Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening Article
Your resource for Sacramento-area gardening news, tips and events

Articles Recipe Index Keyword Index Calendar Twitter Facebook Instagram About Us Contact Us

Lemon plus oatmeal makes a lovely cookie

Celebrate citrus season with two versions of these little treats

""
 Lemon and oats go together beautifully.
(Photos by Kathy Morrison)

Ask anyone this time of year whether they'd like a cookie, and they're bound to look at you like you're crazy. So soon after the holidays? It's diet season, not baking season. And yet ...

It's also citrus season, and a little baked treat is a great way to enjoy the fruit. Lemon cookies, especially lemon bars, are among the most popular types at gatherings. But the bars, as wonderful as they are, rank as complicated and rich in my baking experience.

Much easier is this little lemon and whole-grain oats cookie I found in a secondhand cookbook that a dear friend gave me. "The Wellesley Cookie Exchange Cookbook" was printed in 1986, edited by Susan Mahnke Peery, then-food editor of Yankee magazine.

The recipe, however, is even older. Peery herself contributed it to the collection, with the note, "This recipe is on a yellowed newspaper clipping I've had for years. The cookies are delicate and delicious."

""
Butter version on the left, Earth Balance
one on the right. Different topping sugars were used
to tell them apart.

This definitely is a celebration of lemon: The unbaked dough smells so good that you might be tempted to eat it raw (but please don't).

It also is full of butter, so I decided to try a version using Earth Balance buttery sticks, a vegan product which comes close to the flavor of butter but is much lower in cholesterol and saturated fat. I discovered, however, that it's much higher in sodium than salted butter, which I don't generally use, so the recipe was adjusted accordingly, eliminating any added salt. I also reduced the amount of sugar in the "healthier" version.

A note on the oats: Quick oats, which are partially cooked and should not be confused with "instant" oatmeal, have the same nutritional benefit as old-fashioned rolled oats. Both have 4 g of fiber and 5 g protein per 1/2 cup (40g). I used quick oats in both recipes because it tends to blend better, but either is fine. Also, in the Earth Balance version, some of the unbleached flour was subbed out for oat flour (which is just ground-up oats).

Both versions of the recipe follow. How did they compare? The "healthier" dough is a little stickier; I think the oat flour helps keep it from spreading too much, since the two versions baked identically. When it came to taste, the butter cookie was a little crisper, the other a touch more cakey, but they both were delicious.

Each recipe makes a lot of little cookies; the amounts can easily be halved.

Healthier lemon oatmeal cookies
Adapted by Kathy Morrison

""
The two versions baked identically.

Makes 6 dozen cookies, about 2 1/4 inches in diameter

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cup oat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) Earth Balance buttery sticks, plus a little for greasing the flattening glass (see instructions)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (grate 2 lemons; you'll have a little extra)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup quick oats
Sugar for topping, such a demerara or sanding sugar, optional
Lemon zest for topping, optional (see note below)

Instructions:

Stir together the flours and baking powder in a small bowl. In a large bowl, cream the Earth Balance and sugar. Add the eggs, beating well. Beat in the lemon zest and juice. Gradually add the flour mixture, then stir in the oats.

Chill dough thoroughly, at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets (I use insulated ones for this recipe) by greasing or, my preference, covering with parchment paper.

Roll level tablespoons of dough into balls, or use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop out balls of dough. Place dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet, allowing 2 inches between each cookie.

Using a flat-bottomed glass or custard cup that has been greased and dipped in preferred sugar, flatten each ball to 1/4-inch thickness, dipping glass into sugar each time.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until cookies are lightly brown around the edges. Very cold dough may take another minute or 2 more.

Note: The topping sugar can be eliminated, but it does provide a nice crunch. If you're skipping it, wet your fingers and use them to flatten the cookies. If you want to boost the lemon taste even more, stir a little of the leftover lemon zest into the topping sugar before flattening the cookies.

Original lemon oatmeal cookies

Adapted slightly by Kathy Morrison
Makes 6 dozen cookies, about 2 1/4 inches in diameter

""
A Microplane zester beautifully grates
the lemon rind.

Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus a little more to grease the flattening glass (see instructions)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (grate 2 lemons; you'll have a little extra)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup quick oats
Sugar for topping, such a demerara or sanding sugar, optional
Lemon zest for topping, optional (see note below)

Instructions:

Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, beating well. Beat in the lemon zest and juice. Gradually add the flour mixture, then stir in the oats.

Chill dough thoroughly, at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets (I use insulated ones for this recipe) by greasing or, my preference, covering with parchment paper.

Roll level tablespoons of dough into balls, or use a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop out balls of dough. Place dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet, allowing 2 inches between each cookie.

Using a flat-bottomed glass or custard cup that has been greased and dipped in preferred sugar, flatten each ball to 1/4-inch thickness, dipping glass into sugar each time.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until cookies are lightly brown around the edges. Very cold dough may take another minute or 2.

Note: The topping sugar can be eliminated, but it does provide a nice crunch. If you're skipping it, wet your fingers and use them to flatten the cookies. If you want to boost the lemon taste even more, stir a little of the leftover lemon zest into the topping sugar before flattening the cookies.





Comments

0 comments have been posted.

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Taste Summer! E-cookbook

square-tomatoes-plate.jpg

Find our summer recipes here!

Local News

Ad for California Local

Taste Spring! E-cookbook

Strawberries

Find our spring recipes here!

Thanks to our sponsor!

Summer Strong ad for BeWaterSmart.info

Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

Taste Fall! E-cookbook

Muffins and pumpkin

Find our fall recipes here!

Taste Winter! E-cookbook

Lemon coconut pancakes

Find our winter recipes here!