It’s the golden season of corn! At the farmers markets, find organic and heirloom varieties with beguiling names — Ruby Jewel, Sugar Pearl, Brocade, Painted Mountain — and each slightly different. The best will be picked and eaten on the same day.
Let’s fill the calendar with corn-centric dishes until season’s end, which, sadly, like summer itself, comes way too soon. Tired of corn on the cob? Toss corn kernels into salsa, simmer into chowder, bake into corn muffins and corn pancakes and waffles. Corn burritos? Corn pudding? How about corn crème brûlée?
You can find corn cookies at Ehlers General Store in Cornucopia, Wis., near the shores of Lake Superior. They’re kind of like corn muffins, but richer and denser, more crumbly and not too sweet. They’re memorable and so immensely satisfying. I’ve tried to get the recipe, but it’s a closely guarded house specialty.
Inspired by their taste, I fiddled and came up with recipes for a different kind of corn cookie that can be made savory or sweet. They’re what to make when you find you’ve bought too much corn at the market.
There is a trick to cutting away kernels once you’ve stripped the leaves and silk. First, cut the end of the ear off to provide a flat surface, which helps keep the kernels from bouncing away. Stand the corn on the cut end and slice down the length of the ear, cutting between the kernels and the cob (get as close as possible; be careful not to include those hard, tough bits.). Rotate the corn and repeat until all the kernels are removed. One medium ear will yield a scant 1 cup of kernels.
Don’t forget to save the cobs to simmer into stock. Simply toss them into a pot, cover with water and simmer for about an hour. It’s great for sauce, soups and stews and freezes well. Even the corn silk has some edible options. It’s slightly sweet and, if lightly toasted in a skillet, makes a pretty finish to a corn sauté or chowder.
These easy, quick cookies can be made with raw, cooked or frozen corn kernels. A little bit of cornmeal adds a lovely crunch. You can make the dough ahead to keep in the refrigerator for up to three days, baking them off on demand. The dough and the cookies freeze well.
Beth Dooley is the author of “In Winter’s Kitchen.” Find her at bethdooleyskitchen.com.