Olive Oil Lemon Thyme Cookies!

Cookie season is here and I couldn't be happier! I've said this before, but this kind of important thing bears repeating. Cookies make the world go round, as far as I'm concerned. Sayonara candy, cake and pie. 

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My youngest is dairy free, so over the years I've found some terrific recipes for dairy free cookies that satisfy my cookie craving and are also safe for all 5 of us to enjoy. These Lemon & Thyme Olive Oil Cookies have become some of our favorites! Beyond the flavor, which I can assure you as a cookie snob, is out of this world, the texture is fantastic. I'm making a triple batch of these to bring to a Christmas party.

Here's the recipe, courtesy of Une Gamine Dans La Cuisine. The original recipe calls for almond extract, but my family is nut free, so I've eliminated that. 

Lemon & Thyme Olive Oil Cookies
makes about 28-32 cookies

1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 2 regular-size lemons) {note: save the lemon}
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely minced thyme
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 egg
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar for rolling

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar (1 cup) and lemon zest. Rub the zest into the sugar until it's evenly moistened and aromatic; Set aside to marinate for a few minutes.

In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and thyme; Set aside. 

Add the olive oil, egg and lemon juice, to the lemon-sugar mixture. Mix either by hand or with a mixer until smooth. (About 3-5 minutes.) Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 3 hours - this part is key. 

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. 

Place the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar (for rolling) into a large, shallow bowl. 

For each cookie, measure out about 2 well-rounded teaspoonfuls. Roll into balls and roll the balls through the bowl of sugar until evenly coated. {Note: Don't worry if the dough is a bit crumbly. If you work the balls of dough long enough with your palms, it will come together.} Place the sugar-coated cookies onto prepared sheets and use your hand or the bottom of a cup to flatten slightly. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will have puffed up slightly but will still look pale. (Mine were just right after 8 minutes.) Remove the cookies sheets from the oven and let the cookies rest for about 3 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Recipe adapted from Mama's Gotta Bake


Best Post-Run Quick Salad

I'm back from vacation. It's seriously amazing what a few days away can do to the mind and body. I took two naps! TWO!

This morning, my lovely husband took the lion's share of kid-care responsibilities so that I could get in a run at the gym. This is good news for him, of course, because I'm not a good companion if I go too long without a workout. It was a quick run, but a satisfying one. And all kidding aside, it went well because I was properly caffeinated. 

Upon my return home, I threw together what my tastebuds called out for and to my surprise, it was delicious. This post-workout salad has just four ingredients: wheat berries, avocado, fresh sage and lemon. Last night I cooked a big old batch of wheat berries to use in a variety of salads all week. And as I've mentioned before, I'm pretty much obsessed with avocados these days. I have fresh sage in the house to use on tonight's roasted chicken thighs and lemons are a kitchen staple I cannot live without. Check it out: 

Incredibly satisfying after a run!

Incredibly satisfying after a run!

I find the chewiness of wheat berries to be incredibly satisfying. They are versatile and can be a great addition to sweet ensembles (think: cinnamon and fruit) as well as savory salads. How perfect does that avocado look?! It tasted great too; earthy with a slight give. The fresh sage was the wild card. I had my doubts about it and made just a small batch of this salad but it came together so pleasantly. The sage gave this salad a wonderful fruitiness. Fresh lemon juice and a bit of salt completed the dish.

After my run this morning, this salad had everything I needed; richness from the avocado, fiber from the wheat berries and a lightness from the sage and lemon. And it was ready in minutes. Perfect. 
Here's the exact recipe as I made it: 
1 cup cooked wheat berries
1/4 avocado, cubed
2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients and enjoy immediately!