Soft, chewy, and sweet CornmealCookies with honey! These cookies have gorgeous crisp edges and are studded with white chocolate chips.
Love honey-drenched cornbread and tender cornbread muffins? Us too! So we channeled those delicious flavors into these show-stopping and mega-tasty cornmeal cookies.
Cornbread is one of my favorite side dishes ever. I whip it up every time we make this crockpot chili or this creamy chicken chili. So, I had the thought to add cornmeal to my favorite treat: cookies! (Turns out that idea is not unique — cornmeal cookies are common in pastry shops throughout Italy.)
Cornmeal Cookies are my latest obsession — they’re soft, chewy, buttery, rich, sweet, with a hint of honey flavor. The cornmeal gives these cookies an incredible depth of flavor and heartiness. They are delicious on their own, served with vanilla ice cream, or used in a cookie ice cream sandwich.
The cornmeal is not overwhelming in this recipe. It’s certainly there, but it’s adding flavor, additional sweetness, and a pleasant (mild) grittiness.
Let’s talk cornmeal
These cookies use cornmeal. Cornmeal is dried and ground corn, ranging in texture from coarse to fine consistency. This recipe calls for fine cornmeal, which is not quite as fine as wheat flour, but it’s close. Our favorite to use is Alber’s® Yellow Cornmeal. It’s got a great fine-ground consistency and perfect flavor.
(I have not tested these cornmeal cookies with any other brand or type of cornmeal.)
Cornmeal Cookie tips
- Let the melted butter cool: Once the butter melts, it needs to cool back to room temperature. If the butter is still hot from being melted, it will melt the brown and white sugar. That will cause greasy cookies.
- Chill the dough: Since the butter gets melted, the dough needs time to chill so the butter can re-solidify. Without chilling, these cornmeal cookies spread a lot. The chilling time also gives the cornmeal in the dough an opportunity to intensify in flavor.
- Measurecarefully: The most important measurement is the flour. If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour you are likely packing in way too much flour, which will yield poofy and less-flavorful cookies. Spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level the top with the back of a table knife. I’ve also included gram measurements with this recipe if you prefer to measure using a food scale instead. Another important measurement is the honey; if there is too much honey in these cookies, they spread too much. Make sure to fill the measuring spoon right to the top, and not overflowing.
Spray the measuring spoon with cooking spray before adding the honey in. This makes the release of the honey from the measuring spoon clean and seamless.
- Bake on a Silpat® liner or parchment paper. This helps bake foods evenly without burning and allows the cornmeal cookies to release from the pan and clean up effortlessly.
- Press the edges of the cookies in. Working quickly, right out of the oven, use the back of a large spoon to press the edges of the cookies into the center. (Watch the video or see the picture below for a visual!). This creates really great crispy edges and ensures the cookie has a nice chewy center. You’ll need to work quickly as the cookies set up fast and are resistant to being pressed inwards after sitting out for more than a minute or two.
How To Make Cornmeal Cookies Soft and Chewy
The more moisture in cookies, the chewier they will be. Ingredients, baking time and baking temperature all come into play as we work to retain moisture in the dough.
The size or mass of the cookies also contributes to their chewiness. Large, tall cookie dough balls make softer and chewier cookies than smaller ones. For these cornmeal cookies, we measure each one to be 2 full tablespoons of dough. Again, if you have a food scale, this is about 45 grams of weight per cookie dough ball. Keeping each dough ball the same size also ensures that chewy consistency from cookie to cookie.
Another way to ensure ultra-chewy cookies is to avoid overbaking the cookies. Remove the cookies as soon as the edges turn slightly darker than the rest of the cookie and the top center is pale. The cooked centers will look soft, but as they firm up, they’ll be supremely chewy.
Storing Cornmeal Cookies
To freeze baked Cornmeal Cookies: Place completely cooled cookies on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then place the cookies in freezer bags or plastic containers, layering parchment paper between each layer of cookies. Freeze for up to 3 months. There is a slight loss of texture when freezing baked cookies.
I recommend freezing dough balls instead: Drop the Cornmeal Cookie dough balls on a large sheet pan and freeze until solid. Once solid, transfer the frozen cookie dough balls into an airtight container/bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
To bake: You can bake dough straight from the freezer; just add 1-3 minutes onto the cooking time.
More cookie recipes
- Cinnamon Roll Cookieswith cream cheese frosting
- Soft Sugar Cookieswith sprinkles
- DoubleTree® Cookieswith walnuts and chocolate chips
- Peanut Butter Cookie Doughedible (food-safe) cookie dough
- Shortbread Cookieswith a chocolate drizzle
- 8tablespoonsunsalted butter
- 1/2cuplight brown sugar
- 1/2cupwhite sugar
- 1/2teaspoonpure vanilla extract
- 1/2teaspoonbaking soda
- 1/2teaspoonbaking powder
- 3/4teaspoonfine sea salt
- 1 and 3/4cupwhite all-purpose flour(See Note 1)
- 1/2cupcornmeal(we use Alber’s Yellow Corn Meal)
- 1cupwhite chocolate chips
MELTBUTTER: Melt the butter in a very large, microwave-safe bowl. Once melted, set aside to cool at room temperature for 5 minutes. It’s important the butter isn’t hot when you add in the sugars or it will melt the sugar and make the cookies greasy.
WETINGREDIENTS: Once butter is cooled to room temperature, add in the light brown sugar, white sugar, and honey. Stir until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.
DRY: Add in the cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cornmeal. Again, stir until smooth. Add in the correctly measured (See Note 1) flour and mix until JUST combined. Don’t overmix. Gently stir in white chocolate chips
CHILL: Cover the bowl tightly and chill for 1 hour.
ROLL COOKIE DOUGH BALLS: Linea sheet pan with a Silpat liner or parchment paper and set aside. Roll balls of dough (exactly 2 tablespoons (45g) in size) into tall (not wide) cylindrical balls (see picture in post for shape and size of cookie dough balls). Place the rolled cookie dough balls back in the fridge for 20-30 minutes; they should be very cold going into the oven.
BAKE: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place 6 cookie balls on a Silpat or parchment paper-lined sheet pan to give the cookies plenty of room to spread (they spread a lot). Bake for 8-12 minutes, erring on the side of underbaking; this keeps them soft and chewy (We like ours right at 10 minutes). Remember, the cookies will «bake» a little more out of the oven, so take them out as soon as the edges start to lightly brown and the top no longer looks glossy.
DECORATE: Remove from the oven and, working quickly, immediately press the edges of each cookie slightly inwards with the back of a spoon. If desired, press a few extra white chocolate chips into the tops of each cookie. Allow cookies to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Cookies are best enjoyed within 1-2 days.
FREEZING: I don’t recommend freezing baked cookies as they lose texture, but I do recommend freezing the cookie dough balls. Drop the cornmeal cookie dough balls on a large sheet pan and freeze until solid. Once solid, transfer the frozen cookie dough balls into an airtight container/bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake straight from the freezer, adding 1-3 minutes on to the baking time.
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