My go-to holiday cookie recipes are the ones that are the most unfussy. As much as I tend to be all hands-on in the kitchen, I possess a serious lack of patience when it comes to decorating food. Especially cookies, cakes and other sweet things- it’s just not my style. People who can spend hours on the finer details of beautiful desserts – I am in awe of them.
I’m pretty sure that same impatience gene seeps into other aspects of my life, but I’ll skip that story for now. All I can say is that yoga breathing is something I’m grateful to know and practice. Even with those deep breaths going in and out, I don’t see a future designing wedding cakes.
However, I do love to share some baking during the holidays and that’s why these cookies are a favorite. They have that rustic crunch from the cornmeal, an amazing lemon scent and a hit of piney-fresh rosemary.
10 tablespoons butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 eggs, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup coarse ground cornmeal (polenta)
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus a few sprigs for garnish
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ cup pinenuts, plus extra for garnish
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Beat the butter and sugar in a standing mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium high speed. Add the lemon zest and the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Stir in the lemon extract, if using.
- Mix the flour, cornmeal, rosemary, baking powder and salt in a bowl until blended together.
- Add the dry mixture to the butter on low speed in 2 parts, just until the dough comes together. Stir in the pine nuts. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for an hour or two, until the dough is firm and scoopable.
- Heat the oven to 325 degrees and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop the dough into tablespoon-sized balls (I like to use a cookie scoop) and arrange on the cookie sheets.
- Bake 12 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and slightly golden on the edges. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
- To make the glaze, stir together the powdered sugar, cream and lemon juice until smooth. Spread some glaze on each cookie; put a few rosemary sprigs and a pine nut on the top.