I promised you some yummy lime treats a while back and it’s taken me forever to deliver! I first had these cookies from Joanne Chang’s new cookbook, Flour, when a friend made them and brought them to work last fall. It was before I had gotten Chang’s book, named after her bakery in Boston, and one bite of this cookie further solidified my need to run out and get this cookbook.
I am first and foremost a chocolate lover, but I also really love both lemon and lime desserts. I used to eat lemons straight up as a kid until my mom got worried about what it was doing to my teeth and made me stop. To this day, one of my favorite non-alcoholic drinks is seltzer with a lot of fresh lemon or lime juice. So I love the sour citruses straight up, but I love the tartness that they lend to desserts. Joseph, unfortunately, tends to be a bit more of a chocolate purist, so I sometimes have to convince him that a lemon or lime dessert can be the perfect refreshing bite , especially on a sunny spring or summer day.
These cookies are pretty unique. While I love cornbread, I’ve never had a cornmeal cookie and I’m not sure I would have thought to try this recipe if I just had flipped through the cookbook. But because I had tried it and loved it, it was high on my very long list of things that I wanted to make from Flour. The grainy, cakey cornmeal cookie is absolutely perfectly with the lime glaze. Actually, that glaze on it’s own is just outstanding! I would literally make a batch just to drink straight up if only all that sugar wouldn’t give me a migraine. I feel that I owe Chang for adding this combination to my life!
I have a really soft spot in my heart for people who start off with a lucrative career and dump it all to get their hands covered in flour and egg yolks. That’s exactly why I so admired Warren Brown and went to work at Cake Love: he gave up his life as a lawyer to do something that was more fun and meaningful for him. Chang gave up her career as a management consultant to get into professional cooking which eventually led to Flour in 2000. She now has three locations, a cookbook, and even got a James Beard Award nomination! She’s a total inspiration.
Who inspires you?
Cornmeal Lime Cookies
Adapted from Joanne Chang
Makes 14-16 cookies
1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest (about 4 limes)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flower
1/2 cup medium-coarse yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
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)
Position rack in the center of the over and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer or a wooden spoon), cream together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. (This step will take 10 minutes if using a handheld mixer or a spoon). Stop the mixer a few times and use the rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar. Add the lime zest and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute to release the lime flavor. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue to beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl and the paddle again to make sure the eggs are thoroughly incorporated.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. On low speed (or with the wooden spoon), slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and then mix until the flour is completely incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed.
Drop the dough in scant 1/4-cup balls onto a baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.
Bake for about 25 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. Be careful not to overbake the cookies and let the tops brown. Let cook on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool to room temperature or just a bit warmer before glazing. (if you try to glaze the cookies while they are still hot, the glaze will run off).
To make the glaze:
While the cookies are cooling, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, water, lime juice, and lime zest until smooth. You should have about 1/2 cup. (The glaze can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature).
Brush the cookies with a thin layer of the glaze, then allow the glaze to set for about 10 minutes before serving or storing.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. The unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.