Masa Harina-Lime Cookies

I have multiple cookbooks that have recipes for cornmeal cookies. The concept seemed absurd to me, but over the last few weeks I’ve become intrigued by the concept. I don’t even like cornbread, but I love polenta and various things I’ve made with masa harina, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Some recipes suggest lemon, and others lime. I went with lime for this one, for the very logical reason that I don’t have any standard cornmeal in my apartment – I have masa harina. Since masa is treated with lime, going with lime for the citrus flavor seemed logical to me.

masa-lime cookies

3/4 cup finely ground cornmeal
3/4 cup and 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
zest from 1-2 limes
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
juice from 1 lime

Mix the dry ingredients, the cornmeal, flour, soda, salt, and zest in a bowl and set aside. It’s way easier to zest a lime before you cut it in half to squeeze out the juice, which is why I bother suggesting the two bowls method. Otherwise it seems to me to get extra dishes dirty for no good reason. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat those in, then add the lime juice. Dump in all the dry ingredients and mix those in as well. Place spoonfuls on a baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 400. Be careful not to over bake them – the tops don’t really brown, so you should check the bottom edges. I might have slight burnt the bottoms of my first batch …

The result: Easy and surprisingly good. The cornmeal adds some texture without being distracting about it, and the overall cookies have just a hint of lime. Just enough you know it’s there, but not enough to be overpowered by it. They aren’t quite savory cookies, but they aren’t overly sweet either. If I had to make one modification, it would be adding the zest of a second lime to the dough – I only used one. I’ve asked a friend come over and test them for a second opinion later today – hopefully he will like them as much as I do (I’ll make sure he doesn’t eat any of the singed ones). Song of the Week: The Sleeping Beauty Waltz by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. I’ve been listening to a ton of Tchaikovsky the last few days, and while much of what I’m listened to has been much darker, I love this waltz. Partially because Sleeping Beauty was one of my favorite Disney movies when I was little and this waltz is in the movie.

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