Connecticut Dabs

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Connecticut Dabs

Here’s another variation on the cornmeal cakes first made by Native Americans and then adapted for European tastes. This version is similar to a recipe for “Dodgers, Dabs, or Corn Meal Puffs” from an 1884 cookbook called Mrs. Lincoln’s Boston Cook Book: What to Do and What Not to Do in Cooking, by Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln. Here, small dabs of dough enriched with sour cream are dropped on a hot baking sheet and baked until golden brown. Serve with soup, chili, or stews, or slather with butter and honey for breakfast.

Total Time: 15
Yield: 12 to 15 dabs


  • 1 cup white cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, softened
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • Vegetable oil for baking sheet


Preheat the oven to 450° and place an ungreased baking sheet on the middle rack. Close the door and let the oven and the baking sheet get hot.

In a large bowl, beat together the cornmeal and boiling water. Fold in the butter, egg, sour cream, sugar, and salt until just combined. Don't overmix.

When the baking sheet is hot, brush it with oil, then drop the batter by spoonfuls onto the hot baking sheet and bake until the bottoms are golden brown, about 15 minutes.


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