End of winter….the cold, the eternally fickle snow drop strafed by cold rains, the drear days drag on. Where to find some relief?
Needing a bright spot, I decide to warm the house – warm my heart – bake cookies. This is usually a quick, easy fix!
Typically, I use store bought blues for these mounds of goodness, however this year I have a freezer load of “real” North East blueberries – fresh picked at their peak summery ripeness. Snatching a berry bag out of the freezer, I begin the trip to cookie reward-ville. House, tummy and heart warm-fest – I’m on it!
Typically, I also have a fresh lemon on hand to tart up the sweet of these cookies, but no lemons inhabit the kitchen this day. Soooo….I pull from the fridge, another precious elixer – my hand-made lemon tincture.
Think of how you make vanilla extract at home or even think of store bought citrus extracts and you’ll get the a whiff of what I’m up to here. It’s an easy substitute when you have zero fresh lemons in house. (How to DIY included with recipe)
The marriage of oatmeal, butter, sweet sugars offset by a lemony serenade and the full blown blue of summer blueberries in your mouth?
All I can say – this is a crushing it MOUTH-GASM!!
- 1 cup real butter (soften)
- 1 c brown sugar
- 1 c white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2-3 tsp lemon extract
- 1 1/2 c white all purpose flour (King Arthurs flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder (organic)
- 1/2 salt (sea or kosher)
- 2 c organic regular oatmeal
- 1 c blueberries (you may substitute raspberries, blackberries. raisins
- (add extra flour to offset the additional moistness in substituted berries)
- Cream together the first four ingredients
- Add, stirring in, the lemon extract - to taste
- Mix together the dry ingredients
- Add and mix dry ingr into the creamed mixture to an even consistency
- Fold in the blueberries
- Place 2 tsp size balls on parchment - on cookie sheet.
- Lightly flatten balls with fork
- Bake 350F - 12 to 14 mins until cookie bottoms and edges are golden brown
- Cool on wire rack
- Place in lidded cookie container to preserve cookie moistness.
- Lemon Tincture/Extract
- Grate 4-5 lemons - peel and zest (Meyer Lemons when available)
- Place lemon gratings in glass jar
- Add Everclear Alcohol to cover lemon + 2 more fingers above
- **Important to use 95% Liquor - [75.5% is too weak for full tincturing]**
- Cap the jar (with a layer of saran wrap between metal lid and lemon)
- Set the jar on your kitchen counter
- Shake the jar and contents every couple of days
- The lemon extract will be ready to use after a couple of weeks
- (You may leave the lemon gratings in the alcohol up to a month - for more intense flavor)
- Filter your lemon extract through fine cheesecloth or a fine sieve
- Place the lemon extract in a sealed, lidded glass container
- Refrigerate - this helps citrus extract remain viable for a longer length of time
- Now use the lemon grating remains in other recipes: lemon chicken, lemon tarts, lemon custard.
- Did You Know?
- Blueberries are great for heart health.They're filled with fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and phytonutrients. NO cholesterol in them.
- There are approximately 30 varieties of blueberries - from mild and sweet to wildly tart.
- Blueberries can be used to dye natural fabrics (and anything else they touch).
- People in the know say the powdery bloom on blueberries is just as good for you as the actual berry. In other word, don't wash the bloom off - eat it - it's an additional health giving benie.