Connie’s Polenta Sage Browned Butter Cookies

I spent a lot of my childhood with my Italian grandmother, Connie. Oftentimes she would climb her electric skillet up from the cellar pantry, plug it in and cook my favorite meal: chicken and polenta with creamy sage sauce. She threw at least half a stick of butter into the skillet, filling her kitchen with a creamy sizzle. To that she added chicken parts, heavy cream and sage. The polenta was made in a small pot on the stove until it was placed on a plate, in perfect form, as a cradle for the chicken.

My grandmother, Connie.

These cookies are in honor of Granny and the many times she lovingly answered my plea for chicken and polenta. The cornmeal lends a light, sandy texture. The sage adds an earthiness that plays well with the sweetness of the browned butter icing. Perfect with a glass of white wine.


1 cup finely ground yellow corn meal

1.5 cups of AP flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

2 tsp of dried sage

pinch of salt

1 cup butter, softened plus 2 T additional for icing

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract plus one additional tsp for icing

2 T milk

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

For cookies…

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and dried sage together in a small bowl. Set aside.

2) Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one a a time, beating until fully incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.

3) Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of the batter on to parchment covered baking sheets in rows. They should be two inches apart to allow for spreading. Bake 7-8 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown, rotating halfway through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

4) Frost cookies with brown buttered icing

For icing…

1) In a small saucepan, melt 2 T of butter until browned. Keep heat on low-med and keep an eye on it. When its ready, you will know as it has beige color and a nutty scent.

2) Remove from heat, whisk in 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 T milk and 1 tsp vanilla. Immediately frost cookies. The icing will harden very quickly. When it begins to harden, you can warm it up slightly and this will help you finish the rest of the cookies.

Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Makes approximately 48 cookies