Although I’ve made these cookies dozens of times over the years, they always remind me of the fall when I first made them, about fifteen years ago. My in-laws had come to visit us in upstate New York, and we took a road trip over to Fort Ticonderoga. The foliage was brilliant, and the weather was crisp and sunny…a perfect fall weekend. We stopped in a village somewhere along our route and had fresh-pressed hot cider along with these cookies. The flavors, the colors, the feel of the air…in my memories, it’s as though it were this fall, not all those years ago!
But enough sentimentality…you need these in your life! They pack well if you’re taking them along on your Thanksgiving drive or make a tasty afterschool snack. And, they’re pretty!
Orange Cornmeal Sandies
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp orange extract
¼ cup almond meal (or ground almonds)
6 oz dark chocolate morsels
1. Beat butter and sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in egg yolks and extract until fluffy. Stir in dry ingredients and almond meal or ground almonds. Divide dough in half and wrap flattened disks in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes (it will get too hard if you leave it too long).
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. On well-floured surface, roll dough to ¼” thickness and cut out with cookie cutters. I used leaf shapes. Place 1” apart on cookie sheet. Chill ten minutes before baking to prevent spreading.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until edges are slightly browned. Let cool on pan for one minute, then cool completely on wire rack.
4. Melt chocolate in plastic freezer bag in microwave, according to package directions. Cut a small hole in one corner of the bag and drizzle chocolate over the cookies. Let the chocolate set.
5. Serve at room temperature or freeze for up to a month.