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Galletas de Maiz / Cornmeal Cookies, 1907

September 23, 2011

20th century Mexican cooking manuscripts, volume 220th century Mexican cooking manuscripts, volume 2: Libro de cocina [no date] / Josefa Dammi Ortigosa, Susana I. de Sanches Torres. P. 53.  [TX716.M4 T84 1907]

Galletas de Maiz

Se toma igual cantidad de harina de maiz como de trigo se la echa manteca, azúcar y se amasa con agua, despues se hacen las galletitas redondas en la mano y se meten á la estofa.

Cornmeal Cookies

Take equal parts cornmeal and wheat flours. Combine with lard, sugar, and enough water to make a dough.  Roll balls of dough in your hands to make little cookies and bake.

cornmeal cookie ingredientsIn the kitchen…

I combined the following ingredients in a large bowl:

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup cane juice sugar

I mixed in approximately 3/4 cup of warm water to achieve a cookie-dough-like consistency and then cut in approximately a 1/2 cup of shortening (substituted for lard) using a pastry blender.

Using my hands, I rolled a tablespoon of dough into balls that measured about an inch in diameter.  I spaced them evenly on an ungreased cookie sheet and baked for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

cornmeal cookie dough balls

The cookies came out of the oven fairly dense, so I flattened the next batch with the tines of a fork to form a crosshatch pattern and cooked them for the same amount of time.

cornmeal cookie dough balls flattened

The cookies taste overwhelming like cornmeal and were not nearly sweet enough to really fall into the cookie category.   In an effort to sweeten them up a bit, I coated the round cookies in confectioner’s sugar and I added a lemon glaze (lemon juice mixed with confectioner’s sugar) to the flattened cookies.  Unfortunately, neither of those actions helped much.

Even with the sugary coatings and glazes, the cookies taste more like an over-cooked or dried out cornbread.  If I were to make this recipe again, I would change two things: increase the sugar and add an egg or two to help with the dense consistency and give the cookies the softness that they lack.

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