How to Make Deliciously Addictive Cornstarch Cookies
Surinamese Cornstarch Cookies are one of my favorite cookies. I have Surinamese roots and ever since I was a kid, that’s the one cookie I just can’t stay away from. Every birthday or party we had, the cookie was always there. When I started thinking about what to bake for Suriname for my “Baking Around the World” challenge there were many things that crossed my mind, but I decided to pick the simple, yet deliciously addictive cornstarch cookie. I’ll share other delicious Surinamese baking recipes another time 😉
I initially talked about cornflour as well as cornstarch in this recipe. This has however confused some people. I will stick with the U.S. naming convention for this recipe from now on and only talk of cornstarch. I have updated the recipe accordingly. What makes it confusing is that the product is called different in different countries. In this case, what you’re looking for is the white starch or maize which is derived from the corn (maize) grain.
Cornstarch according to Wikipedia:
Corn starch, cornstarch, cornflour or maize starch or maize is the starch derived from the corn (maize) grain.
Called cornstarch in the United States and Canada.
Although not a flour as such, called cornflour in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Israel and some Commonwealth countries. Distinct in these countries from cornmeal.
Make Your Own Surinamese Cornstarch Cookies
Making your own cornstarch cookies really isn’t that hard and it’s a fun as well. This is an ideal recipe to make with kids as well.
You start off by getting your ingredients together. Cornstarch, sugar, butter, egg, vanilla extract and hundreds and thousands sprinkles. (a full list of ingredients including measurements can be found in the recipe card below). The little colorful thing in the back is just a little pouch with the Surinamese flag on it. Represent!
Start by putting butter in a bowl.
Add the sugar.
Add the vanilla extract.
And mix until creamy.
Add in the egg and a pinch of salt. And mix until well combined and creamy. Make sure the egg has incorporated into the butter thoroughly.
Add the cornstarch and mix until combined until it starts to clump together.
You should end up with a nice soft dough that doesn’t stick to your fingers and you can easily shape into a ball. If the dough does stick don’t panic. A little bit of stickiness isn’t a problem, as long as you can shape the dough into a ball. If it is too sticky just add a little bit more cornstarch till the dough stops sticking.
If you’re going to make them I recommend you do it the traditional way and grab a fork and a little bowl of cornstarch and dip the fork in the cornstarch. Next, take the cookie dough and shape them into little balls.
Put our ball onto a lined baking sheet and using the fork, flatten the ball.
Dip the fork into the cornstarch again and press into the cookie again at another angle. This will form little pockets your sprinkles can fall into later.
You can also use a cookie press. Just fill the cookie press with the dough.
Put on your desired shape, any shape will do, be creative and see which shape works best for you.
And add press them on your lined bakingsheet.
Sprinkle all the cookies with hundreds and thousands. Make sure you’re using gluten free sprinkles if you’re making a gluten free cookie.
And they’re ready to go into the oven.
This is what they look like when they’re out of the oven. Nice light golden colour. Let them cool off on the baking sheet, they’re still fragile when they just come out of the oven so be patient and wait till they’ve cooled down before you take them off the sheet,
Don’t they look gorgeous?
On the left you can see the traditional round cookies and on the right on from the cookie press. The traditional one is slightly thicker than the other one but both are equally delicious. You’ll notice that the cookies are a little dry and can stick to the roof of your mouth a bit, that’s due to the cornstarch. It could feel a little strange to eat them, but I love them 🙂
These cookies always bring back good memories for me. One of my aunts is known for her cornstarch cookies, she makes the best ones. Whenever there’s a party she’ll bring the cookies and we eat them 😀
Try the cookies out, take a photo and tag me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter so I can see how they turned out for you.
PLEAS NOTE: If you want to make a fully gluten free cookie, make sure to use gluten free hundreds and thousands. If you can’t find gluten free sprinkles you can make the cookies without the sprinkles as decoration.
|Prep Time||15 minutes|
|Cook Time||12 minutes|
- 1/2 cup butter 125 g
- 1/2 cup sugar 100 g
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- 1 2/3 cup cornstarch 250 g
- hundreds and thousands sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 175 ºC / 350 ºF.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add butter, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and mix until creamy.
- Add the egg and a pinch of salt and mix until well combined. The egg has to be fully incorporated into the butter.
- Add the cornstarch and mix until combined. You should be able to shape the dough into a ball and it should be soft and flexible enough to be able to be used in a cookie press. The dough shouldn't stick to your hands. If the dough does stick don't panic. A little bit of stickiness isn't a problem, as long as you can shape the dough into a ball. If it is too sticky just add a little bit more cornstarch till the dough stops sticking.
- The traditional way to make these cookie is by shaping the dough into little balls which you put on your baking sheet and flatten with a fork dipped in cornstarch. Keep dipping the fork into the cornstarch as needed.
- Sprinkle all cookies with hundreds and thousands.
- Put the cookies into the oven and bake for approximately 12 minutes. Be careful not to brown them too much, the cookies need to have a light, white/golden colour.
Please note that the cup measurements in this recipe are approximate. I have added cups for those that prefer using cups. The recipe is most accurate using weights measurements.
- An easy way to transfer the hundreds and thousands to the cookies is to make the tip of your fingers slightly wet by dipping them into water. Dip your fingers into the hundreds and thousands and lightly press them onto the cookies.
- Cornstarch is the white starch
- If you want to make a fully gluten free cookie, make sure to use gluten free hundreds and thousands. If you can't find gluten free sprinkles you can make the cookies without the sprinkles as decoration.
Dairy free version: I replaced the butter with [110 grams of vegetable shortening, 1 tsp butter flavoring, 1 tsp water] and made everything else as directed. (I made round cookies instead of cut outs and used colored sugar instead of sprinkles) They came out great!
Sounds great. I’ve made these with coconut oil as well which worked as well. I’m happy to hear your version turned out great as well!
I tried making the cornstarch cookies they are very good do I keep them out on my kitchen counter or can I put them in the fridge
I keep them in a metal cookie tin/box lined with aluminum foil on the kitchen counter. They should not be kept in the fridge. If you don’t have a metal cookie tin/box, you can also use an airtight container.
These are fantastic. No one believed they were gluten free. I placed a few chocolate chips on top of each instead of the sprinkles.
I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe. I like the little chocolate chip addition.
I have made them as chocolate cookies as well. You can find that recipe here: https://cakieshq.com/recipe/gluten-free-chocolate-cookie-brownzena/
I don’t know how you made this recipe, but it’s amazing. Thank you soo much for making this recipe. AMAZING!! Thank you
Thank you Rachel for such an easy recipe! I used cornstarch by Argo, measured my ingredients by weight and let them cool completely before touching them…PERFECTION! I was a tad intimidated by the hundreds of thousands of sprinkles so I opted to dip them halfway in melted dark chocolate. I really appreciate you sharing such a great recipe!
You’re welcome, I’m glad to hear you liked them!
Is there a way to store the dough so I can make it a head of time?
I haven’t tried storing the dough yet. You could try freezing the dough but I haven’t tried it yet myself.
Does this really make FIFTY (50) cookies?
Yes it does. The cookies aren’t that big
Great recipe! Easy and quick to make, delicious and melt in mouth!
Love it! Thank you!
The biscuits in the photo are probably not made from this recipe! The biscuit tastes good on the outside but is very dry on the inside. It was my first attempt to bake gluten free biscuits – I will not use this recipe again
The biscuits on the photo are actually the exact biscuits I made when taking the step-by-step photos. Cornstarch means the cookies will be more dry versus a regular cookie. It’s a different texture. Cornstarch cookies are slightly dry cookies that can stick to the roof of your mouth a bit due to the binding agent in the cornstarch. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like the cookies. They’re still a favorite of mine and my family and we make them often. I hope you’ll find another cookie that you will like 🙂
Can i use corn flour for this cookies? Thanks
Depending on where you’re from cornstarch is called cornflour.
What you’re looking for is the white starch or maize which is derived from the corn (maize) grain.
You can’t make this with the yellow type of corn flour/polenta type flour.
I was reminiscing about my Mom’s cookies that she called “Sand Cookies.” They were very fragile, and dissolved like a sand castle in your mouth. So delicious. I found this recipe and look forward to making it, and hoping it is the one. My Mom passed away in 2012, and she always cooked and baked without recipes, so I’m afraid her Sand Cookie recipe might be resting in peace with her.
It’s always hard to recreate recipes from memory. I hope you’ll find the recipe you’re looking for. Perhaps this one comes close.
I just ran across your comment about your mother’s “sand cookies”. That sounds like the German cookies called Heidesand. You can find recipes online, but here is one! My family calls them “Burnt Butter Cookies” because you melt and brown the butter before mixing the batter!
That could be whipped butter/shortbread cookies! You whip the butter and use icing sugar instead of granular and it makes these amazing melt in your mouth cookies!
I’m making these now but my dough is still sticky so I’ve added flour as ran out of cornstarch. Do you pack down the cornstarch measurements or spoon it in loosely? Thanks!
It’s been a while since I made this recipe using cups, I always use scales while baking. I can’t recall on this specific recipe how I measured it, but I usually measure flour by spooning it in the cup. I will remake this recipe one of these days to recheck the measurements using cups and will adjust the recipe accordingly to help others with the recipe.
Thank you so much. I’ve used the cups measurements. The weights measurements in grams seems a bit misleading because when I increase the quantity of cookies I want to make the grams stay the same.
I’m happy to hear you like the recipe. The grams not changing is unfortunately a technical issue I haven’t been able to fix yet. :/
well, I admit that this is kinda hilarious but at first the dough is sticky so I put some flour which was not in the ingredients list and I forgot about the pinch of salt. i didn’t have those sprinkles so as an alternative of it, i have put some cheese and milk which turns out to be delicious. thank you for whom made this recipe!
Haha, I’m glad to hear it all worked out okay in the end! 😀
The cookies are a lovely gluten free substitute to regular shortbread, however they do have a cornstarchy texture and are more fragile and they do spread a lot as soon as they hit the oven. Expect them to be round discs. I added 2 tbsp icing sugar to the dough. They have a lovely buttery flavour and a nice crispyness.
Hi, is there a trick to making these so they don’t crumble?
I’m in the kitchen yelling curse words
They have to cool completely. Once they’re cooled they won’t crumble at the touch. When in doubt, just don’t touch them or move them till they’re completely cooled. They’re okay to cool on the tray as well.
I luuuuved them rachel they hve a unique taste supergreat they are nice n the dry part is the crisp part they r great.thank u..from zimbabwe africa
You’re welcome, I’m glad you like them 🙂
Delish! And gluten free!
Here in Costa rica, we have corstarch which is white and powdery , and our corn flour is typically very fine. Because I had just a little corstarch, I used mostly corn flour. And because I had run out of vanilla, I decided to add some cinnamon. I did not have those sprinkles in the photos, so sprinked course cane sure on them instead. Even with these necessary hacks, they turned out great! I will add your recipe to my go to box. Thank you!
Glad to hear the cookies turned out delicious with your hacks as well. 🙂
I’m American and always weigh my ingredients when baking, weather changes the weight of ingredients and lots of people don’t realize that, thank you for including weight!!
You’re welcome, I’m glad to hear it’s helpful for you 🙂
Delicious. I made them larger. Be careful they spread quite a bit. Space them out! Delicious.
I am going to experiment with some custard powder in the cookie for a variation on the flavour. Obviously they wont be gluten free then.
I’m glad you liked them. Using custard is actually a good idea, it’s a variation that’s used a lot when making these cookies. I know some people that only make them with custard powder. 🙂
Hi Rachel, thank you for this delicious recipe. I am from French Guiana but now live in the US and whenever my mom comes to visit I would always ask her to go to Albina and buy me these cookies. I love them and love your recipe! Thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome, I’m glad you enjoy them. 🙂
Hi, i did not have any vanilla, so i used cinnamon. Have not tried them yet, but do you think it will work?
Yes, I think it’ll work 🙂
I didn’t have vanilla extract too. I googled a substitute and came up with regular pancake maple syrup. It’s a 1 to 1 ratio. Turned out perfect. Though.. I did sprinkle cinnamon on top of some of my baked cookies for variety.
I was specifically looking for gluten free cookie options using cornflour when I found your recipe. I tried them out and they turned out fine. The taste is somewhat different than most cookies and I baked it for around 23 mins at 180°C to make it a bit crispier and well-baked. Made a batch of 12 and saved some dough for later.
I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the cookies! 😀
Can I use oil instead of butter?
I personally haven’t tried making these with oil yet. So I can’t say that it’ll work but you can try and see how the dough holds up.
Can you replace the cornstarch with flour
I have never replaced the corsnstarch with flour, but you can give it a try. However, it’s the cornstarch that makes this cookie unique. If you rather use regular flour I suggest making a sugar cookie:
Dear Racheal, It was kinda dry and tasted to much like the cornstarch
I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like the cookie. Cornstarch cookies are indeed a bit dry, that’s due to the cornstarch, and they have their own unique taste. Hopefully some of my other cookie recipes (without cornstarch) are more to your liking 🙂
Is this cornstarch the same as the brand
I’m not familiar with the brand Argo so I did a search on the web. From what I can tell this is the cornstarch you need. Just make sure it’s the white cornstarch you also use as a thickener.
Yes, it’s pretty much exactly the Argo recipe. Everyone loves this cookie!
We made them following the recipe carefully and they turned out to be very dense and on the dry side. We topped them with a lemon butter icing and they are now delicious.
Have you any suggestions other than the icing? Next time we would cut the vanilla just a bit. We used a stand mixer. Is that too rigorous? Thanks and Merry Christmas!
First apologies for the late reply. I had a few technical issue with my comments section. The cookie can indeed feel a little dry, that’s due to the cornstarch. I think the addition of lemon butter icing is a really nice one if you prefer that. Using the stand mixer shouldn’t be an issue with this recipe. If the cookie is extremely dry and brittle you can use a little less cornstarch next time, if the dough is slightly sticky, that’s still okay.
I think some of your readers are having trouble with US term cornstarch. In the US we have cornstarch which is used as a thickener in gravy / sauces. It is white and has been ground to a fine powder much like confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar). The other product you can find at the store is cornmeal. This comes in white or yellow, sometimes says stone-ground on the label. It is a grittier product much like table sugar (Castor sugar). It is used in corn muffins, corn bread, tortillas, fish or chicken coatings, etc. I hope this helps with some of the confusion.
Hi Elizabeth, thanks for the additional information 🙂
What if the cookie bakes around the edges but not the middle?
Is my dough consistency right?
BTW The cookies look really good on the recipe
Hi Karolina, I haven’t had an issue with the cookies only baking around the edges so I’m not sure. It could be that your dough might be too warm. You could try chilling the cookies before putting them into the oven. It could also be an issue with your oven.
In Malaysia these are called Biskut Semperit or Biskut Dahlia and are usually baked for the Muslim festival of Eid. We usually shape the dough in the shape of a flower (hence the name Dahlia) and place a 1cm square maraschino cherry on top for effect.
Nice, I didn’t know that. Thanks for sharing 🙂
do you have a vegan recipe for this one? something to replace the egg without changing the taste ?
Hi Mg, I currently don’t have a vegan option for this recipe yet. I would need to experiment a bit to see what works best to replace the animal products in this recipe.
You actually mean cornstarch like you thicken gravies and Asian food with correct?
Hi Michele, you’ll need the white starch (maize) which is derived from the corn (maize) grain. You can indeed use this starch to thicken gravies.
What is corn flour I only know about corn starch?
Hi Leah, cornstarch and cornflour are the same thing in this case. Cornflour is called cornstarch in the U.S.
No, cornstarch is not cornflour in the US. Two different products.
Thanks for your reply. I think my last comment wasn’t clear enough, my apologies, what I meant is that what is sometimes called cornflour in other countries is called cornstarch in the U.S. In this case, the recipe calls for cornstarch, I’ve edited the text to incorporate that. In Dutch cornstarch is called Maizena. If you’re having trouble finding the right product, what you’re looking for, for this recipe, is the starch derived from the corn (maize) grain. The starch should be white, not yellow or off white like in cornmeal.
I have made these but since I am allergic to eggs, I do not use them. They always turn out beautifully…and I use gluten free flour, too.
Hi Lois, I’m glad to hear the cookies turned out beautifully!
But there is no flour in this recipe…
That’s correct, this recipe uses cornstarch, not flour for the cookies.
Are they suppose to be gooey when they melt in your mouth and stick to the roof of your mouth?
Yes, if they melt in your mouth they’ll start sticking to the roof of your mouth a bit. That’s due to the cornstarch. 🙂
I make some but it is sticky
If it’s a little sticky that’s usually not a big problem. However, you can just add a little extra cornstarch to the dough as well till it becomes the right consistency.
Does it matter if the cornflour is yellow or not?
I personally have never seen cornflour/cornstarch in yellow so I don’t know if that will make a difference. I always use white cornflour/cornstarch.