Friday, August 19, 2011

Cornmeal-Lime Cookies

Look at all that flavorful lime zest!
This is one of my favorite cookies from Flour Bakery. The outside is slightly crunchy with a zesty lime glaze; while the center is soft with a little bit of a crunch from the cornmeal. It's just so unexpected and refreshing. I love eating them while drinking a nice cup of tea :)

Cornmeal Lime Cookies (makes 14-16 cookies)


1 cup (2 sticks/228g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (175g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest (about 4 limes) 
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (280g) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup (100g) medium-course yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Lime Glaze
1 cup (140g) confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1 to 1½ limes)
1½ teaspoons finely grated lime zest (about 1 lime)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment and cream the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until it's light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Remember to stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly mixed. Add the lime zest and mix on medium speed for about 1 minute. This will release the oils in the lime zest making it very flavorful. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined (about 2-3 minutes). Again scrape the bowl to make sure everything is evenly mixed. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and mix until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough is mixed evenly.
Scoop about 1/4 cup of the dough and form them into balls. Place them about 2 inches apart onto baking sheet and slightly flatten each ball with your palm.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cookies are pale brown on the edges but still pale in the center. The center should just be firm to the touch. Try not over-bake them and let the tops brown. You want the centers to stay soft and cake-like. Transfer baking sheet onto a wire rack and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool to room temperature. The glaze will stick better onto cookies that are cooled. 

Make the glaze while your cookies are cooling. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, water, lime juice, and lime zest until smooth. (You can make the glaze up to 1 week ahead and store in an airtight container at room temperature.) 

Brush the cookies with a thin layer of the glaze. Let the glaze set for 10 minutes before serving or storing.

The cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also store the un-bake dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

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