Adjust two racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat to 350°.
Line cookie sheets with baking parchment and prepare each parchment as
follows with guide lines for three rows of 3-inch cookies.
Use a ruler and a pencil. Mark a 1-inch border along each long side. From
these marks measure 3 inches toward the middle and make a mark. And then
center a 3-inch strip in the middle. Draw connecting lines.
Place the lined sheets on a table - it is easier to work with a pastry bag at
table height than at counter height.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter with the salt, vanilla,
and sugar until well mixed. Then add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl
with a rubber spatula and beating until well mixed after each. Stop the beater.
Add the cornmeal and flour. Beat on low speed, scraping the bowl with the
rubber spatula, and beating only until incorporated.
Fit a 16-inch pastry bag with aplain round tube #3 that has a 5/16-inch
opening. Fold down a deep cuff on the outside of the bag.
Work with only about a third of the dough at a time: Place about a third
of the dough in the pastry bag. Unfold the cuff and close the top of the bag by
twisting it together. Squeeze the top of the bag to force the dough down to the
tip of the bag.
Using the guide lines, press out little sticks of the dough about as thick as
a pencil and only 3 inches long, leaving almost an inch of space between the
To cut off the dough at the end of a cookie it is usually enough to just twist
the bag a bit and pull it away from the cookie. But sometimes that doesn't do
it. Then press the point of the tube flat against the cookie sheet. That will do it.
If the paper slips out of place while you are shaping the cookies, place a
weight on one corner.
Bake two sheets at a time for 15 to 20 minutes. The success of these
depends on careful timing. Please don't set a timer and walk away. Please watch
them frequently. Reverse the sheets top to bottom and front to back once or
twice during baking. Bake until the cookies are golden-colored (they might be
darker on the edges).
Remove the cookies one at a time as they finish. Transfer baked cookies to
racks or to a large brown paper bag to cool and then store airtight.
If you bake one sheet alone bake it on the higher of the two racks. One
sheet alone will bake in less time.