the citrus duo

Frost looms in the night air. The herb garden still holds bundles of unpicked basil, garlic chives, oregano, parsley, and sage. A sprawling patch of my favorite herb, wild lemon thyme, covers several feet of the front lawn.

Reality sets in, I can no longer pinch as I cook.
So an hour before dusk on coldest day, I pick the remaining herbs to preserve the bright bouquets through the winter months.
After the last garden harvest, sage bundles hang from their stems inside the dimly light pantry, soon they will season squash and bean soup and bread stuffing.
Bags of traditional basil and parsley walnut pesto store in the freezer for a winter day when their bright green flavors cling to pasta or smear on toast with cheese.
It is the fresh sprigs of lemon thyme that I will miss the most.

Grate some lemon zest with this citrus herb and the two brighten and intensify sweet confections, like these rich melt in your mouth lemon thyme cookies. Just try a batch and see if you’re not a wee bit obsessed with this citrus duo afterward too.

Lemon Thyme Cookies

Yield 24 cookies
1 1/2 cups white spelt flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup almonds (finely ground)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly brush with extra olive oil.
Whisk flours, ground almonds, baking powder, chopped thyme leaves, and salt in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
Whisk oil, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, zest, and extracts.
Combine wet ingredients with dry; mix well. Drop tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheet.
Bake cookies for 15 minutes or until edges are golden.
(This recipe is inspired by Meredith McCarthy’s recipe for Lemon Coconut Cornmeal Cookies from Sweet and Natural and by Cynthia Lair’s recipe for Lemon Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies from, Feeding the Whole Family).


  1. Jenni says

    Oh, I am so drooling! I have made lemon thyme cornbread before, which turned out great, so I will definitely have to try these!!

  2. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says

    Mmm this sounds lovely and yes all fo those fresh goodies that come with the warm months are starting to pop up now for us :)

  3. Hannah says

    These sound absolutely dreamy- and they're vegan! I'm so excited, I'm saving the recipe and making a batch asap, but with my lemon verbena instead of thyme.

  4. bake in paris says

    Love everything with thyme, those cookies look delicious! Once I made pumpkin soup with thyme just loved the flavor of it. Thanks for sharing!


  5. nikki says

    Thanks for your comments!

    Jenni – I made my standby cornbread last night, next time I'll remember to add the lemon thyme!

    Rosa – I can't say enough good things about the lemon thyme combo!

    Lorraine – Cookie season is right around the corner…

    Hannah – Lemon verbena, genius! Love the herb, especially steeped in tea. Let me know how they turn out…

    Megan – I'm adding the shortbread to my holiday cookie list!

    Kris – Same here. It's such a zesty and versatile herb. Your pumpkin soup sounds great!

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