Brown Sugar-Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

brown sugar–cornmeal shortbread cookies served on a white platter
Photo: Con Poulos
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
35 cookies

Nutty cornmeal and caramely brown sugar pair up in this twist on the classic shortbread cookie. Put these out for Santa, or as part of an elegant dessert table spread at Thanksgiving—either way, the recipients of this grown-up cookie are sure to be pleased!


  • 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup fine yellow or white cornmeal

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

  • ½ cup packed light-brown sugar

  • cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste or extract

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Ceylon


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, and salt to combine. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter with brown sugar and 1/3 cup granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.

  2. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined. Spoon a scant 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) dough into each cup of a mini muffin tin. Firmly rap tin against a counter a few times to ensure dough reaches bottom edges of each cup. Flatten tops with your fingers.

  3. Bake until cookies are golden brown and set, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in tin 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon. Flip cookies out of tin. Working with a few at a time, toss cookies in cinnamon sugar to evenly coat; transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. (Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.)

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