Healthy eating: Cookies for friends and family

Citrus cookies

This is the time of year when it’s nice to have a simple sweet on hand for guests dropping by to visit or to make up a packet of cookies for your friends and neighbors. In fact, I think the season should be called the “Cookie Season” rather than the holiday season.

It’s almost embarrassing how many cookie cookbooks I have accumulated — because I love to try new recipes. I have some personal favorites. I have special ones I bake for my family. I have recipes for bake sales.

In the end, I think a simple and delicious cookie belongs on every cookie plate. This recipe uses fresh seasonal citrus zest and comes together quickly. You get to choose the flavor profile, aka your favorite citrus fruit. Remember to use organic fruit when you want to use the zest from your citrus fruit.

A microplane zester.

I highly recommend using a microplane zester — they are inexpensive and easy to use as well as allow you to carefully get the zest off the fruit without the bitter white skin underneath. I can guarantee that these cookies will not last long in your house. Also, it’s easy to double the recipe in order to make a larger batch.

Here’s to a season of baking cookies … and remember to share them (everything in moderation, including cookies).

Zesty Citrus Cookies


4 oz. cold unsalted butter, cubed

1/4 cup super-fine sugar (note: if you don’t have super-fine, pulse granulated sugar till finely ground but not powdery and then measure)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 cup ground whole almonds (feel free to use almond meal)

2 tablespoons of citrus zest: choose orange, lemon, lime, clementine, tangerine or grapefruit

Demerara sugar for rolling (You can substitute regular sugar if you want, but the crunch won’t be the same.)


Combine all the ingredients, except the Demerara sugar, in a food processor and blend until it just comes together in a ball of dough. (You can mix by hand but the food processor makes a more cohesive cookie dough.)

Pour some Demerara on a tray or plate.

Scrape out the dough and shape into a long, thin log; (about 11 inches long); then roll in the Demerara sugar. Wrap in baking parchment and twist at each end to seal, then place in refrigerator or freezer to chill.

Preheat over to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment.

Once firm, slice the log of dough into 1/2 inch thick rounds and space well apart.

Bake 12-15 min. until crisp and golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to firm up on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

— By Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She loves to cook from scratch using produce from the gardens she created and maintains with her husband. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and focused on desserts, pastries and bread. She’s worked for restaurants and caterers in the front and back of the house (kitchen) on both coasts. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. Deborah loves experimenting and developing new recipes. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at

  1. I love Deborah Binder. I also love ” The Cookie Season” ha. Ok. I have that zester it is awesome. I love these recipes Deborah, but I do object to “everything in moderation” Sharing of course is good. Can’t we just eat everything we want for one month? Happy Cookie Season Deborah Binder. Love Deborah.

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