This one is a tough one to post. See, these cookies are something special. I mean, really, something special. They are the cookie that I get the most compliments on and the most requests for. It's almost a secret I'd like to keep and offer to bake and sell to you, but that seems greedy and not right. So (deep breath) here goes nothing... You. Need. To. Make. These... LIKE, TODAY.
But, do it right. Don't skimp on quality ingredients-- use the best butter-- and do not cut corners to save time-- when I say "mix for 8 minutes on high," I mean "mix for 8 minutes on high." If you follow the directions, I promise you will not be disappointed.
Now, I bet you're wondering what they taste like. Maybe this crazy gluten-free baker just really likes corn... but in cookie form? That's crazytalk! Who wants a savory cookie!!?? (Is that you?) Well, let me tell you who wants this cookie-- you do. You and all your gluten-free friends and gluten-eating friends, to boot! So, what does it taste like?
It's like creamed corn in cookie form.
It's like a shortbread cookie with depth.
It's like the best cookie you will ever eat.
Did I make it up? No, sadly. The original recipe belongs to Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar ... who is a dessert genius, I might add. The first time I made the cookie straight from her cookbook, only subbing my gf flour for her regular flour 1:1. The results? Eh, I wasn't that impressed. And, I love Tosi and all her creative, fun recipes, so this isn't some jealous-baker-smack-talk going on. I just thought they tasted like... sugar cookies.
Thankfully, I have a husband who thought they tasted pretty good, but encouraged me to make them better. So, I tried again, and this time, I bumped up the corn flavor by changing the ratio of regular flour to corn flour. And, whaddyaknow? It worked!
So, without further ado, here's my deglutened-corn-boosted version of Christina Tosi's famous Corn Cookie.
Gluten-Free Corn Cookies, makes 16-17
- 225 grams good (aka Plugra) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 300 grams granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 200 grams gluten-free flour (be sure it includes xanthan gum)
- 70 grams corn flour
- 65 grams freeze-dried corn powder (see below on where to buy or how you can make your own)
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high (at 6) for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat on high (this is like 8 on your Kitchen Aid) for 7-8 minutes. This looong mixing is REALLY important. Tosi explains that the long creaming process is what makes Milk Bar cookies "crispy-on-the-outside, fudgy-and-slightly-underbaked-in-the-center... defying science and gravity." And, I had to quote her there because she is absolutely right. Take the time and do it right. You'll know you're getting close to the 8-minute mark when the mixture has taken on a very pale yellow, almost white, color and has nearly doubled in size.
While your mixer is doing the work, measure out the rest of the ingredients. You can buy freeze-dried corn powder from Milk Bar, but I make my own by whizzing up freeze-dried corn in my Cuisinart until it is the consistency of flour. I'll grind up a bag or two at a time, and the corn powder will last at least 6 months in your pantry.
Once the long creaming process has ended, scrape down the sides of your mixer bowl. Reduce mixer speed to low and add all the remaining ingredients. This is not your chance to step away. Stay close because you should only mix the dough until it comes together, no longer than a minute.
The dough will be really loose. It's not like a pancake batter, but it is wet, sticky and you cannot... I repeat, you can not... bake up the cookies with the dough at room temperature. They will spread all over the place. You'll have a sheet pan of corn cookies.... which actually sounds kind of amazing now that I think about it. Maybe you can try that some time, but this first time, let's stick to the recipe, shall we?
Using a medium-sized ice cream scoop, scoop up the dough, scraping the scoop along the top of the mixer bowl to level off the extra cookie dough. The ice cream scoop should be completely full, but the dough should not be mounding up over the edge of the scoop. Plop these scoops of dough down on a parchment-lined baking sheet, pressing the tops of the scoops down slightly with your hand. They should look like pale yellow hockey pucks and you should be able to make about 16- 17 of them. Don't worry about the placement of the cookie dough pucks, you will rearrange them before baking to provide room for spreading.
Wrap the cookie sheets tightly with plastic wrap and place trays in refrigerator overnight (or up to one week). You really do need to let them sit at least overnight. I recently tried to rush things and baked up a batch after only a few hours... the cookies ended up very sandy and crunchy, not chewy as they should be. Anyways, when you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and arrange a rack in the middle of your oven. Move the cookies around on your baking sheet, leaving 3-4 inches between each cookie. I usually fit only 5-6 on a half-sheet pan.
Bake each sheet for 10 minutes, rotate the pans, bake for another 5-7 minutes, checking for doneness often after 5 minutes. I stress "often" because these cookies are done before they look done. The cookies should puff, crackle, and spread and their centers should still be pale yellow, not golden. They are done when their edges are just starting to brown. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet before moving them to a plate. If you move them too soon, they will fall apart.... which isn't all bad. More for you to snitch, and crumbled corn cookies make great pie crusts, à la graham cracker crumb crust.
Once cooled, gobble them up. Share them. And, I'll leave it up to you if you want to share the recipe or not. 😉