Summer in a cookie

I meant to make these last summer.

However in that lesson of detail that I seem to learn over and over again, I learned that dried corn and dehydrated/freeze-dried corn are definitely NOT the same thing.

And then I got distracted by something shiny and what are decidedly summer cookies (in my head at least) didn’t seem appropriate when I remembered again in winter.  Luckily, I’d bookmarked this wonderful creation of Christina Tosi’s and, when reorganizing cookbooks, found it again.  In the introduction to the recipe in her book, Milk Momofuko Milk Bar, Ms Tosi explains that she hoarded this recipe for years.

And I totally understand why.  Go ahead and leave your political viewpoints about corn at the door on this one and just give in to the simple deliciousness.

Because I can’t ever seem to leave well-enough alone and my stalking  research on Ms Tosi suggests she’d support some tweaks, I adapted these cheery cookies ever so slightly by adding lemon zest and dried blueberries.  I also scaled them down quite a bit.

They’re soft, chewy and slight crispy  and remind me of sunny summer afternoons after a day spent at the beach or pool.  I think they’d be even more delicious with a scoop of blueberry ice cream or Milkbar’s own sweet corn cereal milk ice cream sandwiched in between a couple.

Corn Cookies

adapted from Christina Tosi, Milk Momofuko Milk Bar

Ingredients

Makes about 2 dozen smaller or 1 dozen large cookies

Note–I use the weight not volume measurements for this recipe.

  • 16 TBS, 2 sticks, 225g room temp butter
  • 1 1/2 C, 300 g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/3 C, 225 g flour
  • 1/4 C, 45 g corn flour
  • 2/3 C, 65 g freeze-dried corn powder (I found freeze dried corn on Amazon but later saw it at Bristol Farms and used a coffee grinder to make the powder)
  • 3/4 tsp, 3 g baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp, 1.5 g baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp, 6 g kosher salt
  • zest from large lemon (or 2 small)
  • 1/2-1 C dried blueberries (depending on taste)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, corn flour, corn powder, baking powder, soda and salt.  Set aside.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar using the paddle attachment of a standing mixer or an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes.
  3. Scrape-down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and beat for 7-8 minutes.
  4. Reduced the mixer speed to low and add the zest.  Then add the flour mixture, combining until the dough just comes together (no more than a minute).  Fold in the dried blueberries by hand.
  5. For smaller cookies, use about a one ounce scoop (the original recipe calls for a 2  3/4 ounce scoop) and scoop dough out, placing on to a cookies sheet lined with parchment.  Leave a couple inches between each dough mound.
  6. Either pat, or use the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar to flatten-out the dough.  Wrap tightly and cool in fridge for a minimum of  an hour, but up to a week.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Arrange chilled dough on parchment-lined baking sheets (they’ll need more room between them then when you put them in the fridge).  Leave 2 inches in between each.
  9. Bake for 18 minutes.  Cookies will puff, crackles and spread.  Done cookies will be faintly browned on the edges but bright yellow in the middle.
  10. Cool completely on sheets before transferring to a plate, storage container or your mouth.

See ya later summer!

I could wax poetic about the final days of summer slipping into the horizon like grains of stand through an hourglass.  But. Whatever.

For me, Labor Day Weekend is the signal of something new, not the symbol of something lost.  And while I try not to ever wish away time,  I am always glad to see September.

In our neck of the woods, probably like yours, Labor Day weekend is about BBQs, pool parties and trips to the beach.  So, here is a nice accompaniment that’s easy to put together and travels well.

This slightly sweet cornbread calls for three flours: all purpose, corn meal and corn flour.  Okay, to be honest, the original recipe called for masa harina.  I didn’t have it on-hand and  knowingly swapped-in the corn flour (even though one isn’t a substitute for the other).  If you are a purist, find masa harina.  If not, corn flour will do.

My twist includes lemon zest and sliced almonds.  I think the different textures make this simple corn bread interesting.

Adieu summer!  Bring on the Autumn!

If you like this, you might like these

Blueberries and Cream Cookies

Baluberry Muffins

Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Cornbread

adapted from the Sunset Cookbook credited to Doug Case

Ingredients

  • 1 C fresh blueberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 1/4 C butter, melted
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2/3 + 2 TBS C all purpose flour
  • 2/3 C yellow cornmeal
  • 2/3 C masa harina (corn flour)
  • 1/4 C sugar + additional for sprinkling on top if desired
  • 1  1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 C slivered or sliced toasted almonds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter and line with parchment an 8X8 paking pan.
  2. Place clean, dry blueberries in a fine-meshed sieve placed over a bowl.  Sprinkle 2 TBS all purpose flour over the berries.  Gently toss in the sieve to release extra flour into the bowl.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, buttermilk and butter to blend.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, corn meal, masa harina, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  5. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture, fold until all ingredients are just combined.
  6. Gently stir-in berries and lemon zest.
  7. Scrape batter into pan; spread level.  Sprinkle almonds and sugar over the top.
  8. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before cutting.

 

Ridiculous Salad

I know, I missed last week’s post.  Would you believe I’m still working on it?

In the meantime, I’d like to share something ridiculously delicious.  TD and I have been experimenting with the bounty of summer fruits and vegetables available this time of year.  The following came out of a trip to the farmer’s market and a lazy Sunday evening.

We started with a base of white balsamic and olive oil (we use a basil infused olive oil available in bulk at Whole Foods).  Next, one large tomato chopped into 1/2 inch chunks.  Allow it to drain in a colander with the help of a sprinkle of sea or kosher salt.  Give the whole thing a shake every few minutes to release the tomato juices (into the sink).

The next two piece can be done on the grill or stove-top.  Boil some corn and sear some stone fruit.  Here we’ve used yellow peaches but white peaches, nectarines, plumbs or a combination would fit the bill.  To sear, I gave each half a light coating of olive oil and dropped it into a hot pan for about 90 seconds.

Basil is absolutely necessary here.  Trust me.  We’ve tried the cheese two ways.  Below, we’ve used fresh baby mozzarella.  It works really well.  But, if you want to take things to the next level, use burrata. Burrata cheese and stone fruit together will change you life.

If using the burrata, don’t mix it into the salad.  Plate the salad and then let people dribble their own over the top.  Finally, if you dare, cook up a couple of pieces of super thin prosciutto.   Let it get nice and crispy, then give it a fine chop.  Set aside to sprinkle over the salad right before serving.

Salt and (liberal) fresh cracked pepper to taste.

This can be served as a colorful side or add-in grilled shrimp or chicken for a main dish.

This stuff is ridiculous I tell you.  And, the variations are endless.

If you like this, you might like these

Panzanellaish Salad

Ridiculous Salad

(serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side)

Ingredients

  • 3 TBS white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 TBS olive oil (use the good stuff)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 ears of corn, boiled or grilled
  • 3 peaches or nectarines (if using plumbs, use two 5-6)
  • 1/4 C chopped basil
  • Fresh mozzarella or burrata (2-3 ounces per person)
  • 2 slices prosciutto, cooked until crispy and chopped
  • freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. If boiling corn, set ears in a larger saucepan filled with cold water over high heat.  Allow it to come to boil.  Drain immediately and set aside for a few minutes.
  2. While corn is cooking, chop tomato.  Sprinkle with sea or kosher salt and allow to drain in a colander over the sink.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil.
  4. Halve peaches and brush with olive oil.  Heat a large pan over medium high heat, sear, cut side down for 90 seconds.
  5. Chop basil, set aside.
  6. While corn is still warm, cut off-of the ear and add into bowl with oil and vinegar.  Add in tomatoes (use a slotted spoon so that the seeds at the bottom of the colander don’t come along for the ride). Gently toss to coat.  Gently add-in peaches and basil.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Cook prosciutto chop and set aside until just before serving.
  9. Prepare cheese (when using mozzarella, we cut the little balls into wedges slightly smaller than the tomatoes and peaches).
  10. When ready to serve, sprinkle with prosciutto and add cheese.
  11. Note, the peaches and tomato will continue to give-off juices.  If made more than an hour in advance, be sure to drain-off some of the juices before serving.