***Although I didn't make these "gluten-free", if you are on a gluten-free diet, simply sub the equal amount of standard flour for the "gluten-free all-purpose flour."
Yield: About 20 cookie sandwiches, or 4 dozen cookies
2 sticks of unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup of sugar
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
zest of 1 orange + juice of 1/2 the orange
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. salt
1 cup Blue Cornmeal ***I used "Bob's Red Mill- Blue Cornmeal"
2 cups of flour ***For Gluten-free, sub 2 cups of "Gluten free all-purpose flour mix"
**additional flour for rolling
1/2 cup of your choice of jam Or
Honey Walnut Filling:
1 cup walnuts
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4- 1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. orange zest (or could also use orange extract)
1) For the cookie dough: In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add in the cayenne, orange zest, juice, vanilla, and blend. Beat in the egg, then add the salt and cornmeal in mix well. Slowly mix in the remaining flour until the dough comes together.
Either: Divide dough in half, flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 4+ hours to chill, or form all of the dough into a log- making sure the ends are nicely rounded and even. Wrap the entire log in plastic wrap or wax paper, and refrigerate for 4+ hours to chill firm.
2) If rolling out your dough for sandwiches or shapes: Preheat the oven to 350F
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and allow to set for 5-10min. before rolling. On a clean and floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/2in. thick, and either cut into 2in. x 2in. squares, or using any shaped cutter, cut the dough into shapes. For decorative tops: use a smaller cutter to cut or imprint the desired shape for half of your cookies.
Transfer the cookies to a silpat or parchment lined sheet tray. Repeat this process until all of the dough has been used up. Place the prepped cookies in the refrigerator for about 10-15min.
Bake at 350F for 10-14min. Remove the cookies, and allow to cool.
If slicing and baking for sandwiches or etc.:
Remove the dough log from the refrigerator. On a clean surface, (and lightly floured), remove the plastic wrap or wax paper. While the dough is chilled and firm, slice the dough about 1/2in. thick, and place each cookie on a silpat or parchment lined sheet tray. Prior to baking, return the sheet trays to the refrigerator for about 10-15min., (this helps the cookies retain their shape while baking.) Bake at 350F for about 10min. Remove, and allow cookies to cool.
For the sandwiches:
Simply take 1 cookie, spread a thin layer of jam, and place a second cookie on top. Repeat until the number of desired cookies are filled.
If making the Honey Walnut filling:
In a food processor, process your walnuts until fine. Add the butter and remaining ingredients. Process until the filling resembles a paste. Take the bottom cookie, spread a thin layer of the filling, and place the top cookie on. Repeat until the number of desired cookies are filled.
Leftover filling? Makes an excellent spread for toast as well!
Serve cookies on a decorative plate or platter. Cookies should be stored in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.
***Dough can be made ahead of time, and frozen for 1-2 months if wrapped well!