Cardamom Cornmeal Cookies

Holiday baking season is in full swing in our house. During these chilly raining grey days something sweet always seems to be baking away in the oven. I've been on a cornmeal kick as of late. Made an apple cranberry cornmeal crisp then a baked cornmeal custard - both tasty but then I made these delicious little cornmeal cookies and they took center stage. Hit the big time. Broadway bound cookies.  

I was inspired to make these from a corn cookie recipe I found in one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison. Her cookies used a handful of ingredients I didn't have in the house and I wasn't about to gather everyone to go to the market to get them either so I do what I always do - create something from what I have in my pantry.  

Admittedly, these are one of those kinda cookies that when I popped into the hot oven, I didn’t think would work out as well as they did. However, they not only worked, they were a huge success! I made them just yesterday and they are more than half gone today. This recipes yields about 30 cookies too. Nom nom.

I am confident these would work very well with any combination of dried fruits and nuts you may have handy.  Next time I’m gonna swap out the butter for some coconut oil and maybe use some dried cherries and almonds. And then dip them in some dark chocolate. Sprinkle with some coarse sea salt and toasted coconut chips. 

Ahem, excuse me - must try that version now.  

Cardamom Cornmeal Cookies

1 cup fine cornmeal flour
1/2 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3 TB muscavado or brown sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp sea salt
zest of 1 large orange or lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, room tempeature
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup currants or golden raisins or other bite sized dried fruit
1/2 cup pistachios, slivered almonds or pine nuts

Preheat oven to 350

Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

Using a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter (must be room temperature or else it won’t blend!) and the sugars on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the orange zest, vanilla and egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix at medium speed until everything is incorporated and smooth.

Reduce speed to low and gradually add in the cornmeal, spelt flour and salt. Mix until combined and then add the dried fruit and nuts. Turn mixer off the use your clean hands to mix evenly. The dough will be soft and chunky.

Use a small ice cream scooper or a teaspoon to place them on the prepared baking sheets.  The dough won’t spread so you can place them close together.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool cookies on rack. 

They keep for 3 days at room temperature though I doubt they will last that long.