Jul 14, 2010

Lemon Cornmeal Cookies

My name is Rachel and I'm addicted to crunchies.

What are crunchies? They're the tidbits of burnt cheese left on the pan after you bake a pizza. The fried-to-a-crisp fries that sneak their way into the carton. They're anything poppable and crisp that I can get my hands on, be it in a box, a bag, or scraped from a casserole dish.

The name was coined by my worried husband, who many a night followed the faint noises of a rat crunching away at crumbs, only to find me, eyes gleaming in a dark kitchen as I nibbled away on burnt bacon from that night's omelet or the broken remains at the bottom of a Doritos bag.

What's wrong with me? Why can't I be content with the actual meal on my plate instead of scrounging for things that go crunch in the night?

I didn't realize how serious my crunchies problem was until one afternoon at my grandmother's house. There I was, neglecting her delicious roast chicken while maniacally sneaking crunchies from the platter when no one was looking. I thought I was enjoying delicious pieces of crisp, fallen meat. I later found out it was burnt lard. Oh the shame.

Yes, sadly, my taste buds are about as refined as those of a street dog. But alas, I've learned to curb my crunchies cravings with an elegant, more acceptable food. One that can be followed with sips of iced tea. Not Pepto Bismol.

These cookies are great. They're actually a little chewy on the inside, with a wonderful crisp crust and crunchy cornmeal bits throughout. Along with their great lemony zest, they make the perfect summertime cookie.

And they're so simple to make. Just a little zesting, a little mixing, and a little baking for a light lemony cookie fitting of a lazy afternoon.

And yes, I rolled each spoonful of batter into balls instead of just dropping them like a normal person. That's because I'm also addicted to things that look as close to perfect as possible. But that's for another post.

So grab a plate of cookies and ditch the milk. These are perfect with ice-cold lemonade or tea. And there's no shame! Such a lovely cookie at only 55 calories, I didn't have to crunch away at them in the dark. In fact, I think they're best enjoyed in the fresh air of a front porch.

They definitely satisfied my crunchies craving. Although, I did sneakily scrape off some of the crust that stuck to the pan. And ate it. And it was wonderful. (Please don't tell Luke.)

Lemon Cornmeal Cookies
Kathy Farrell-Kingsley, Cooking Light, MAY 2008
Yield: 3 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)

1  cup  all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
1/3  cup  yellow cornmeal
1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/4  teaspoon  ground ginger
3/4  cup  plus 2 tablespoons sugar
6  tablespoons  butter, softened
1  large egg
1  tablespoon  grated lemon rind

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through ground ginger); stir with a whisk. Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Scrape sides of the bowl occasionally. Add egg; beat well. Beat in grated lemon rind. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, and beat at medium-low speed just until blended.

Spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons batter 2 inches apart onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned and almost firm. Remove from oven. Cool on pans for 2 minutes or until firm. Remove from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 55 (34% from fat), Fat: 2.1g (sat 1.3g,mono 0.6g,poly 0.1g), Protein: 0.7g, Carbohydrate: 8.6g, Fiber: 0.2g, Cholesterol:11mg, Iron: 0.2mg, Sodium: 49mg, Calcium: 2mg.


Saretta said...

Do you think I could just substitute gluten-free flour for the all-purpose flour here? (I am intolerant to gluten.) I think I might just try it!

Pam said...

They are some delicious looking cookies! Love anything with cornmeal!

the VA foodie said...

I'm glad you liked them! I made these once for a book club cookie swap and we didn't like them. Making 3 recipes this week from the new CL issue! oh! I know how we seem to share a love of lemony things, I just made a dessert to take to a friend's house last weekend, I think it's called butter-crunch lemon bars. I'll post them to the blog this week.

Me, Myself and Pie said...

I recently made those bars, too...posting them soon as well. I LOVED them!

julie said...

I like the crunchies too! Whenever I make a quesadilla or grilled cheese for my kids, I make sure to put just a bit too much cheese on them so it oozes out the sides and crisps up in the butter. Oh baby.

These cookies look delish and I love that they're only 55 calories!

Jenn Erickson said...

I was lured over to your blog while commenting on the SITS featuredd blogger today. Your comment was just above mine and I saw the title of your recent post and just had to come by. Mmmm.... these cookies look marvelous. I, too, have had a lifelong obsession with "crunchies". As a child, I would often get busted for leaving the dinner table to scrape the "crunchies" out of the baking pan. I look forward to trying your recipe! Cornmeal and lemon ~ excellent combo!

bobwasahamster said...

I love to see that there are others that have the Crunchies Syndrome. You see Rach, you're not alone. :)

-happy hub

Julie said...

Wow, I'll bet the texture on these is super duper! Yummy :)

Mary said...

Yummy! I can't wait to try these! Thanks for sharing.

LisaDay said...

I love cornmeal but cornmeal and lemon. What a great mix.


Florida Girl Meets the Midwest said...

The crunchies at the bottom of the casserole dish are where all the flavor is. (that is why chef's use those bits to make sauce and gravy.) My Hubs has also discovered me scraping the bottom.

I love this cookie recipe because I almost always have all those ingredient on hand. I think I will make this my next kitchen project!

Ingrid said...

Hi, Rachel, my name is Ingrid and I'm addicted to crunchies. :) I'm like you always looking for them BUT at the same time I don't like things that are hard or overcooked. I like little bits.

Your cookies sounds delightful! I love the addition of cornmeal in baked goods. Btw, how do you get such cool strips of zest? I guess my zester doesn't work.

Linda www.mykindofcooking.com said...

Love your cookie recipe! I could crunch away without the guilt. That is my kind of cookie!

Meredith Houser said...

I'm a crunchie addict too.

I steal my kids plate before it gets thrown out so I can eat the little bits of batter from his chicken fingers.

The first round of KFC's popcorn chicken was THE best.

and small seedy things... I guess those can be crunchi-esque. Like... strawberries and blackberries I eat JUST to eat the seeds.

I always get masago & sesame seeds on my sushi so I can crush them individually with my two front teeth.

great blog, Rachel!

teresa said...

you are so funny! i LOVE these cookies, i want to make them tonight. cornmeal is such a fun ingredient in baked goods, i think it's underutilized.

i just shredded a whole chicken today, and i admit to digging for the crunchies wherever i could find them, mmm.

Amy said...

The parts of this post about "crunchies" is dead-on my fiance. It drives me a little crazy that he is always picking things off our meals, be it pizza or waffles etc etc. But I guess he's not alone!

Chef Dennis said...

your too funny....I remember lard....
but your cookies look incredible!!
thanks for making me smile and a great cookie recipe!

Rachel Cotterill said...

Why have I never made lemon cookies?!?! These look AMAZING.

Melissa said...

I am going to have to try this for my husband, he loves lemon cookies but prefers cookies with a bit of a crunch to them.

Stopping by fr4om SITS!

Sarah @ Mum In Bloom said...

My husband is a crunchies addict too :) I made something similar to these last year from Everyday Food "Zucchinni Cornmeal Cookies" but they weren't crunchie.. we want crunchie! I'm going to give your recipe a try & will link back when I do :)

Me, Myself and Pie said...

I am so relieved that others have crunchies problems, too! We should embrace our love for things that crunch! ;-)

Amy said...

There's an award for you at my blog. :)

Sarah Ann said...

Oh my goodness, those look divine!

Emma said...

Wow they look amazing!! Thanks for stopping by my blog and good luck with the giveaway!! Emma x

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Those look delicous! And you're soooo right about the crunchies. Especially the french fries. We all fight for those ones.

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's for Dinner

Christina said...

Visiting from SITS and I love your recipes! Can't wait for the jalepenos and goat cheese - Yum!

mangocheeks said...

Things that make you go Crunch. I like that sensation too.

These look elegant. And yeah I'd be happy to ditch the milk for these.

Me, Myself and Pie said...

Saretta - I'm not familiar with baking with gluten free flour, but here's a link that may be helpful: http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/cookingglutenfree/a/FlourBasics.htm

Susan said...

These cookies and so many of your recipes from Cooking Light sound great. I also love CRUNCHY and I cannot wait to try these. I love to cook and we could always eat healthier at my house. You have inspired me to try some healthier recipes!


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