From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I suspect this cookie that will not appeal to all of you. It is barely sweet and decidedly European, but it has such wonderful texture and crunch, that I wanted to share it with those of you who might enjoy a dunkable cookie with your espresso or tea. The cookie, a shortbread to which cornmeal has been added, is nearly effortless to make and it is a delightful way to end a peasant type meal. The cookies comes together in minutes, but the dough needs to be chilled before it can be rolled, and the baked cookies need an hour to cool before they can be served without crumbling. While most of it is wait time, it will take about two hours to get these to the table, so be forewarned. I have one other caution to share with you regarding these buttery and delicious treats. They are not good keepers and despite your best efforts and airtight wrapping, they will lose their crunch and gritty texture if they are stored overnight. I hope that will not deter those of you who enjoy barley sweet desserts. These are wonderful with coffee or tea and they are perfect to serve with macerated fruit, so do give them a try. Here is how they are made.
Cornmeal Cookies...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Gourmet magazine
1 cup yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle.
2) Whisk together cornmeal, flour, and salt. Set aside.
3) Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium speed, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg and yolk until combined well. Reduce speed to low and add cornmeal mixture in a slow stream, mixing until just combined. Form dough into a 5-inch square and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 30 minutes.
4) Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 7-inch square (1/2 inch thick). Score dough in one direction with tines of a fork. Following scored marks, cut into 8 equal strips, then cut strips in half to form rectangles.
5) Bake on an ungreased baking sheet until bottoms of cookies are pale golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. Yield: 16 cookies.
Cooks' note: Cookies can be made 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
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