French Cornmeal Cookies

We all know about the French macaron and Proust's by now clichéd madeline.  But these little cookies don't even approach the macron's fussiness, or the madeline's smooth refinement.  They have that wonderful, almost grainy texture from the cornmeal, while the lemon zest brightens their buttery flavor.  

In Bruce Healy's fantastic The French Cookie Book, they're described as a rare cookie, hailing from the Bresse region of southern Burgundy.  Traditionally shaped like tiny ears of corn, I didn't have the necessary pastry tip, and used a cookie press to shape the dough into little flowers, perfect for spring.  The recipe doesn't make a ton.  Just enough for an afternoon treat for a couple of people with no will power on a sunny, if too-cold, afternoon.  Enjoy.

Cornmeal Cookies

3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 large egg yolks
Grated zest of 1 medium lemon
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
7 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon yellow cornmeal

Oven preheated to 475F

In a small stainless steel bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon, placing it over low heat if necessary, until it's smooth, creamy and lightened in color.  Sift the sugar over the butter and continue to beat.  Next, beat in one yolk, still with the wooden spoon, then the next yolk, this time beating it with a wire whisk.  Whisk in the lemon zest.  Sift the flour and cornmeal into the batter, and using the wooden spoon, mix them in.

Scoop the batter into a cookie press or just spoon it in small balls onto a baking sheet prepared with a layer of parchment paper.  Bake, 1 sheet at a time, for about 5 minutes.  The bottoms should be browned, but the tops still a light, buttery yellow.  Cool on a wire rack and enjoy.


Sara said…
These cookies look so beautiful! I've always wanted to try making cornmeal cookies, I'll have to give this version a try.
Anonymous said…
adorable! now i have a reason to pull out the spritz press more often than Christmastime...


Alexandra said…
Omigosh, these are SO CUTE. Love it!
Elra said…
What a beauty Andrea, I am sure having just one will never be enough.
Hayley said…
These cookies are so beautiful and dainty. I love the sound of the lemon butter flavor. Thanks for sharing!
Chrissy said…
cutie patooties
stephchows said…
I love cookie presses!! They just bring up so many good nostalgic memories :) You really don't see enough cookies made with a cookie press, good work!
Snooky doodle said…
these are really interesting and so so cute ;)
So pretty, and of course anything French is divine!
I always enjoy your photos, but these are particularly beautiful!
Sam said…
These look so classy! I love the photos.
Talita said…
How delicate these cookies look! I loved it!
Anonymous said…
I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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