If you’re anything like me, you’re probably going over to someone else’s house to eat today’s dinner. Although I am helping my mother cook this year, I still feel pressured to bring a hostess gift. It’s something that’s been ingrained since childhood.
These cookies are quite honestly, perfect. They are packed with flavor; loads of lemon zest and freshly grated ginger, only to be finished off with a slight crunch from the sugar that they’re rolled in. I also love the scalloped imprint that they have from the back of a fork. I am a sucker for pretty cookies, and to me these are exactly that.
I hardly think anyone after a Thanksgiving feast wants to eat something super heavy around 8 at night. My mother always made a pot of tea and had a cookie or two before getting ready for bed; a tradition that goes back to my first memorable Thanksgiving dinner.
There’s something comforting about seeing my mother go through the same motions, every year: tea towel wrapped around the kettle to keep it warm, a flowery piece of good china from the back of the cupboard, only to place a handful of cookies on, and always the same cup, because it was her favorite; tiny ivy leaves winding up the back of the handle.
While the dough needs to rest for an hour in the fridge, I’ll use that time to shower and get dressed. Overall these cookies are quite easy and quick to make, with a baking time of about 15 minutes.
Adapted from Organic and Chic
Makes 60 – 70 cookies (For me, it made 67)
*Please note that before baking these, the dough requires at least an hour of chilling (up to 1 day). So plan ahead!
Three cups of white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Half teaspoon of baking soda
Quarter teaspoon of salt
Half cup of unsweetened applesauce (I used homemade)
Quarter cup of mild flavored olive oil (or any other mild flavored oil like canola)
2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
1 cup of sugar
Quarter cup of freshly grated ginger (I know it seems like a lot, but it’s so worth it, especially with the amount of lemon you’re putting in. It’s a one-two punch of flavors.)
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
Grated lemon zest from 1 lemon, about a tablespoon (this is for an equal amount of lemon with ginger in flavoring, if you want the ginger to be more of a star, use half)
Juice from 1 lemon
Half teaspoon of vanilla extract
Half cup of sugar set aside, for rolling the dough balls in (optional, but really pretty!)
A handful of flour for your hands, to prevent the dough balls from sticking to your skin (I don’t mind, but some care)
One medium sized mixing bowl
One large sized mixing bowl
A cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or greased) or two
Some plastic wrap or a tupperware container to let the dough rest and be chilled
A plate (to pour some sugar onto and roll the dough balls in)
A fork (to press into your cookies for a pretty scallop imprint, optional)
In a medium mixing bowl add your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk the ingredients together till well combined and no lumps are visible.
In a large mixing bowl add your wet ingredients: unsweetened applesauce, oil, ground flaxseed, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir till well combined.
Add your dry ingredients into your wet, in increments. Stir the two mixtures together until they are well incorporated. At first, it’s going to look like a dry, chalky mess. Keep going, it’ll come together.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap (or put it in a sealable/coverable container) and chill for at least an hour, up to 1 day.
When the dough is ready to go…
Place your oven racks in the upper middle and lower middle position in the oven. If you’re using just one cookie sheet, then place one oven rack in the middle position in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a plate, pour the sugar set aside onto it, if using. Dust your hands with flour, if you are keen on not getting the dough stuck to your hands (I don’t care, more snack for me!).
Form the dough into about 1 inch balls (I basically rolled the dough ball to match the length from the tip of my thumb to my first knuckle…I think that’s about an inch). Roll the dough balls in the sugar, if using.
Place the dough balls onto a lined or greased cookie sheet, about a 2 inches apart. With a back of a fork, if using, press into the cookie so that it’s imprinted.
Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes (this is how long it took in my oven) to 18 minutes, until they’re very slightly browned and firm the to touch. These cookies will not brown much so be careful not to leave them in the oven for too long.
Let the cookies cool before eating, but honestly, I’ve eaten them warm and they were delicious.