Orange-Cornmeal Sandies. My friend Linda gave me these cookies for Christmas, a tin full of delicate, crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth morsels. That these cookies came to me in the form of pigs should have been a hint. But no.
To say that I liked them is an understatement. My husband now swears he never had a single one, he implies that I might have kept them secret, which I would probably never do. I say I tried my best to share them and that they sat on the kitchen table for a week, or maybe it wasn’t quite a week. Anyway, I’m pretty sure he had a shot.
Valentines Day is around the corner and I plan to redeem myself. Different celebration, a different cookie cutter, same recipe and with a touch of chocolate if you like. A mouthful of buttery, orangey, crunchy, delicious love, cookie kisses, a fine indulgence for my Valentine. He’ll have his own private stash this time.
Mexican Orange-Cornmeal Sandies (Cookies) Recipe
Ingredients: Stir dry ingredients together in a separate bowl: 2 C flour, 1/4 C cornmeal, 1 t salt, 1/4 t baking powder/ Put 1 C sugar and 1 C unsalted butter in the mixer/ Set aside 2 egg yolks, 1 T orange zest, 1 t orange extract (or 1 t vanilla), 1/4 C finely ground walnuts (optional).
Directions: In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light in color and thoroughly mixed/ Add egg yolks and mix until creamy/ Add dry ingredients, mix/ Add zest, extract and walnuts if using/ Mix just until everything is well blended/ Remove from bowl and divide in two/ Make two flattened disks, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Form cookies: Remove one disk from the refrigerator/ Prepare an area for rolling the dough sprinkled with a little flour and a little extra/ Place disk on floured surface, turn over so that there is flour on both sides/ Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out, turning frequently and adding more flour as needed, until dough is 1/4″ thick.
With a cookie cutter cut out shapes and place them on a cookie sheet/Use all the leftover pieces, form smaller disks, refrigerate again if needed, and use every last bit of dough!/ Cutout cookies can be placed closely together for baking, but not touching as cookies will expand a little/ Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, until edges begin to brown/ Mine took 8 minutes.
Remove from the oven and after a couple of minutes transfer baked cookies onto wire racks for cooling/ After they have cooled dip a corner of some of the cookies in melted chocolate if you like, though my friend Linda warned, rightly so I think, that chocolate can overwhelm the delicate flavor of the cookie. So, take it easy. Or not./ Chocolate dipped cookies can be placed back on the wire rack until chocolate hardens.
Pack a beautiful box or a cookie tin with these babies and valentine somebody. Some of us need redemption and this could be the answer, or we just want to say I love you with a delicate cookie, like a kiss. I send one to you dear Reader.
* My friend found this recipe in The Oregonian in December, 2006.