Cornmeal and Currant Cookies

Temps des Fêtes 2005
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food and drink

BY: Eshun Mott

Inspired by an Italian cornmeal-currant cookie called zaleti, these cookies are mildly sweet and crunchy, studded with currants and scented with lemon.

1 recipe Sugar Cookie Dough (recipe follows)
½ cup (125 mL) yellow cornmeal
½ cup (125 mL) plump dried currants
2 tsp (10 mL) grated lemon rind

1. Prepare Sugar Cookie Dough following directions 1 and 2 (recipe follows).

2. Sprinkle cornmeal, currants and lemon rind over dough and beat until just combined.

3. Place dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and, using a rolling pin, roll out to a thickness of ¼-inch (5-mm). Place dough in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes or until firm.

4. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

5. Use a fluted 2-inch (5-cm) cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Gather dough scraps together, re-roll, and chill before cutting out more shapes to use up the dough. Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake, 1 baking sheet at a time, for 12 minutes or until golden at edges.

Makes about 50 cookies


Sugar Cookie Dough
½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (125 mL) sugar
½ cup (125 mL) light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla
2¼ cup (550 mL)all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
Coloured sugar crystals for decoration (optional)

1.  Combine butter, sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl and beat using a mixer until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.

2.  Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and beat until dough just comes together.

3.  Place dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper and, using a rolling pin, roll out to a thickness of 1/8-inch (3-mm). Place dough in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes or until firm.

4.  Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

5.  Use a 2-inch (5-cm) cookie cutter, or a variety of cutters, to cut out desired shapes. Gather dough scraps together, re-roll, and chill before cutting out more shapes to use up the dough. Place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets, sprinkle with coloured sugar crystals, if desired, and bake, 1 baking sheet at a time, for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden at edges.

6.  Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a rack.

Makes about 36 cookies, depending on cutters used