What’s Cookin’ – Cornmeal Lime Cookies (Gluten Free)

It has been 153 days since I’ve posted a What’s Cookin’ recipe on my blog.  And, while I do not consider my blog to be a food blog, the recipes that I post continue to drive the bulk of the visits to my site.

My goal, when posting recipes, is to preserve those that my family love the most as well as to re-purpose older recipes to use modern ingredients and packaging, and to share new recipes particularly those with interesting ingredients.

Since several of my family members have Celiac Disease and need to eat gluten free (GF) diets, I also find myself re-purposing favorite family recipes to meet their needs.  I have posted GF Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom soup recipes to use instead of the stuff from cans, and the benefit extends beyond making them edible by those who need them to be GF.  Making these items from scratch enhances the recipes that call for these products.  The end result is a fresher, more purer taste and flavor to our food so I use them even when I don’t have to make a recipe GF.

Since March, we sold our big home in the ‘burbs, moved into temporary housing, bought a new “old” and smaller home in the historic district of a small city, and bought a little cottage on the lake where we can go to relax and unwind.  All of  our stuff was in storage for several months, and my ability to spend time making and testing new recipes was impacted.

We were fortunate to be able to live with one of my sisters in her small condo with her three tiny dogs, but she does not cook and didn’t even own a set of measuring cups or spoons.  I added to her kitchen inventory while we stayed with her.

During this time, I was also spending a lot of time in Minnesota with my sister whose husband was battling cancer and ended up in hospice care until his death in July shortly after his birthday.

When I was in Minnesota, I spent a lot of cooking and baking and taking care of stuff around the house (like laundry and shoveling snow in April and May) while my sister worked and spent valuable time with her husband.

Since my sister is one of my relatives with Celiac disease, I was forced to consider GF options for every meal and with everything that I cooked.  It is an understatement to say that it takes a lot of thought and planning to make sure what you are cooking is free of wheat products.  It virtually eliminates most everything that is processed in any way.  My heart goes out to those who deal with food allergies and issues.

I have another sister who lives in Oregon, and she also spent time in Minnesota helping out while my brother-in-law was sick.  She shared a recipe with me for Gluten Free Cornmeal Lime Cookies that a friend of hers made.  She raved about these cookies.  Her friend had adapted a recipe posted on a food blog, Cooking by the Book, that was adapted from a recipe from the cookbook Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Café by Joanne Chang to make it GF.

I made my sister’s friend’s version of these cookies, not only because they are GF, but because I love citrus flavors and making recipes with unusual ingredients.  Putting cornmeal in cookies was interesting to me.  I thought it might make the cookies gritty.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

These cookies are tender and citrus-y and addicting.  I will be making versions with lemon and orange, too.  They are that good.

Bottom line.  Don’t be afraid to try new recipes and, if necessary, adapt them for your family’s tastes and needs.  And, of course, if you want to make these cookies and decide that you do not need them to be GF, use regular all-purpose flour.  You will not be disappointed.

Let’s get started!

Cornmeal Lime Cookies ingredients

Gluten Free Cornmeal Lime Cookies ingredients.  If you don’t need to make these cookies GF, then by all means substitute regular all-purpose flour.  Make sure that your butter and eggs are at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Cornmeal Lime Cookies dry ingredients

In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.  I use a whisk.

Cornmeal Lime Cookies dry ingredients sifted

Here are the dry ingredients sifted.  You will see little specks of the yellow cornmeal throughout the mixture.  Set aside.

Cornmeal Lime Cookies zest

Next zest your limes until you have 2 TB.  I used 2 large limes to get 2 TB of zest, but if you have smaller limes, it may take up to 4.  Make sure to only use the green part of the rind.  The white part or pith is bitter.

Note:  I took the opportunity to grate enough zest and squeeze enough lime juice for the glaze which you will use later on in the recipe.

Cornmeal Lime Cookies cream the butter and sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  At this step in cookie making you are incorporating air into the batter which will make your cookies light and tender so don’t skimp on the mixing time.

Cornmeal Lime Cookies add the lime zest

Notice how light and fluffy the butter mixture is?  Add the zest and mix on medium speed for another full minute to allow the lime flavor to incorporate into the batter.

Cornmeal Lime Cookies add eggs & vanilla

Notice the lovely green specks in the butter mixture?  Add the eggs and vanilla while mixing on medium speed for another 2 to 3 minutes.  Scrape down the side of the bowl as necessary to ensure that all ingredients are evenly incorporated.  Again, do not skimp on the mixing time.

Cornmeal Lime Cookies with flour mixture added

Reduce the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture in three batches.  Mix only until incorporated.  Do NOT over mix at the point or you will over work the flour resulting in a tough cookie.

At this point, you can refrigerate the dough and bake the cookies later.  I had an appointment and did this.  I simply scooped the refrigerated dough directly onto the cookie sheets and baked them right away.

Cornmeal Lime Cookies ready to bakeUsing a small scoop (1 TB size), place rounded dough balls onto parchment lined cookie sheets.  Using damp fingers or the palm of your hand, slightly press down on the dough balls.  Bake in a preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

If you are using regular all-purpose flour, you will know the cookies are done if they are slightly browned around the edges and firm to the touch.  When using GF flour, you will find that things do not brown like they do with regular flour.  So you have to be careful not to over bake.  I used an oven thermometer to ensure I got to the correct temperature.  It took my oven 12 minutes to bake the cookies.  They were slightly browned on the underside and firm to the touch.

Note: The original recipe called for using ¼ cup dough balls and baking for 24 minutes.  I prefer regular-sized cookies and adjusted the baking time accordingly.

Cornmeal Lime Cookies bakedRemove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a cooling rack.  Using 1 TB dough balls result in 2-inch cookies and made exactly 5 dozen.

Cornmeal Lime Cookies glaze step 1

While the cookies are cooling, prepare the glaze.  Simply put the powdered sugar, lime zest and juice and two teaspoons of water into a small bowl and whisk to combine until smooth.

Cornmeal Lime Cookies glaze step 2

The glaze may also be made in advance.  Doesn’t it look good with the specks of lime zest throughout?

Cornmeal Lime Cookies glazing

Once the cookies are completely cool, you may brush or dip the glaze onto the cookies.  Allow the glaze to completely set before eating (if you can wait 10 minutes or so).

Cornmeal Lime Cookies ready to eat

Cookies ready to eat.  They are tender and citrus-y and addicting.  Can’t wait to try this recipe using lemons and oranges, too!




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