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Lemon-Walnut Cookies with Rosemary (Dairy-free)

Playing again with the combination of lemon, walnut, and rosemary--two of the three from my garden, in a coookie with no dairy ingredients

Sheets ungreased; easiest if you have silicone baking liners available
         Oven 350 degrees F       Time 12' plus extra for crisping

3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of 3-4 lemons (those used for the juice)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

400 grams hard wheat flour or 2 1/2 cups hard wheat bread flour or all-purpose flour
2-3 teaspoons ground rosemary (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom

(if milling your own--400 grams hard white wheat berries plus 4 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves plus 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds plus 1/2 vanilla bean, chopped, and omit the liquid vanilla extract)

1 teaspoon salt
450 grams or 1 pound of shelled walnuts, ground fine*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the olive oil,  sugar,  zest, vanilla and lemon juice together.

Whisk or sift the flour, spices, salt together.  Stir into the liquid mixture and mix until smooth.  You do want to develop a little gluten at this point because the large quantity of walnuts is going to make the dough extremely crumbly at the next step.

Stir in the walnuts.  Let the dough rest half an hour or more at room temperature or in the referigerator (ok to let sit overnight in fridge if that's more convenient).

Roll out on a lightly floured surface to just under 1/4 inch thick.  The easiest way is to roll the dough directly onto a silicone baking liner and use a not-too-sharp rolling cutter to cut the cookies into squares or diamonds, and then slide the silicone sheet directly onto the baking pan--see the cracker demo here, where the same technique is used.  

Bake 12 minutes at 350 degrees.  For the crispest cookies, when all the pans are done, turn the oven off, and return them to the cooling over and let sit until it cools down, or bake an additional hour at 200 degrees.  This crisps them without fear of scorching.  Let cool on racks.

*it really works better with nuts ground in something like this, because the nuts come out light and dry.  If you must grind them in a cuisinart, do it with about 1 cup of the flour so that they stay separate bits and don't coalesce into a pasty mass of walnut butter, which will not give the right effects.

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