Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mexican Orange-Cornmeal Sandies

I first discovered this recipe in high school when I had to create something from another country for a geography class. I found this in a women's magazine such as Good Housekeeping (I can't remember exactly which one). It quickly became a tradition for me to make these and my friends would request it, along with my pumpkin bread, every year. I stopped making these when my child was born but I plan to make them again in the future. They do take a bit of time but they are fun to make with friends or family and they are absolutely delicious.

Mexican Orange-Cornmeal Sandies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 Tbsp grated orange rind
1 tsp orange extract
1/4 ground walnuts
6 oz. chocolate melting wafers

1. Combine flour, cornmeal, salt and soda in a bowl.

2. Beat butter and sugar in a medium-size bowl until creamy and smooth. Beat in egg yolks, rind, and extract until fluffy. Stir in flour mixture and walnuts. Divide dough in half, flatten. Wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate for 30 minutes.

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.

4. On lightly floured surface, roll half of dough 1/4 inch thick. With floured 3 1/2 inch round or star-shaped cookie cutter, cut out dough. If using rounds, cut each round in half. Place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

5. Bake in 350 degree oven about 8 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool on wire rack.

6. Melt chocolate in small saucepan (or double boiler) over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove saucepan from heat and dip cookies into chocolate. Place cookies on baking sheet lined with wax paper. Let stand until chocolate hardens, approximately 1 hour. Freeze or store at room temperture.

**This recipe makes 30 cookies if using stars or approximately 60 if using half rounds. I've only made these as rounds and I only dip the round part, leaving the flat side without chocolate.
**If kept covered, these will last a long time (assuming they are not immediately gobbled up!).


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