Nashville Poppy Cornmeal Cookies are addictive. Get the coffee ready!
The world can be divided into two kinds of people–big picture people and detail people. I’m a big picture gal who tires of constipated details and it is evident in all areas of my life. When I paint a room I like the roller and the big walls. My trim work looks like a mess. When I quilt, I tend toward an improvisational Gee’s Bend look, not scrolly fancy stitch work. There’s nothing any of us can do about our true nature except embrace what works.
Nashville Cornmeal Poppy Seed Cookies are big picture workhorse cookies that taste fantastic and look extremely homemade.
Home bakers, why do you want your cookies to look like they came from a bakery?
Make them look like they came right out of your home oven. I really like the little ridge in the center of my cookies from the tw0-finger flattening you can still see after they are baked. There’s beauty in imperfection, and best of all, Nashville Cornmeal Poppy Seed Cookies are not too pretty to eat.
The plain version of Nashville Cornmeal Cookies has been my go-to cookie for quite some time. The dough is extremely easy to work with and the cornmeal gives the cookies great texture. I’m sure I’ve got some more variations up my sleeve. I developed recipes for Martha White the famous southern flour and cornmeal brand in Nashville for many years so it’s in my blood to be a self-rising evangelist. Here’s a link to my home ec lab manuals for biscuits and cornbread. These cookies contain self-rising cornmeal mix (the important historic modern convenience used by southerners for generations) which provides the leavening along with all-purpose flour.
- 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (use a little less fine-grained salt)
- About 3/4 cup coarse-grained decorative sugar (or regular sugar works)
Heat the oven to 375 F.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Add the egg, vanilla, lemon zest, and poppy seeds. Blend well.
On a low mixer speed, blend in the flour, cornmeal mix, and the salt just until well blended.
Using a small scoop or two teaspoons, scoop balls of dough, about 1-inch in diameter, and roll the balls in a shallow bowl of sugar.
Place the balls on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart. (I fit 4 rows of 5 cookies per sheet). Flatten slightly with two fingers.
Bake 13 to 14 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Cool slightly on the baking sheet. Remove from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.
For plain cornmeal add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to the dry ingredients.