Buttery and rich, these crispy oatmeal jonnycake cookies (so named for their inclusion of Rhode Island-grown whitecap flint cornmeal) are perfect served with morning coffee, or shared with someone special.
In 2014, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Bob and Diane Smith, operators (and former owners) of the Perry Grist Mill in Perryville, Rhode Island. I profiled both the Smiths and the mill in a story for Yankee (Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill | Local Treasure), and have since become a big fan of their stone-ground jonnycake meal, a nutty cornmeal made from native Rhode Island–grown whitecap flint corn.
This crispy cookie recipe, a favorite of Diane’s, combines old-fashioned oats with jonnycake meal and just a touch of Britain’s beloved Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Diane (who was born in the UK) says the cookies taste best when made with Lyle’s, but light corn syrup will do if you can’t get your hands on Lyle’s.
Delicate and buttery, these Crispy Oatmeal Jonnycake Cookies are a real treat. I made a batch yesterday morning and brought some to my dad and my grandmother in honor of this year’s Katie Fisher Day. My grandmother sent me care packages for every holiday during my four years of college, stuffed with baked goods and seasonal goodies. What a pleasure to bake for her for a change!
Why not make a batch and share them with someone YOU love?
Crispy Oatmeal Jonnycake Cookies
Adapted from Diane Smith, operator of the Samuel E. Perry Grist Mill
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks), room temperature
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon Lyle’s Golden Syrup or light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons jonnycake meal or cornmeal
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, water, and syrup until light and fluffy. Add the baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, sugar, jonnycake meal or cornmeal, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. The batter will be very stiff. Add vanilla. Drop by teaspoons onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until tops are barely set and edges are beginning to crisp. Remove baking sheets and allow cookies to cool for a moment before gently transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: About 3 dozen cookies.