These easy lemon cornmeal cookies are tender, buttery and delicious. Yellow cornmeal gives these simple lemon cookies them their distinct texture and they can be filled with jam or ganache!
I decided to make a new thumbprint cookie recipe and knew cornmeal would be the perfect ingredient to make them extra special! They’re flavored with lemon zest, vanilla extract and can be filled with fruity jam or chocolate ganache!
WHAT YOU’LL LOVE ABOUT THESE COOKIES:
- THEY’RE DELICIOUS: They’re flavored with lemon zest and vanilla extract and can be filled with sweet fruit jam or homemade chocolate ganache!
- THEY HAVE AN AMAZING TEXTURE: Cornmeal gives the cookies a nice texture and slightly nutty flavor!
- THEY’RE EASY TO MAKE: The dough is easy to mix together and requires no chilling. You can use homemade or store bought jam and the ganache only requires two steps and two ingredients!
- THEY’RE SPECIAL YET TRADITIONAL: I love that these are classic buttery thumbprint cookies, but the cornmeal, flavor and fun fillings give them a fun twist!
Find the full list of ingredients in the recipe. Below are a few notes on some of the ingredients.
- Unsalted butter: Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, you’ll want to take the butter out of the fridge around two hours before making the cookies.
- Light brown sugar: We are only using two tablespoons of brown sugar here for a little extra chew and flavor. You can use all granulated sugar if you like.
- Lemon zest: For best flavor, I recommend using organic lemons.
- Egg yolks: Use egg yolks from large eggs.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract adds the best flavor, but imitation can be used.
- All purpose flour: Make sure to spoon flour into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife.
- Cornmeal: Use yellow cornmeal.
- Salt: I use table salt since it’s the most common salt my reader’s have on hand.
- Jam: Use any flavor, store bought or homemade jam or preserves.
- Chocolate chips: If you make chocolate ganache, I recommend using semi-sweet chocolate chips. I recommend using good quality chocolate chips such as Ghirardelli.
- Heavy cream: Use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.
HOW TO MAKE THESE COOKIES
STEP 1: Beat the butter and sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract and egg yolks and beat on high for 1 minute.
STEP 2: Add in the dry ingredients. Mix on low until just combined.
STEP 3: Use a tablespoon to scoop the dough and form dough into balls. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet 1 inch apart. Use a rounded quarter teaspoon or your thumb to lightly press indents in each dough ball.
STEP 4: Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for 10-13 minutes. Allow to cool before filling.
STEP 5: Make the chocolate ganache (if using). Add chocolate chips to a medium sized heat proof bowl. Heat the cream in the microwave or on the stovetop until just boiling. Pour hot cream over the chocolate chips. Allow to sit three minutes then stir until you have a luscious ganache. Allow to cool about ten minutes before using.
STEP 6: Fill cookies with homemade or store bought jam or homemade chocolate ganache. Top with nonpareils, if desired.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes! Most people have had cornbread or cornbread muffins, but it is also delicious in cookies, scones, cakes and other baked goods!
You can add the jam before or after baking. Fill with chocolate ganache after baking.
Roll the cookies until they are smooth. If the cookies do crack when you indent them, use your fingers to push the dough back together.
These lemon cornmeal cookies are buttery, flavorful and beautiful. They are rich and buttery with added freshness from lemon zest! Use your favorite filling or several fillings to make a fun variety of jam and chocolate filling! They are easy to make and are perfect for the holidays!
Lemon Cornmeal Cookies
FOR THE LEMON CORNMEAL COOKIES
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 3/4 teaspoons lemon zest
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 cups cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
FOR THE JAM FILLING
- 1/2 cup jam any flavor, store bought or homemade
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Nonpareils for decorating (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, yellow cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract and egg yolks and beat on high for 1 minute. Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
- Measure the dough into one tablespoon sized balls. Place balls one inch apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Use your thumb or the back of a rounded quarter tablespoon to form indents. If the dough cracks a little, use your fingers to push it back together. Bake 10-13 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, fill cookies with about 1/4 teaspoon of jam or chocolate ganache.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
- Heat the heavy cream in the microwave or on the stovetop until it just starts to bubble. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 3 minutes. Whisk the two ingredients together until the chocolate has melted completely and you have a silky ganache.