A (not-so) secret ingredient
Crack open a can of your favorite creamed corn, then press the corn through a mesh sieve to extract and collect all the thick, starchy juices. We’ll need 1/4 cup of this golden nectar for this recipe. Much more accessible to home cooks everywhere than freeze-dried corn, creamed corn has been cooked down to deliver all the sweet and fragrant flavors of corn we need for our cookie. To concentrate and accentuate the flavors, we’ll be cooking this liquid down with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar to create a corn caramel for the perfect cookie texture.
Keep it cool
After making your corn caramel, transfer it to a heat-proof bowl and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes. At the same time, take out a stick of butter from your fridge, unwrap it, and let it come to room temperature. We want both the butter and the caramel to be slightly cool to the touch when we cream them together with a touch of brown sugar and salt. If your butter mixture is too warm, your cookies will spread a lot more and become crispier than intended once baked.
Just the yolk, please!
This recipe calls for just one egg yolk, which adds to the richness of the corn flavor and helps the cookie develop that chewy texture. (Adding in the egg white makes an airier, cake-like cookie that’s more akin to cornbread.)
Chilling not optional
To make this cookie, the corn caramel requires cooling, the cookie dough requires an overnight rest in the fridge, and the portioned cookie balls require freezing. Skip any one of these stages of chilling and you’ll undoubtedly still have a cookie at the end of the day, but there will be trade-offs in both texture and flavor.
As with almost all cookie doughs, the flavor of the dough ages and intensifies with time. Because we’re using fine cornmeal in our cookie, the larger grains of ground corn will soften over time, making an overnight rest especially desirable in this recipe.
You’ll find that even after an overnight chill, the dough is still quite soft when handled. Work quickly to scoop and roll the dough into 1 1/2″ balls, then arrange in a single layer and freeze for at least 30 minutes. The longer the freeze time, the less the cookie will spread.
Once frozen, you can transfer the portioned dough balls into an airtight container or resealable plastic bag to bake for later, up to 3 months. Once baked, let cookies cool completely on a cooling rack before transferring to an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days, but the crunch will soften over time.