The holiday party invitations are rolling in! After two years in pandemic isolation, we all deserve a good cookie and a vibrant gathering this holiday season. For any celebration, olive oil cake is always my go-to. This recipe mixes it up and is actually a shortbread cookie recipe that is inspired by my classic citrus infused olive oil cake. Butter is replaced with olive oil, all-purpose flour with almond flour, and white sugar with date sugar for a healthier, albeit still elegant, version of decadent, holiday shortbread cookies. These are divine, two-bite delights sure to impress your guests all season long.


For cookies:

To decorate:


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk olive oil, egg, date sugar, and vanilla together until smooth, and then stir in the dry ingredients and lemon zest until the dough comes together.
  3. Pinch off ping pong-ball sized portions of dough and shape them into smooth spheres between your hands. Roll some in sesame seeds, pistachios, and/or shredded coconut, and leave some plain. Place all the spheres onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, and press them down lightly with your fingers, flattening the spheres into cookie shape. For the cookies left plain, press your thumb into the center of each raw cookie, forming a thumbprint indentation which you can fill in with fruit puree after baking.
  4. Bake for 11-12 minutes, checking that a toothpick inserted in the center of a cookie comes out clean. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Garnish your thumbprint indentations with fresh Hachiya or Saijo persimmon puree or quince butter just before serving or consuming, as fresh fruit puree shouldn’t sit out at room temperature over time.

Cottage Inside is a Doula Practice in Los Angeles. It is the dream and prayer of Morgan Lynn, a Zen student and certified Birth and Postpartum Doula trained in the Ayurvedic tradition. An avid home cook, Morgan grows much of the food for her kitchen in her Runyon Canyon garden, following the principles of the Biodynamic French Intensive Method.

Picture credit: Daniele King & Morgan Lynn

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