipe!!