Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sweet Corn Sugar Cookies

I feel awkward talking about cookies today.  It seems more trivial than usual to be focusing on butter and sugar when people have been buried and found in the mountains by earthquakes and another city has gone feral in front of TV cameras.  In a week where marathoners ran in defiant celebration, and the supreme court is deciding whether people can love each other legally, the relevance of a recipe is negligible at best.

And yet, it is what I have*.

It is, at least, an outstanding irrelevant recipe.

Sweet Corn Sugar Cookies | Cheesy Pennies

Sweet Corn Sugar Cookies
Sweet Corn Sugar Cookies II | Cheesy Pennies
by Sharon Graves
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus fridge time
Cook Time: 13-18 minutes
Adapted barely at all from Christina Tosi, of Milkbar fame.  I had one of these this weekend at McConnell's, and immediately came home and googled my way to recreating them. They are a tiny bit crunchy, wonderfully chewy and sweet/savory/salty.  Find and follow her original recipe here.  
  • 1 1/3 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. corn flour (see tips)
  • 2/3 cup sweet corn powder (see tips)
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg

Whisk flour, corn flour, sweet corn power, baking powder, baking soda and salt together, and set aside. 

Cream butter and sugar together using a stand or hand mixer on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, and beat for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, until very light, fluffy, and shiny. This long beat is a hallmark of Milkbar cookies, and apparently gives them a signature extra crispy edge and fudgy-chewy center.

Stir in dry ingredients by hand, until just combined. Do not over mix.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. For larger cookies, scoop dough out with a standard sized ice cream scoop (about 1/3 cup) and place on the prepared cookie sheet. I made mine a bit smaller, in scoops about the size of small golf balls. Pat the tops of the cookies down flat, and refrigerate, on the cookie sheet, for at least an hour or as long as a few days. Do not bring to room temperature before baking!

Preheat oven to 350.

For larger cookies, place cold cookie dough about 3-4 inches apart on lined baking sheets. For smaller cookies, separate by 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Bake for 13 minutes (smaller cookies) or up to 18 minutes (larger cookies). They will puff and spread as they bake, and the larger cookies will crackle. Cookies are done when edges are golden brown and centers are still a warm, soft yellow.

Sweet Corn Sugar Cookie | Cheesy Pennies

Cool completely and enjoy!

Sweet Corn Sugar Cookies III | Cheesy Pennies

Tips on the strange ingredients:

Corn flour is super finely ground cornmeal.  You can buy it pre-made (I used Bob's Red Mill), or process regular corn meal in a blender or food processor to get a finer grain.

To make the sweet corn powder:

Get freeze dried corn from Whole Foods, Amazon or a local gourmet grocer, then grind it up in a blender or food processor for several minutes until light and powdery.

*  We also have the will to stand up and help. CNN has a list of ways to support Nepal here, and Facebook is matching donations here. See images of the other side of the protests in Baltimore here. Pursue, reach out, engage!

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