Native American Corn Cookies
Corn Cookies are a type of sugar cookie that when baked in the springtime, celebrate nature and the sun's energy. Maize represents vitality according to the native corn clans of the high Sonoran Desert in Arizona (Navaho, Hopi and Yaqui tribes, et al.). Traditionally, you'll find these cookies at Fiesta del Sol events in February and March. Bake yourself a batch and lounge in the shade with a handful of zesty lemon, spiced cinnamon and toasted corn cookies. Enjoy them for their crispy, satisfying nature. Native American Corn Cookies make special treats for the season. Your family will clamour for a second batch. Leave me your comments below.
Thanks to The Splendid Table and E. Barrie Kavasch for this recipe. You'll enjoy her book Enduring Harvests: Native American Foods and Festivals for Every Season.
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- Makes 45 cookies
- 1 cup (7 ounces/198 grams) granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces/113.5 grams) butter (room temperature)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup (4.4 ounces/125 grams) white flour
- 1/2 cup (2.15 ounces/61 grams) cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of one lemon)
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces/98 grams) granulated white sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest from one lemon)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Ingredients for Corn Cookies
Ingredients for Cinnamon Lemon Sugar
Mise en Place Corn Cookie Dough
- Bring butter to room temperature. See How to Cream Butter and Sugar for more information about the role of butter in your cookies.
- Measure sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or a hand mixer.
- Crack the egg into a small bowl and add the vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, combine the white flour, cornmeal, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
- Zest two lemons. Add the zest of one of the lemons to the dry ingredients. Distribute the zest evenly with your fingertips. Set aside the zest of the second lemon. Read here for more information about zesting lemons.
- Line two baking trays with parchment or a baking liner.
Mix the Corn Cookie Dough
- Add the butter to the sugar and cream together until the mixture is light in color and fluffy looking.
- Add the egg and vanilla to the creamed mixture. Beat until fully incorporated and well aerated.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until firm.
Bake the Corn Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Combine the zest from the second lemon with the cinnamon and sugar. Pour the topping onto a small tray or plate and set aside.
- Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and form 1/2 inch round balls. OR weigh the dough into about 13 gram portions and roll each out into an even ball.
- Roll each ball into the cinnamon and sugar coating and place about 15 on each tray.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes, until golden brown. They're finished when firm to the touch.
- Cook completely on a rack and store in a dry place. They should last about 1 month in an air tight container.