Crumiri are cornmeal cookies, provenance Piedmont, possessing classic European snap (not bend) and a buttery crumb. Traditionally piped or shaped into little horseshoes and dusted—like many things dolce—with powdered sugar, they have a ravishingly fine finish (finer even than the word “sandy” suggests), and their overall effect is appealingly uncomplicated. The American homage to crumiri has tended to result in a demure, dressy cookie, rolled and iced rather than hand-shaped and powdered. Prettiness notwithstanding, American cornmeal cookies lose a lot in translation, as their texture frequently falls well short of “fine” and is light years from ravishing.
The problem with American cornmeal cookies goes directly to the problem with commercial cornmeal: It’s not coarse enough to produce a decent skillet cornbread, but far too coarse to produce a decent cookie. Anson Mills Antebellum Fine Yellow Cornmeal, on the other hand, drifts from the bag damp, fragrant, and just one sifter screen shy of corn flour. In both versions of our crumiri, the sweet flavor of corn lingers on the tongue and a subtle, buttery granulation between the teeth.