Friday, December 14, 2012

Cookies of course!

Cookie by romantic.....if your a cookie.......

Well I wish that my first recipe back was a big ole vegetable over a nutty healthy grain but alas, it isn't. Tis the season for cookies, yall! My older bro suggested I make these cookies, and I'm so glad I did. I was looking for a cranberry cookie, but didn't want a lot of fuss. This little guy (gal?, I'm not clear on the gender of a cookie) was perfect. The cornmeal is an interesting addition, one I really enjoyed. What's nice, is the cornmeal gives the cookie new fresh taste, but I didn't feel like I was eating cornbread by any means. The cornmeal and flour combo works perfectly. Plus the dough also comes together very quickly and doesn't require a lot of delicate steps. Intricate doughs can be fun, but sometimes you need a cookie that can come together in 20 minutes or less, lets all be honest. This is definitely that. I also appreciate this little nibble, because for a dessert, it's fairly harmless. Only 3/4 cup of sugar in the recipe (plus the coating), no butter, and 1/4 cup oil. A lot the flavor comes from the cranberries and the orange zest, both ingredients I love. If you don't like cranberries, well don't make this recipe silly! This is not a rich indulgent treat, so if you are looking for that, well you can find those pretty much everywhere this time of year. This is, however, a suprising simple and delicous cookie that is a great way to finish a heavy meal when you want a dessert, but nothing to heavy handed. Give this cornmeal cookie a try, go on, you'll like it.

First whisk your dry ingredients
Mixing in the orange zest and dried cranberries
Its your dough! 
Make balls of dough
Roll in sugar. Yes! 
Place on baking sheet

Cranberry Cornmeal Cookies
Adapted from "The Quick Recipe" by the Staff of America's Best Test Kitchen

Makes 10-12 large cookies
The Goods:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated zest from 1 orange
3-4 tablespoons of orange juice (optional)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2 large eggs
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or other flavorless oil)

The Deal:

1. This first step is optional. If you have time, do it, if you don't have time, well you know. Place cranberries in a small bowl and toss with orange juice. You want the cranberries soaking in the juice, but not covered with juice. Let sit for at least 6 hours. Drain cranberries before using.

2. Adjust your oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a large baking sheet with non-stick spray and/or use parchment paper.

3. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add orange zest and whisk to combine. Add the cranberries and using a rubber spatula, toss to combine.  Whisk together the eggs and oil in a measuring cup. Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with rubber spatula until evenly moistened.

4. Fill a small bowl with cold water and place 1/3 cup sugar in an 8- or 9- inch pie plate. Dip your hands into the water and roll about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough into a rough ball. Drop the ball into the pie plate with sugar and toss to coat. Place the formed, sugar-coated cookie on the prepared pan, leaving 1 1/2 inches between balls. If your hands become too sticky (which is possible, this dough is very sticky, so be sure to keep your hands wet), dip them into the water and shake away the excess. If the dough become super unruly you can always refrigerate it for 20 minutes or so.

5. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, 18-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet front to back halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet until slightly set, about 2 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack. Cool for 15 minutes.

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