Oh, yes … these are the perfect companion for a late afternoon cuppa espresso. At least that’s how I did it this afternoon, after taking them out of the oven. I’m putting my stand mixer to the test lately, and cookies are a breeze in it. After the richness of the last batch of gingerbread cookies, I thought I’d try something lighter. These were the perfect choice.
Ingredients - Yield about 25 cookies Time - about 45 minutes
1 cup of minced golden raisins, tossed with 2 tablespoons flour
6 ounces of softened, unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar ( I recommend fine Bakers Sugar)
zest of two large lemons
Juice of one half lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fine or regular whole grain corn meal/polenta ( I prefer finely milled)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary, plus some whole leaves for decoration
3 tablespoons coarse sugar for sprinkling on tops prior to baking
Much of the key to success in baking - or any cooking - is to have everything measured and prepped prior to mixing or cooking. Think it through. Double check. Have everything ready to go.
If you’ve only got frozen butter ( and I keep extra in the freezer), it’s not a good idea to soften it in the microwave. That just melts it. Take your sticks of butter, cut them into 1/2 inch slices with a sharp knife, and put those into a ziplok baggie. Immerse that in a pan of warm water for about 10 minutes, while you get everything else ready. You’ll have properly softened butter.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and adjust your racks. Set up your baking zone. Prep your cookie sheets.
Mince the raisins, and toss them with the two tablespoons flour. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, or by hand, beat together the softened butter and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest. Beat until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, corn meal/polenta, minced rosemary, baking powder, salt.
Begin adding the dry ingredients to the stand mixer bowl, a quarter cup at a time. Then add in the raisins.
You can now bake the cookies right away, or wrap the dough in plastic wrap in a log shape, and chill for an hour to until tomorrow. You can even freeze this until a better time.
If you are going to bake them right away, portion them into balls, and set them on a sheet of baking parchment, on a cookie sheet.
You don’t have to space these cookies far apart, since they aren’t going to flatten out that much.
Lightly press a few leaves of fresh rosemary into the tops of the cookies, and then sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, rotate them halfway through if you are not using a convection oven. Remove them to a cooling rack.
Enjoy with espresso, or after dinner with some lemon sorbet.
*NOTE - Of course you can choose the whole grain combo to make your own cookies from. I would caution you to use some all-purpose flour, and mostly whole wheat, and then make up the rest from any combination that suits your fancy. Oat flour, Amaranth, Quinoa would all be excellent choices for this particular cookie. Use more or less of the Barley or whatever. I would even be tempted to try a sweet potato flour.