Last Updated on June 7, 2023
These cornstarch cookies require just 3 ingredients and they’re traditional Brazilian cookies that you won’t be able to resist! They’re usually made using cornstarch and sweetened condensed milk, giving them a unique and light flavor.
This recipe is suitable for varying dietary lifestyles and is super easy to make from scratch. But how do you go about making cornstarch cookies? Let’s take a closer look at this traditional Brazilian recipe.
What Are Cornstarch Cookies?
You may know cornstarch cookies better than Biscoitos de Maizena, Sequilhos, or Brazilian cookies. Maizena is a brand of cornstarch that you’ll regularly find where these cookies originate from, Brazil. They’re light and crumbly in texture and pair perfectly with a hot drink, such as tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. The main ingredients in these tasty treats are usually cornstarch, sweetened condensed milk, and butter/margarine.
Why You’ll Love These Maizena Cookies
You’ll love these cornstarch cookies for many reasons, but here are just a few reasons why.
- Friendly with dietary lifestyle. These cookies are naturally gluten-free and are super easy to make vegan friendly, or dairy free if needed. They’re naturally free from gluten as they contain no flour, just cornstarch; which is a gluten-free ingredient.
- Few ingredients are needed. You need just three ingredients to whip up these tasty treats.
- Quick and easy to make. Ready to eat in under 30 minutes and perfect for a baking beginner, or expert.
- No fancy equipment is needed. All you’ll need is a mixing bowl and cutlery to prepare the cookie dough – no stand or hand mixers are needed!
Ingredient Notes for Cornstarch Cookies
While this recipe only contains three ingredients, let’s take a closer look at each one and any substitutes you can make, if needed.
1. Cornstarch. You can’t make cornstarch cookies without cornstarch! Weighing it to the exact amount needed is important, so you may want to use kitchen scales. You want your cookies soft, but crumbly, and well spread. If not weighed correctly, this will not happen.
2. Unsalted butter. Unsalted butter is best to use for this recipe, but you can use salted butter if you’d prefer; just expect your cookies to be slightly less sweet. You can substitute butter for margarine, or vegan butter.
3. Sweetened condensed milk. It’s important to use condensed milk for this recipe, and not any other variety. If you need this recipe to be vegan, switch out for vegan condensed milk. Brands such as Nature’s Charm are ideal.
Nutritional Information of Sequilhos
You may be wondering what the nutritional value is when it comes to these cornstarch cookies. This recipe makes 28 cookies and each cookie contains the following:
- Calories: 96
- Fat: 4g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Protein: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 14g
- Fiber: 1g
- Sodium: 47mg
- Sugar: 3g
Easy Cornstarch Cookies Recipe
- Baking sheet
- Mixing bowl
- Parchment paper
For this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups of cornstarch
- 1/2 cup of vegan condensed milk
- 3/4 cup of vegan butter
- 2 1/2 cups of cornstarch
Now all you need to do is:
Step 1: Prepare
Gather all of the ingredients you need for this recipe and preheat your oven to 350F. You’ll also need to line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Step 2: Make the dough
Grab a bowl and add the butter, soft but still cool, and the sweetened condensed milk. Combine together until the butter is completely incorporated, and then gradually add the cornstarch. Keep adding the cornstarch until you have cookie dough. You don’t have to use all of the cornstarch, but if the mixture seems too wet, keep adding.
Step 3: Shape the dough
Grab your prepared baking sheets and roll half of the dough and cut it into small pieces, about 1.5 inches in size, roll the pieces into balls and place them on the baking sheet, leaving ample space between them, to allow them to spread. Use a fork to flatten the dough balls gently.
Step 4: Bake cookies
Additional Information on Brazilian Cookie
Serving size: 28 cookies
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 12 minutes
Total time: 22 minutes
Once made, these cookies should be kept at room temperature for the best results. When stored in an airtight container, they’ll last for around a week or so.
We do not advise freezing these cookies once they’re baked. However, if you want to freeze the cookie dough, simply wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-safe bag. Use within 4 weeks.
Tips on Making Cornstarch Cookies
To make the best cornstarch cookies, you should follow one or more of the following tips.
- Measure ingredients exactly. Using a kitchen scale is best when measuring these ingredients; in particular, the cornstarch. If the amount isn’t exact, the texture of your cornstarch cookies will be wrong.
- Use margarine instead of butter. You can use butter, but as margarine is much softer, it’s more suitable. And lots of recipes in Brazil use margarine instead of butter; making it more authentic tasting.
- Gradually add the cornstarch. Do not add all of the cornstarch at once. It’s unlikely that you won’t need it all and adding too much can make the dough too dry. It should be smooth, and not wet.
- Don’t overbake. While you may want to wait for them to be golden brown, if you do, they’ll be overbaked and the texture will not be appealing. You don’t want your cookies to be hard, they should be light and soft.
Check out what else you can do with cornstarch:
- How to Thicken Frosting With Cornstarch: Easy Ways
- How To Substitute Flour For Cornstarch
- Cornstarch VS. Flour- How To Thicken Pie Filling
Can I Make This Recipe Gluten Free?
This recipe is already gluten-free! You do not need to make any changes to this recipe to make it suitable for a gluten-free diet.
Can I Make This Recipe Vegan-Friendly?
You can find the vegan measurements for this recipe above. You should use 1/2 cup of vegan condensed milk, 3/4 cup of vegan butter, and 2 1/2 cups of cornstarch. The method for the recipe is the same.
Do I Need to Chill the Dough?
Many cookie recipes require you to chill the dough before shaping and baking. However, our cornstarch cookies need no chill time at all! So if you’re looking to whip up a quick batch of delicious cookies, this is the recipe for you.
Can I Add Flavorings?
Of course. You may be looking to enhance the recipe and make the cookies more flavored to your taste preferences. For example, you can add a teaspoon of citrus zest such as lemon or lime. Or you could add a teaspoon of an extract of your choice, such as traditional vanilla. Other alternatives can include coconut, or even spices, such as cinnamon.
Why Did My Cornstarch Cookies Spread Too Much?
The main reason this happens is that you haven’t measured your ingredients correctly. For example, if you’ve used too little cornstarch, it’ll spread too much. Likewise, if you use too much of the wet ingredients, they’ll also spread too much. It’s best to use a set of kitchen scales to avoid this happening.
Conclusion: Cornstarch Biscuits
I hope this post has helped you to become more familiar with how to make cornstarch cookies. They’re super easy to make and require very few ingredients; most of which are household staples in the kitchen. Do you have tips or tricks when it comes to making cornstarch cookies? If so, please feel free to let us know in the comments below. And remember, sharing is caring!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Cornstarch Do to Cookies?
You may be wondering why to add cornstarch to your cookies, as you'll likely be familiar with cornstarch as a thickening agent. However, when cornstarch is added to cookie dough, it makes your cookies soft but crumbly; which is the exact texture you're looking for when it comes to cornstarch cookies! Cornstarch can be used in other recipes too such as cakes and shortbread.
Can I Use Cornstarch Instead of Flour in Cookies?
It's not recommended to use cornstarch instead of flour in cookies; unless you're making cornstarch cookies, of course. When replacing flour with cornstarch, the ratio is usually three tablespoons of flour, to every one tablespoon of cornstarch. However, you may need to adjust other measurements in the recipe too. For that reason, I'd recommend sticking with an all purpose flour for traditional cookies.
Why Does Cornstarch Keep Cookies Soft?
Cornstarch is sometimes added to traditional cookie recipes as it softens the gluten in them; meaning the end texture is much lighter and tender.
Does Adding Cornstarch to Flour Make it Crispy?
This only happens if you're using cornstarch and flour to fry foods. For example, cornstarch is usually added to flour for foods such as fried chicken. This slows down gluten development, which means the chicken will have a much crisper exterior; which is what you're usually looking for when it comes to fried chicken.
Easy Cornstarch Cookies Recipe
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- 1/2 cup vegan condensed milk
- 3/4 cup vegan butter softened
- 2 1/2 cups cornstarch
- Gather all of the ingredients you need for this recipe and preheat your oven to 350F. You'll also need to line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Grab a bowl and add the butter and sweetened condensed milk. Combine together and then gradually add the cornstarch. Keep adding the cornstarch until you have cookie dough. You don't have to use all of the cornstarch, but if the mixture seems too wet, keep adding.
- Grab your prepared baking sheets and add small balls of dough onto them (around one tablespoon in size). Flatten gently and leave ample space between them, to allow them to spread.
- Place your cookies into the center of your preheated oven and bake for around 12-14 minutes. The edges should begin to brown slightly when they're ready. It's important not to overbake, so keep a watchful eye on them at the end of the baking time. Remove from oven and leave to cool. Serve and enjoy!
Gradually add the cornstarch. Do not add all of the cornstarch at once. It's unlikely that you won't need it all and adding too much can make the dough too dry. It should be smooth, and not wet.
Don't overbake. While you may want to wait for them to be golden brown, if you do, they'll be overbaked and the texture will not be appealing. You don't want your cookies to be hard, they should be light and soft.