Cornmeal Cookies

I don’t know why, but the dining hall on my campus makes sugar cookies that, to me, have a slight hint of cornmeal in them that truly enhances their flavor in a way that I could sit and eat a dozen of them in one sitting.  Ridiculously, then, I thought I should try to recreate that flavor at my house because you should always keep stock of the things you will overeat.  Nevertheless, when I saw this recipe for cornmeal cookies in the Iowa State Fair cookbook, I thought I should try them.  Luckily for me, while they taste great, they don’t quite have that component of I-can’t-put-them-down that the on-campus cookies contain.  A few notes — I didn’t find them to spread nicely, so I ended up flattening some of the cookies in later batches.  I also didn’t include the raisins because I was planning to serve them with an ice cream which I did not believe would be enhanced by raisins.  I did, however, add a sprig’s worth of rosemary to the dough for later batches.

Cornmeal Cookies

Cornmeal Cookies

3/4 c butter or margarine
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 c flour
1/3 c cornmeal
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c raisins

Mix butter, sugar, egg, flour, and cornmeal.  Stir in vanilla and raisins.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake in a 350-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

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Olive Oil and Cornmeal Cake with Blackberries

I woke up the other morning wanting to make a cake.  I knew I wanted something quick and easy and that could be made with ingredients I (mostly) had on hand.  Luckily, I love my grocery store at 6:00 in the morning when no one else is there.

I served this cake alongside the Sausage Burgers with Sriracha Honey Mustard.  The original recipe came from the Good Neighbor Cookbook.  It didn’t call for the blackberries, but I decided to add them and help give a little more oomph to the cake.

I was talking about it the next day at work and I don’t think my coworker could believe cornmeal and olive oil were in it, so I ran home over lunch and grabbed the cake.  I served it all around the building.  One of the folks with whom I work shared he loves both cornbread and olive oil and gave the cake a positive grade, so I am guessing the recipe is probably a keeper.

Olive Oil and Cornmeal Cake with Blackberries

Olive Oil and Cornmeal Cake with Blackberries

1 c flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 c sugar
8 oz container creme fraiche (or sour cream)
3/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
1 package blackberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil and flour a 9-inch cake pan, tapping out the excess flour, and line the bottom with parchment paper, or oil and flour a 9-inch springform pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and creme fraiche.  While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  Add the flour mixture and whisk until just combined (do not overmix).  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.  Let cool for at least 30 minutes on a wire rack before unmolding.

If using a cake pan, invert the cake onto a plate, remove the parchment and invert again to serve the cake top side up.  For the springform pan, remove the ring and use a spatula to slide the cake onto a plate.

Multiflour Rye Bread

Sometimes, I find a cookbook in the most unexpected way.  The two Recipes from Minnesota with Love… cookbooks were not two I was seeking to find until a few years ago when my great aunt passed away.  In her obituary, it mentioned that she helped to put these cookbooks together and I found myself wanting to find them.

First, I set about finding a recipe in the cookbooks and in an attempt to ignore my dissertation work over the weekend for a little bit (and find some treats for this week), I was looking through these two cookbooks and found three recipes I wanted to make.  Each posted at some point this week, I’m starting with a recipe that was originally called Squaw Bread in the cookbook.  For a number of reasons, I’m choosing to not use that name.  When I first saw the recipe, I was quite surprised to see the name and was concerned about the derogatory nature of it.  One need only look as far as Wikipedia to see that the term has been used for a number of years to insult First Nation peoples in the United States.  In an effort to note the recipe’s name within the book, I’ve listed it, but I will refer to it as Multiflour Rye Bread.  We all have a responsibility to insist the world in which we live shows dignity and respect towards others and so changing the name of this bread is an important first step.

This.

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