(Updated recipe with vanilla extract and replacing “blender” with “mixer” )
Can’t have gluten but craving cookies? Here’s a recipe for you! But beware…. they are very addictive and most people I know can easily eat four to five in the blink of an eye.
Maizena cookies are light, not too sweet and they are gluten-free!
In stead of flour, we use cornstarch which can be found in the baking section of the grocery store.
These cookies are very popular in Suriname and are usually offered at birthday parties, no matter what cultural background. I am not sure how they originated in Suriname, but it was interesting to find out that similar cookies are made throughout various countries in Latin America. In Brazil they are known as Biscoitos do Maizena where they claim the cookies are from, because Maizena is their brandname for cornstarch. Chile and Argentina have Alfajores de maizena, a “sandwich” of two soft cookies held together by dulce de leche (caramel), and in Mexico cookies made of the same ingredients are called Flores de maicena.
If you prefer soft and chewy cookies, these are not for you because Maizena cookies are more on the dry side, although softer than biscuits. They are my favorite cookies but, believe it or not, I don’t bake them very often because I’ll eat too many. Too dangerous to keep in the house!
Makes 60-80 small cornstarch cookies.
1 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 lbs of cornstarch
First cream the butter with a mixer, adding sugar, and after 10 minutes the egg and a few drops of vanilla extract, until sugar has melted completely.
Once the sugar has melted, use a spoon or small measuring cup to gradually blend about one pack of cornstarch into the mix, making sure quantities are fully blended before adding the next spoonful. Do this at the lowest mixer speed or by hand, otherwise starch will be blown all over the place.
Continue adding starch as needed, until the dough is no longer sticky, but still soft enough to use a with cookie press. Dough should not crumble otherwise the cookies cannot be formed or will fall apart before serving. Use a cookie press or roll small balls (press flat with a fork) to form cookies on a greased cookie sheet. Decorate with the sprinkles.
Bake cookies in 225-250 degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until dry but not browned. These cookies are supposed to be very light colored and higher temperatures will burn them, affecting the taste. You know you got it right when the cookie melts in your mouth!
P.s. Recipe was adjusted for improved results (03/15).