Cornmeal Cookies

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Soft, chewy, and sweet Cornmeal Cookies 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. 

 

Overhead image of Cornmeal Cookies

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. 

Process shots-- images of the wet ingredients being mixed together.

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.)

Process shots-- images of the dry ingredients being added on top of the wet; the dough being rolled into balls; the final baked cookies

Cornmeal Cookie tips

QUICK TIP

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.

Tips, continued

Image showing how the cornmeal cookies are rounded, fresh out of the oven.

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.

Image of Cornmeal Cookies stacked on top of each other, ready to be eaten.

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. 

Up-close image of the cookies with the white chocolate chips around them.

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Cornmeal Cookies

5 from 2 votes
Soft, chewy, and sweet Cornmeal Cookies with honey! These cookies have gorgeous crisp edges and are studded with white chocolate chips. 
Print Recipe

Cornmeal Cookies

5 from 2 votes
Soft, chewy, and sweet Cornmeal Cookies with honey! These cookies have gorgeous crisp edges and are studded with white chocolate chips. 
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword cornmeal cookies
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 16 cookies
Calories 323kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (120g) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (46g) honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 and 3/4 cup (210g) white all-purpose flour (See Note 1)
  • 1/2 cup (80g) cornmeal (we use Alber's Yellow Corn Meal)
  • 1 cup (180g) white chocolate chips

Instructions

  • MELT BUTTER: 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.
  • WET INGREDIENTS: 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.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour, you will pack in way too much flour; use a spoon to scoop it into a measuring cup and then level the top with the back of a table knife.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 206IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 2mg

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