Spiced Nashville Cornmeal Cookies made for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015 (supporting the non-profit charity Cookies for Kids’ Cancer) is yet another new variation of my all-time favorite cookie–Nashville Cornmeal Cookies that I developed a few years back. The inspiration for this new NCC comes from my early childhood when my family lived for a time in Amsterdam. We couldn’t get enough of the traditional crunchy spice christmas cookie called Speculaas, often imprinted with a holiday motif or a windmill. Back in the states, I can still get a fix from Archway Windmill Cookies and the fabulous historic Michigan cookie Steenstra’s Almond St. Claus Windmill Cookies that are available here in Nashville at Publix. But I’ve never really made a cookie seasoned like this myself because they seem so bakery, not home-baked. So combining the spices with my old standby cookie opened the door.
I like the creative process of continuing to develop within a theme and, since my former days working with Linda Carman of the Martha White Test Kitchen, I guess spreading the story behind the importance of southern self-rising cornmeal mix is in my bones. So, I’m happy to share a cookie that combines Speculaa spices with a little crunch and leavening from the iconic cornbread mix to bloggers in other parts of the country that may not be familiar with it. This year Spiced Nashville Cornmeal Cookies shipped to Sad Shibow, Sybil Kollappallil of Jamaica, NY; Lexi Bites, Lexi Abel of Lincoln, NE; and Caroline’s Cooking, Caroline Williams of Cambridge, MA; none in Southern cornbread country. I hope they enjoyed this regional surprise.
My Myers-Briggs letters say I’m a big picture gal, not so much one for minute details, so precision cookie decorating (or precision painting or precision quilting or….) is not for me. My cookies, therefore, showcase a certain “home-baked realness,” not fancy bakery perfection. More like the seasoned Annette Benning in The Kids Are All Right, not the perfect Annette Benning in Bugsy. That said, these cookies are perfect with a cup of coffee or a hot afternoon tea.
Thank you to these fabulous cookie bakers/bloggers for the treats I received in the The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015. These fine gals made wonderful cookies that the whole family has enjoyed munching on. Again, thanks and nice to meet you through your cookies and your blogs.
That Skinny Chick Can Bake, Liz Berg of Indianapolis, Candy Cane Cookies with white chocolate and candy cane bits. Somehow peppermint makes even a rich cookie taste light and refreshing. Great crunch and flavor.
I Can Cook That, Kaitlin Lunny of Philadelphia, Greek Walnut Sugar Cookies also called Kourabiedes. I feel terrible for everyone allergic to nuts when I munch on a sublime cookie like this.
American Heritage Cooking, Lindsey Farr of New York City, Cinnamon Orange Pecan Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies. Fresh orange zest kills in this one and it has a perfect salt level. We all know salt makes the cookie!
A big thank you to the The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015 brand sponsors who will match our donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, dollar for dollar (up to $3000)!
Heat the oven to 375F. I set the oven for 13 minutes and turn them in the middle of cooking if I remember!
The almonds are more traditional, but I also like to use pecans keeping with the southern influence. Use regular granulated sugar to coat the cookies or you can use a coarse-grained sugar. I like both.
Cream the butter with an electric mixer until soft. Add the sugars and cream until fluffy.
Add the seasonings, salt, and egg. Blend well.
Add the flour and cornmeal mix. Blend well.
Blend in the nuts.
Place some sugar in a small flat bowl.
Using a teaspoon or a small scoop, roll dough into 1-inch balls.
Roll the balls in the sugar. Place them about an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. I do twenty per sheet, 4 rows of 5. Flatten the balls with your fingers.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes.
Heat the oven to 375F.
I set the oven for 13 minutes and turn them in the middle of cooking if I remember! The almonds are more traditional, but I also like to use pecans keeping with the southern influence. Use regular granulated sugar to coat the cookies or you can use a coarse-grained sugar. I like both.