By Rose McAvoy
These cookies are midsummer. When I open the container to sneak one more cookie I smell sneakers brushing against swollen late afternoon strawberries desperate to be harvested from their sagging vines. I imagine the first drops from sprinklers on my herb garden after a day of baking under the aggressive rays of mid summer sun. The roasted berries mimic the deep rusty colors that paint the sky in a desperate attempt to flee the sun as it melts into the horizon.
These few weeks of longest days are when my heart sings its loudest song. I yearn for them all the other weeks of the year, I cling to them as tightly as my infant son clings to the folds of my shirt, and I mourn their passing even before they are gone. Alas, I am only mortal and can not chase the sun. The long days must fade into starry nights or risk disrupting the delicate balance of our earthly life support. Less dramatically the cookies should be eaten before they become stale and crumble.
Life is a cycle, a circle, round, like a cookie.
Roasted Strawberry Cookies with Lemon Thyme, Oats, and Flaxseeds
These cookies have a concentrated almost burnt sugar flavor paired with lighter notes of floral and herbaceous lemon thyme. A mixture of grains gives each bite a bit more to chew than your average cookie but some how still manages to land lightly on the tongue so that you are eager for the next bite. There are a few ingredients that are more nutrient dense but they have a few ingredients that aren’t so I just call them cookies and enjoy every bite.
Total time to prep and bake is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes
Yield: 3 dozen
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats (not quick cook)
1/2 cup flax meal
1/4 cup flax whole seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup minced lemon thyme
1 cup roasted strawberries*, generously measured
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, oats, flax meal and seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a second large bowl beat the butter with the sugars at medium speed until they are fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, blend each one completely before adding the next, then add the vanilla the same way.
- Incorporate the dry ingredients in to the batter 1/3 at a time. Make sure each third is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- In a small bowl toss together the roasted strawberries, lemon thyme, and lemon zest the fold them into the batter until there are strawberries throughout.
- Let the batter sit for 20 minutes so the oats can soften a bit.
- While the batter rests, line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Measure the rested batter on to the prepared baking sheets by the tablespoon or for best results use a level cookie scoop.* Leave about two inches between each cookie. Pat the mounds into thick level disks before placing them in the oven.
- Bake for 12 minutes until the cookies have spread to about 4 inches in diameter and the edges are golden. Cool the cookies on the pan for a minute or two before removing them to a cooling rack. Let them come to room temperature before serving.
- Store the cookies in a sealed container. During warm weather keep them in the refrigerator you intend to store them for more than a day.
- I have not tried this recipe with dehydrated strawberries, if you do I’d love to know how it worked. Please do not use freeze dried berries.
- Lemon thyme has a lighter sweeter essence than traditional thyme which makes it wonderful for lending just a touch of savory to baked goods. If you do not have access to lemon thyme you might try another lemony herb (lemon basil comes to mind). I have not tried this with traditional thyme and lemon zest. If I did I would err on the side of using about 1 tablespoon of the herb for the first attempt.
- *Roasting strawberries is simple all you need is a pile of berries, an oven, a cookie sheet and a bit of time. Read: Roasted Strawberries.
Approximate nutrition per cookie: 111 calories, 6 g fat, 75 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 6 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein, PP = 3