It’s no secret that I have a serious sweet tooth. I love cookies, chocolate, ice cream- yep, pretty much everything that is bad for me. What I haven’t told you is that I rarely weigh myself, don’t count calories and don’t really restrict what I eat. That being said I know what is considered healthy and unhealthy and try to make good choices (grilled chicken over chicken fingers, fresh fruits/veggies over chips, trail mix over candy bars, easy peasy- right?). That being said, I’d say that I make healthy choices about 80% of the time because who doesn’t love a cookie every now and then?
I strongly believe that you do not need to eliminate foods or food groups (like cookies) from your diet in order to live a healthy lifestyle (Please note that I consider cookies as their own food group). Rather, I believe it is important for you to consume a balanced diet that you can realistically sustain for the rest of your life. Sure you can definitely lose weight by cutting out bread and cookies- but I won’t be able to do that for the rest of my life! I simply don’t see the point in cutting out cookies for 6 months to lose a ton of weight and then gaining it all back when I start to eat cookies again. Lets be honest- at some point I will start eating cookies again!! (Clearly this mentality does not apply if you are able to make a long-term commit to the lifestyle like vegetarians, going gluten-free and many vegans.)
I am all about balance and making healthy choices when it comes to choosing foods to eat. Over the past two years I have started to adopt two “rules” when it comes to eating cookies:
#1 If you want to eat a cookie then you have to bake it! (This leads to practicing delayed gratification, fewer preservatives consumed and an activity for Lilly an I to do together, and cookies.)
#2. If you want to bake cookies then you need to also bake something relatively healthy. (This ensures that I will always have a healthy option in the fridge to balance out the cookie cravings! This also leads to cookies. It’s a win, win here people.)
Yesterday I was seriously craving lemon drop cookies! To hold true to my “rules” I first baked my Energy Oat Bars (recipe here); I will probably have these throughout the week to fill up post-run.
These cookies are very easy to bake- even if you have little ones helping out. If you’ve never tried Trader Joe’s lemon curd then now is the time! I wasn’t a citrus person until i had the sugar infused deliciousness that is lemon curd. Yummy! Think of the filling of a lemon danish- yep, that’s similar to lemon curd! Super sweet lemony gooeyness!!!
Ingredients (makes 2 dozen)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp baking powder
Lemon curd or any jelly type
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well.
Sift the flour and baking powder. Gradually add to the butter mixture until combined, be careful to not over mix. Roll the mixture into small balls and place them about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
Press a finger into each ball and fill the whole with a small spoonful of the lemon curd. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly golden on top. Add a little more jelly while cookies are still warm.
Cook on wire rack and enjoy!
(Adapted from 500 Cookies by Philippa Vanstone, 2005)