cornmeal shortbread cookies

I had some major Murphy’s Law action going on in my kitchen last week. The first few days of it were subtle, but when my cupcakes exploded all over the pan and then sunk back into themselves like collapsed calderas, it got me thinking. I remembered the bagels I’d forgotten about and left out overnight to harden around the edges, and the crockpot full of red lentil stew that turned into red lentil soup when I accidentally added an extra cup of water. Then there was the leftover lentil soup that I burned. You know you’re having a bad week in the kitchen when you burn leftover soup.

These cookies, made from dough hastily pulled from the freezer after the cupcake debacle, came out wonderfully. I loved their square edges and straight sides. I enjoyed their crisp sandiness with a touch of grit from the cornmeal.

I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. When the cookies were in the oven, I assumed they’d spread too much. When they didn’t, I assumed I’d over or underbake them. When I didn’t, I assumed I’d drop them. It wasn’t until they were safely in the hands of my coworkers that I breathed a sigh of relief.

In the end, I got more comments on these cookies than any treat I’ve brought to work in months. Most people said that were interesting, but everyone said they were good. If you’d like to try these interesting good cookies that I made for Tuesdays with Dorie, Valerie has the recipe posted.

One year ago: Chockablock Cookies
Two years ago: Chocolate Cream Tart
Three years ago: Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake


  1. I’ve gotten the “collapsed caldera” effect in cupcakes before but had never thought of it that way. It’s very accurate. Cornmeal cookies are wonderful, yours look perfect.

  2. I’ve had weeks like that too. For me it wasn’t the baking that was tricky this week but photography/camera issues!

  3. Yummm! I’ve been wanting to bake cookies with cornmeal and shortbread cookies are one of my favorites! 🙂
    By the way, I love your blog!! 🙂

  4. Those look awesome, Bridget.

  5. You nailed it! Love how you described them “crisp sandiness with a touch of grit.” That is exactly right.

    I loved the hint of lemon.

  6. Funny, that sometimes the most simple things get the most reward – was the same with my cookies. And glad the disastrous days finally had a good end with the shortbread!

  7. sorry to hear about your kitchen hiccups…looks like you broke free of them with these cookies, tho.

  8. Murphy in your kitchen?? i thought he was still living in mine!!

    Glad the cookies turned out!!

  9. Glad to hear things turned around for you in the kitchen.

  10. Try them with crushed anise seeds. I cut the sugar back and serve them with blue cheese – a fantastic combination