Maizena are corn flour cookies made in Brazil and Suriname. Maybe even in other South American countries. I’ve made the traditional recipe from Suriname. Maizena means corn flour or corn starch in Portuguese. As they are made with corn flour, it means that these cookies are gluten free. The texture of the Maizena cookies is really lovely. It reminded me a bit of the Tunisian Ghraiba, that are made with gram flour (chickpea), maybe because of the texture of the flour.
As the Maizena cookies are made for children’s birthday parties, they are usually decorated with 100s and 1000s. I didn’t have any, so I didn’t decorate them. I think these biscuits are quite good for a child’s party, at only 4g of sugar per biscuit.
Ingredients for 25 Maizena Cookies:
– 250g corn flour
– 125g butter, at room temperature
– 100g sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp vanilla paste
In a bowl, put the soften butter. Add the sugar and beat with the hand mixer until it gets light and creamy. Add the egg the vanilla, and beat them in. It will take a minute or so. Now add the corn flour. Incorporate with a spoon or the hand mixer. Tip it onto the worktop and knead until all the corn flour is incorporated. It should form a soft dough.
Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C for fan assisted ovens. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Now make the cookies. If you want the same weight and an even bake, use a scale to divide the dough into 25 parts. Now form a small ball, around the size of a big walnut. Press them into the hands and put them on the baking tray. Using a small fork, press gently to make indents for decor. Now is the time to add those 100s and 1000s if you fancy.
Alternatively, you can also use a cookie press. I don’t have one, so I made them by hand. I imagine it takes a lot less to shape them with a press.
The cookies are ready to be baked. Put the baking tray in the oven and bake them for 12 to 15 minutes. When baked, the Maizena cookies should keep their colour nice and light. Take the tray out of the oven and let them cool on the a cooling rack.
Be aware that you would need gluten free corn flour to make sure they are safe for a coeliac. If you just avoid gluten, then would not make a huge difference.
In US corn flour is called corn starch.