When life gives you lemons...
... just kidding. We will get there in a second. When life gives you over 50 food and wellness magazines (read: when you've read them through and through and refused to throw them out even after five years), you lock yourself inside for a few days, flip through them carefully, hunting for the best recipes to cut out, and paste them all into a homemade recipe-book.
The 5% of my bedroom that isn't completely put together finally nagged me earlier this week to organize it (okaaaaay, fine, I'll do it), and in doing so, I dug out four bags of recipes I had snipped out from old magazines the summer before I left for college. Back in that day, I wasn't just into Bon Appetit and Cooking Light; there were several issues of Fitness Magazine, Shape, Self, and the like and I had almost forgotten what those magazines held. Interesting content - more thought-provoking now than ever before, but that's another topic.
Flipping through each of these recipes (because yes, I did read each and every single one), I felt like I'd just then been seeing them for the first time, like a kid walking into a candy shop for the first time. Amazed. Enchanted. Captivated. And trying to plan in my head when I can try each recipe because I somehow wanted to do so all within, like, the next hour. Ya' know? Is a recipe-binge a thing? Because it sure as heck still is for me.
From Spiced Sweet Potato and Roasted Broccoli Toasts to the most beautiful Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart anyone in this world will ever lay eyes on, from Breakfast Calzones to Grilled Swordfish with Potato-Chorizo Salad, from Spiced Persimmon Coconut Cake to Charred Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Olive Oil, I don't think I can remember the last time I've felt so inspired and able.
I'm still on a creativity-induced adrenaline rush, thanks to all the geniuses I admire so deeply who work their azzes off to produce such indescribable recipes.
And now, when I look at the lemons falling off the tree in my backyard (somehow they're falling, even though lemon season is in the winter?), I don't want to make just the typical powdered sugar-dusted lemon bars, no matter how much I absolutely adore those sweet, nostalgic little squares. I want to jump out of the box of recipes Pinterest shows me most. I want something different and tastefully thrilling and refreshing.
Need I say more? Or need I just give you the recipe for these sweet, chewy lemon-infused oatmeal cookie sandwiches with smooth Greek yogurt-cream cheese frosting snuggled in the middle? Yeah, that one.
Makes about 16 cookies
For the cookies:
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped almonds
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
3 tbsp. maple syrup
juice and zest from 1 small lemon
For the frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. pure honey
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients - everything from the brown rice flour to the baking soda. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients - everything from the egg to the lemon zest and juice. Pour the wet into the dry and stir until incorporated. Refrigerate this mixture for 30-60 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Scoop tablespoon-size portions of the dough and roll into balls. Lightly flatten each ball to make it about 1/2" tall and distribute them over the parchment paper, leaving about an inch between each cookie.
Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and just firm when touched. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.
In the meantime, prepare the Greek yogurt-cream cheese filling by whipping the Greek yogurt and cream cheese in a hand-mixer or stand-mixer (whichever you have) and slowly add the honey while mixing. Whip for about 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. You can add more honey to sweeten further if you prefer.
I tried making the cookies vegan by replacing the egg with 2 flax eggs, but they came out too crumbly. If you must make them vegan, I recommend using whole-wheat or white flour instead of the brown rice, so that the gluten acts as a stronger binding agent in addition to the flax eggs.
Chia seeds can be replaced for poppy seeds if you prefer.