These cookies I am about to share with you have meant more to me than almost anything else I have ever baked. These cookies (and the recipe) were created for a dear friend who is going through Chemotherapy. My friend is a warrior and refuses to let cancer or the treatment, get her down. She battles the fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, and changing taste buds like a true warrior! She is truly an inspiration and deserving of something made especially just for her.
My friend has just finished her 2nd session of 6 chemo treatments. In the days directly after her treatment she is constantly nauseous, cannot taste too much, sweets (one of her favorite food groups) are too sweet, and she craves lemon and mustard. For a person who loves food the way my friend does, these side effects seem so horrible. I wanted to try and make something for her that she could enjoy today, that hit her sweet tooth, but did not yield unpleasant interactions with the side effects of her chemo. A little Cookie-therapy was necessary after Chemotherapy.
Taking all of this into mind, I created a Lemon Ginger Oatmeal Cookie. I know the flavor combination sounds odd, but it really works. I used lemon because that was one of the flavors my friend was craving, plus the acidic notes would be something her muted tasted buds would likely be able to pick up. Further, the extra acidic quality of the lemon juice cut the sweetness of the cookie. I used ginger as a natural measure to help reduce nausea and settle her stomach. Lastly, due to the loss of appetite, I figured that if she was going to eat a cookie, she needed a little more nutritional value to sustain her; therefore, I added oatmeal. Those ingredients are the cornerstone of my friends Cookie-therapy.
Those dealing with an altered sense of taste and those who are not should be pleased by the flavor combination just the same. My friend and her husband (who does not even like oatmeal) loved these cookies. The first thing to hit your pallet is the bright refreshing taste of lemon, and a mild undertone of ginger. It reminds me of ginger tea for some reason. There are also candied ginger pieces in the cookie, which give you little flavor burst of ginger as you continue to chew. The cookie is a nice balance of flavors and not too sweet. The texture of the cookie is chewy and the oatmeal is a nice touch of oaty-ness, making the cookie “feel healthy” (as my friend says). So now it not only Cookie-therapy, but also Health Cookie-therapy.
I was so thrilled that my friend liked the recipe and was actually able to enjoy the cookie. To me, that is what made this recipe especially successful--It was made with love for a friend, and she was able to eat it and love it now (not in a week or two when her taste buds returned to semi-normal). The bonus was that others enjoyed the cookie too.
**My friend, with the support of her friends and family, is taking strides against breast cancer by walking and fundraising for the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure. If you would like to donate, please click here. Thanks and we appreciate your support!
Lemon Ginger Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe by Baker at Law, but Inspired by YER
1 cup (2 sticks) Butter
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup White Sugar
2 Lemons, zest and juice separated
1 Egg, room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2-3/4 cups of Flour (more or less, depending on how juicy your lemons are)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Salt
3 cups Old Fashion Oats
1/2 cup Candied Ginger, finely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Cream together butter and sugars.
3. Add in lemon zest, lemon juice, egg, and vanilla extract, each separately and stirring in between.
4. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and ginger, then add to butter mixture.
5. Once flour mixture about half stirred in, add oats. Mix completely.
6. Stir in candied ginger.
7. Portion out cookies with cookie scope onto baking sheet, leaving room for the cookies to spread.
8. I used a 3 TBS cookie scope and baked them for 12 minutes, yielding 25 cookies.
9. Cool and enjoy!