Published: 6-12-2010, 14:34

Cornmeal Currant Cookies


¾ cup currants
¼ cup good-quality port
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
cup fine yellow cornmeal (don’t use coarse polenta)
teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
cup sugar
large egg

These buttery rounds have a delicate crunch from cornmeal and subtle flavor from currants that have been soaked in port, a sweet fortified wine. Serve the cookies with winepoached pears for a sophisticated dessert.

COOKIE CUTTER NEEDED: 2½-inch round or square, preferably with fluted or scalloped edges
COMBINE the currants and port in a small bowl; let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
WHISK together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
USING an electric mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl until creamy. Add the sugar and beat well until fully blended. Beat in the egg. With the beaters on low speed, mix in the currants and port, then mix in the flour mixture just until fully combined. Divide the dough in half. Press each half into a disk, wrap separately in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm enough to roll out, at least 2 hours.
PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Have ready an ungreased cookie sheet.
WORKING with one disk at a time, roll it out on a lightly floured surface about ¼ inch thick. Using the cutter, stamp out cookies close together and place them on the cookie sheet about 1½ inches apart. Reroll the scraps and repeat the process, stamping out cookies and arranging them on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden, though a little browner around the edges. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.
STORE in an airtight container for up to 1 week; or freeze for up to 2 months. To recrisp cookies that have been frozen, heat on a baking sheet in a 375°F oven for about 3 minutes.