When life hands you lemons – make lemon thyme cookies! When we first planted our lemon tree I had this romantic idea that I’d be able to pick fresh lemons all year round. Obviously, I’m not good with plants or I would have known that the famous saying is literally true. You get lemons once a year and you get a lot of them. Needless to say, life has been lemony lately in many ways, but today it’s all about lovely lemony cookies.
I must say, I made a ton of these. I tried a number of variations that were vegan, gluten free, different oils, all sorts of things. I was kind of stressing out. Some were dry, some were burned, and some flattened out like pancakes (although not good pancakes). I’m just lucky that Jack, being the kind food tester he is, made sure not a crumb went to waste.
So what did I end up with? A straightforward, delightful, lemon butter cookie. Sometimes complicated times demand simple solutions.
This flavor combination was inspired by our new partnership with method. I’m excited to be working with them because I’ve been buying their products for years. Also, as a graphic designer, I’ve always adored their package design. They have a new line of kitchen hand wash that is scented with a variety of essential oils and it’s as functional as it is beautiful. It’s made from plant-derived ingredients and is great for some sticky kitchen situations like getting that pasty flour/water mess off of your hands. This one – thyme – gave me the idea to try adding fresh thyme leaves to my lemon cookies.
The recipe is pretty simple and straight forward. Mix the dough, chill the dough, and roll it out. Cut out hearts, bake them, and share with someone you love!
One of my most cherished childhood memories is baking Christmas cookies with my mom. She would pull over two kitchen chairs for my sister and I to stand on so we could reach the countertop and get our hands in the flour. We’d watch her line up all of the ingredients, preheat the oven, prepare the cookie sheets.
She’d flip to the back of the recipe rolodex and pull out three cards that were stained with butter splotches and a dusting of flour. It was holiday tradition that we would start with spritz cookies, a butter/sugar cookie that was made special with the magical ingredient, almond extract. Once the butter was creamed and the sugar added, my mom would open up the tiny brown bottle of almond extract, and say “it smells like Christmas now.”
Last weekend, I finally got around to some christmas baking. This isn’t one of our traditional family recipes, but lets just say it was “inspired by” my memory and the “Christmas” smell of almond extract.
I’m kind of in love with these cookies because of the minimal amount of ingredients. And as far as baking goes, they’re pretty foolproof. I subbed in as many “healthier” ingredients as I could but they’re still a pretty sweet and buttery indulgence.
Pass down your own recipe memories by giving the gift of handwritten recipes… (because your own writing says love better than a recipe in an email).
Order your recipe cards by Wednesday for pre-Christmas delivery. Click here.
I’ll be honest, most things I bake don’t make it to the blog. For starters, I don’t bake very often. Our household (not including the dogs), is just 2 of us. And if 12 cookies are made one day, 12 cookies will be gone the next day.
When I do bake, I’d call it experimental more than anything else. I can’t bring myself to follow a recipe all the way through without changing at least a few things… sometimes an attempt to healthify things… other times, I’m just too lazy to go out and get the exact ingredients. You know how I like to work with what I’ve got.
But every now and then one of my “trial by error” baking projects works out. This one I was especially pleased with. These didn’t really flatten out like I thought they might, but I really enjoyed the thicker texture of these cookies. Not too dense, nicely chewy and moist… and filled with walnuts and chocolate.
They’re partially made with coconut flour, which I’ve been experimenting since it’s so healthy. It has tons of fiber, but it can make your baked goods so so dry if you use too much (and also if you over-bake).
I’m by no means an expert on gluten free baking, but I’ve learned 2 things so far:
1. add lots of nuts and chocolate, that’s not the area to skimp.
2. maybe the saddest part – the raw dough (in blends w/ chickpea flour in them, at least) tastes terrible. I’ve started liking Bob’s Red Mill gluten free blend lately… I find it the most similar to all-purpose flour (and it doesn’t have dairy in it like some other blends do). That funky taste goes away once they’re baked, but if you’re having one of those days where you need to consume a bowl of dough, you need to use another kind of flour. (oat or almond (or both) perhaps…).