Friday, August 2, 2013

Tequila Lime Cornmeal Cookies

Due to my ever growing obsession with Joanne Chang/her cookbooks/her restaurant/her bakeries I've had quite a few conversations with people regarding one if not all of those things, which happen (most often) at my work, Shake the Tree, where we sell both of Joanne's cookbooks.

As people are flipping through the pages of either Flour or Flour, Too I typically rave about all of her delicious recipes such as the homemade breads, the sticky sticky buns, the decadent cakes...and the overall excellence of the recipes included in her cookbooks.  That typically leads into some of the recipes I've made or a little chat about her restaurants.  However, there is one other little comment that has entered it's way into the conversation time and time again...

"Those lime cornmeal cookies."

People are constantly RAVING about these things.  And now I understand why.

As people would tell me about their obsession with these cookies I would always think about the very good chance that the cookies would be dry and almost grainy from the cornmeal.  The combination always sounded appealing, but the cookie itself did not.

And then I made them.  And tried them.  And my mind is forever changed.

Cornmeal in cookies is a wonderful, wonderful thing.  It creates a texture that I've never experienced in cookies.  Dryness is nowhere near an issue as the edges of the cookies are lightly brown and crisp but the center is soft and almost cake like.  And the heavenly glaze balances out the cornmeal in the greatest way possible.

I've adapted the recipe ever so slightly to include tequila and coconut (because tequila, lime, coconut...why not?) but if you're not a fan of either, leave them out and your cookies will still be equally delicious.

Adapted from the Flour Cookbook by Joanne Chang

Makes: 14-16 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 15-18 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes + 30 minutes cooling time

{Printable Recipe}

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
1 tablespoon tequila (optional)
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup medium-coarse yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
shredded coconut for sprinkling
for the lime glaze-
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)
1 teaspoon tequila (optional)

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°.
  2. Using a mixer, cream together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Stop the mixer a few times and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.  Add the lime zest and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute to release the lime flavor.  Add the eggs, tequila, and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.  Scrape the bowl again and make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until the flour is completely incorporated.
  4. Drop the dough in scant 1/4 cup balls onto a baking sheet.  Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.
  5. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until the cookies are pale brown on the edges, still pale in the center, and just firm to the touch in the center.  Let cool onthe baking sheet on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes, then transfer to the wire rack to cool to room temperature or just a bit warmer before glazing.
  6. While the cookies are cooling, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, water, lime juice, lime zest, and tequila in a small bowl until smooth.
  7. Brush the cookies with a thin layer of the glaze and sprinkle the cookies with a small amount of shredded coconut.  Allow the glaze to set for about 10 minutes before serving or storing.

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