My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mexican Corn Flour Cookies

Mexican Corn Flour Cookies! One of my co-workers was talking about a recipe that her mom makes for cookies made with corn flour and she thought they were gluten free. Well, I was on a search for this recipe! I found a recipe for Mexican Corn Flour Cookies and made them. They were delicious! I didn't have to tweak the recipe to make them gluten free....they were already gluten free. I love recipes like that! They always turn out perfect without tweaking them! This is also very budget friendly since you don't have to buy specialty ingredients. I have included two recipes below. One is the basic recipe and one is the deluxe recipe that contains coconut. Both are delicious and easy! They have a texture similar to a soft peanut butter cookie with a wonderful almond & cinnamon flavor. You can use either the white corn or yellow corn version in this recipe. They are interchangeable and both work great!

My neighbor said that her family in Mexico used to make this type of cookie when she was a child. She said these cookies were a wonderful treat and were simple because they always had corn flour on hand. She did say that they used to use either Rose Water or Orange Blossom water instead of almond extract. She said the cookie recipe may vary slightly in each household because you used what you had available in your cupboards. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of liquid. Any liquid. Drinkable water was not always available in certain areas of Mexico so people would use other liquids like leftover coffee, tea, juice, etc. Depending on the liquid or spices you add to the can change the flavor slightly. The recipe below is the basic cookie dough recipe. It can easily be customized to work with what you have on hand or your flavor preferences. Experiment and enjoy! This is now one of my favorite "go-to" recipes for a simple, casual cookie recipe that goes great as a dessert for Mexican Food Night (or any time!) at my house! You can also add a 1/2 tsp. of Chile powder for a kick! ;)

Yellow Corn Version
White Corn Version
I use Maseca Corn flour because it is labeled gluten free on the packaging. You will need to read labels if you are using a different brand. I looked at 4 other brands and they contained wheat flour in their mixture. Maseca Corn Flour website also has a slew of gluten free recipes so if you are looking for something else to make with your corn flour....check out their website. I find my Maseca corn flour in the Hispanic aisle at the grocery store. If you can't find it then ask your grocer! It is very reasonable priced here in Arizona. I got a bag at my Wal-mart store for $2.78 for the large bag and $1.48 for the smaller bag although prices may vary in different locations. I also use this flour to make my dogs homemade gluten free dog biscuits. (Yes, I have a dog with a gluten allergy too. He actually lost all of his hair and was so itchy! We had multiple tests done and couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. I put him on a GF diet and he quit itching and his hair grew back!)

This is the texture of the corn flour. It is not as gritty as corn meal or polenta

 Mexican Corn Flour Cookie Recipe: (Basic Recipe without coconut)
  • 2 cups corn flour (I use Maseca brand. You can use either the white or yellow corn version)
  • 1/2 cup Crisco vegetable shortening or lard or Margarine with at least 70% fat (please note that if you use margarine with less than 70% fat it will contain too much water and will not set properly!). You can also substitute real butter that is not whipped or coconut oil (not the liquid). 
  • 1 cup sugar (I use raw sugar or cane sugar but you can use what you have on hand)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract (I use almond baking emulsion).  You can also substitute rose water or orange blossom water. If you don't have any of these you can actually leave this ingredient out. You just may get a slightly more corn flavor which tastes great too! :)
  • 1 tbs. ground cinnamon (you can also add 1/2 tsp. chile powder for a kick!)
  • 1/4 cup liquid (I used water in my recipe today. You can substitute whatever type of liquid you prefer. My neighbor said she likes to use left over coffee like her mother did. You can also use juice).
Mix all the ingredients together. You can use a mixer or stir it by hand. The dough will be thick (like play-dough but it should not be dry & crumbly. If you find it too crumbly to roll into balls then add a little additional liquid until it is of a consistency that you can work with).

Roll into golf ball size balls and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and flatten slightly with a fork or glass or you can leave them in ball shapes for a more cake like texture. If you like your cookies extra sweet you can sprinkle on some additional sugar, cinnamon sugar or sprinkles. I like mine just plain. Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for 16-20 minutes or until the bottoms are slightly golden brown in color. If you like your cookies a little more on the crunchy side (coffee dunkers) then you can flatten the cookies a little more and bake additional 2-3 minutes. Cool & enjoy!

Rolling into balls and flattening to bake

Just out of the oven. They are lightly golden after 20 minutes in my oven

Up close view of baked cookies

Inside view of cookie. They are slightly soft and not crumbly!

Ready to eat!

Here is the deluxe recipe that contains coconut:

Deluxe Mexican Corn Flour Cookie Recipe with Coconut:
  • 1 1/2 cups Corn flour (I use Maseca brand)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Coconut (You can use either sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening or lard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs. almond extract or baking emulsion (or substitute any other flavor extract)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon (ground) - add more if you like extra cinnamon flavor
  • 1/3 cup fluid (I use water or coconut water but you can use whatever fluid you prefer)
 Follow the same instructions as above. (Mix all ingredients together with mixer or by hand). You may need to add additional liquid if you are finding that your dough is crumbly when you try to roll into balls. Just add a tablespoon at a time until you get workable dough. You can bake these in balls and sprinkle additional coconut on top or flatten slightly with a fork or glass. I bake on parchment lined cookie sheet for 16-20 minutes at 350 degrees until lightly golden brown on bottom.

My husband suggested I try to make a batch of adding some cocoa powder and baking the cookies into balls and then pressing a Hershey Kiss in the center when they are removed from the oven. I will do this soon and then post pictures on here. He likes these cookies but he is a die hard chocolate lover and prefers EVERYTHING with chocolate!

Deluxe Mexican Corn Flour Cookies

Up close view of Deluxe version with coconut!

Mmmmm Mmmmm good!

Deluxe Corn Flour Cookies dipped in chocolate and coconut sprinkles

Deluxe Mexican Corn Flour Cookies Rolled into balls and coconut

I encourage you to try this very easy, affordable and casual cookie recipe. Feel free to post any substitutions that worked great for you or to post your cookie pictures in the comment section below. I always enjoy reading and trying the variations that people make from my posted recipes! :)

Happy Baking!
Gluten Free Casually


  1. On the "deluxe" recipe corn flour cookie recipe, shouldn't there be some type of oil? I made my own variation and everyone likes it, but it's more like a sugar cookie -- I ended up adding more than 1/2 cup of butter and shortening.


  2. I made the deluxe version orginally without the vegetable shortening but then I tried them with 1/3 cup of vegetable shortening and I will admit they were much softer and tastier. I will add that to the ingredients list! Thanks!

  3. Coconut oil works great instead of butter. Healthier too!

    1. You are right Dina! I have just started using coconut oil in some recipes and it works great!

  4. I also like to sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon sugar on top prior to baking if I want a slightly sweeter cookie.

  5. I tried these biscuits today using a mix of oil water and baking powder for egg substitute and with butter. And they turned out great.I was in a search of a wheat free egg free recipe for biscuits and I finally found one. Thanks alot :)

    1. I am glad you like them. They also work great as a savory "appetizer cookie". I top them with goat cheese or a savory tomato jam.

  6. I made the deluxe and added some mexicMe chocolate. Omg!!! Yummy!!