Blueberry Buttermilk Cookies ~ Savory Simple

If Julia Child were alive today she’d be 100 years old. It’s quite weird to think that someone I never met had such a dramatic impact on my life. Five years ago I was in a very different place. I was struggling to find meaning in my life and joy in my career. I spent most of my 20s agonizing over my job. I earned a good living but was desperate for more. I wasn’t one of those kids who always knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. I was an English major, not because I wanted to be a professor but because I loved reading and writing. After receiving my bachelors degree I moved on to IT training because it seemed like a good way to make a living. But once the memories of student life were fading and I had settled into my profession, I was unhappy. I became obsessed with the notion that I’d never truly be happy until I was passionate about my work. But nothing fit the bill. Over the next several years I went back to school multiple times and always quit soon after I realized I was headed in the wrong direction yet again. I frustrated loved ones (and myself) with my indecisiveness. But I knew there was something out there, that ONE THING that would bring me satisfaction. When I read Julia Child’s My Life in France, everything changed. Not overnight. It was a gradual, slow change.

I connected with Julia’s story. I saw myself in her gleeful delight over small details such as a beautiful neighborhood or a delicious butter sauce. She moved to Paris and discovered her passion for food and cooking. I was doing a lot of international travel at the time and was becoming increasingly more interested in food and discovering new cuisines. Julia enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu at age 37. I was 29 and wanted to learn to be an amazing cook. Finally, after a lot of debate and many skeptical looks from friends and family, I decided to leave my job and attend culinary school. I thought ‘If Julia can do this, so can I.’ She made me believe that anything is possible. It’s cheesy but it’s true. And here I am, five years later, infinitely more happy. Thank you, Julia. For everything.

The recipe I’m sharing today is not one of Julia’s (check out her wonderful buttermilk scones here). Today’s recipe is just a simple cookie, made from the leftovers in my refrigerator. I bet she’d like them. They’re light, moist and cake-like.

Blueberry Buttermilk Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 30-60 cookies (depending on the size of the scoop)
Ingredients
For the cookies
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups blueberries
For the glaze:
  • 1½ cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • juice of half ½ a lemon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, zest, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and scrape down the side of the bowl. Add the vanilla.
  5. Alternate between the flour mixture and buttermilk, adding until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the blueberries.
  6. Scoop the cookie dough onto the parchment. Allow to chill for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Whisk together the glaze ingredients and set aside.
  8. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown.
  9. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack after a few minutes. Brush with the glaze.
Notes
Adapted from epicurious

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Comments

  1. What a sweet tribute to Julia – so touching to read about how she inspired you personally!

    And the cookies – yes please! I’d like the stack right now for a midnight (almost) snack :).

  2. Well, isn’t that just the most wonderful story? I love reading about people who search about and find their calling in life. What culinary school did you go to? Do you bake/cook outside of your blog then? How rewarding your life must be now. Julia would be proud:D

    • Savory Simple says:

      Thanks, Barbara! I attended L’Academie de Cuisine just outside of DC. After school I worked in restaurants for a year but that wasn’t my scene. Right now I mostly bake & cook for the blog or friends/family. But I also teach cooking classes on occasion or assist at events.

  3. Beautiful shot and lovely recipe:)

  4. Oh Jen! What a great tribute to Julia! These cookies look soooo good! Love the lemon drizzle on top.

  5. A beautiful tribute my friend, these look simply wonderful :D
    Thank you for this recipe!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  6. A lovely tribute to Julia! I wonder if she knew that when she visited France, that she would inspire so many to such delicious heights :)

  7. Lovely. Julia was an inspiration of epic proportions, but so are many food bloggers. I mean, that’s part of the reason I’m heading to baking school – at age 40! So, thanks to you for the inspiration you send out into the cosmos. And congrats on believing that there was more out there waiting for you…

  8. These cookies look great. I’m happy to hear that Julia moved you in the right direction and you’ve found happiness in your work!

  9. Pretty cookies :)

  10. I so happy that you found your passion and now share it with us through your blog. These cookies sound fabulous! Happy Birthday Julia!

  11. I can relate almost completely with your story. Always pushing forward yet not entirely sure you are doing something you love. Always missing something…then it all made sense. Julia was always there in the background whispering in my ear I just didn’t hear her. I’m finishing what I started with school this May, but my dream is to reward myself with culinary school. I will be 33… wow. These cookies are lovely.

  12. Lan | angry asian says:

    i remember when you announced you were going to culinary school — i was not a skeptic, i was so ecstatic for you, so excited that i wanted to tag along for the ride. i’m am thrilled at where you are now, how happy you are and i so enjoy reading and hearing about your journey.

    i’ve always had a fondness for buttermilk cookies, and adding in the sweet tartness of blueberries makes it all the better, i bet.

    • Savory Simple says:

      You were one of the few people who didn’t look at me like I’d just announced I was running for president! I will always appreciate that.

  13. Yummy looking cookies.
    There’s a cute picture book illustrated by Jessie Hartland coming out to coincide with Julia’s b-day. :)

  14. Very pretty cookies. Beautiful pictures.

    Love Julia Child. She’s truly an inspiration.

  15. Way to go, Jen! I love that you held your ground and went after something that everyone else wasn’t quite sure of! Love these cookies (buttermilk and blueberries, yes!), and Love your story!

    I was an English major too! Such a lucrative field, isn’t it? (I love the way Garrison Keillor’s, A Prairie Home Companion, pokes fun at us.) ;-)

    • Savory Simple says:

      You know, I wasn’t quite sure either. Others weren’t giving me more confidence, that’s for sure, but for the entire year I wondered if I was making a huge mistake. But sometimes you just have to follow your first instinct and ride out the storm. I’m glad I did.

      I have a habit of picking lucrative fields ;)

  16. Yum! These cookies look fantastic. It’s so cool how Julia inspired you so much. I think we all have some people who, whether we knew them personally or not, have had a huge impact on our lives.

  17. I agree with you 100% – follow your bliss ;-)

  18. Isn’t it amazing the impact Julia has had on so many of us? What a wonderful legacy. And your cookies look deeee-licious, btw!

  19. Jen, this story resonates with me so much! Even though I’m only 21, I’m still struggling to find out how I can make this blogging thing–my true passion–my full-time career. I know I’ll have to find a “real” job in order to save up which crushes me since I know what I want, I just can’t quite have it yet. But before blogging, I was a total confused mess. I had NO idea (also an English major but hell no, I don’t want to be a teacher!) and I had NO direction. I’m glad you found yours and me mine, and I’m glad you made these beautiful cookies!

    • Savory Simple says:

      I found a way to work from home within the food industry (social media marketer). It’s a really happy medium because the work focuses on food and still gives me the flexibility to do the blog. Give it some thought!

  20. I think that you and I have a lot in common…indecisiveness and constantly struggling to find our path; not quitting until finding joy and fulfillment in our job. I’m still on my way to reaching that point of bliss but I feel like I’m getting closer to it. It looks like you have reached yours! Believe it or not, the little rat of Ratotouille, Remy, had a major impact on where I am today! That movie, along with Julia Child and other inspiring people, matched with my strong inner desire for “something more from life” did it for me!

    And these blueberry buttermilk cookies look quite delicious by the way!

  21. Such a wonderful tribute and lovely recipe

  22. This recipe looks perfect. Love the glaze!

  23. Hi Jen. Such a beautiful and heart warming post! I am so happy if you found your true calling! And believe me – YOU CERTAINLY HAVE!!! I have also had a few career changes, and now I am happiest to cook for others and share my love for food! Some people who knew me before can’t believe that I actually CAN cook! Love the cookies!

  24. Nom Nom. These look amazing. So fluffy.

  25. I love your story, Jen! It’s amazing how many people were and are inspired by the mighty Julia! Love her to pieces :) Your cookies look so adorable! Love the blueberry buttermilk theme. My girls will love these!

  26. This is amazing, and I can say this… I am proud of you. It takes a lot to to what you did. It takes courage to tell the people you love you are crazy about food, and that is what you want to do. It is commendable to leave a lucrative job, to do something totally different. Yeah you!!!
    It’s also what I did. Two years ago I had that conversation with my people. I am truly happy I did. Now I am 32, writing a blog, developing recipes, and working with some kick ass chefs in Portland. Weird. The other similarity we have is that I don’t totally fit into the restaurant scene. It’s just not for me either, nice to hear someone else say it.
    Julia’s laugh and her love for food helped with these decisions oddly enough.

  27. first off, that photo of yours is absolutely stunning. and secondly, i wish to make these soon. they look delightful! :)

  28. Wow this is a beautiful and inspirational story Jen! I love hearing about your perseverance in finding your true calling. So many (including myself) can learn from that. So amazing!

  29. Thanks for sharing your struggles with us. It’s nice getting to see a different side to you and I’m really glad you found yourself. I think it’s something a lot of us can relate to!

  30. I loved reading this :) Thanks for sharing. These cookies look divine!

  31. Such a beautiful and inspiring story! Thank you for sharing! I love hearing stories like this and love following all your fabulous recipes and looking at your stunning photos! These cookies are mouthwatering!

  32. your cookies are beautiful! and i just love this post :)

  33. My Life in France moved me with each read, too! I love how Julia has impacted all of us, and so impressed that you followed your dreams for a more fulfilling life. I am sure she would love these cookies, but would love your passion even more!

  34. I’m completely on the same page. Until just a few years ago I felt guilty (so weird, I know) for pursuing a career in something that I loved and didn’t feel like “work.” I’ve always been so inspired by how Julia changed careers when she was almost 40. It made me feel the same way, “why not me too?”
    And I think you’re right. I think she would have loved these cookies.

  35. Loved your personal story! Cooking brings happiness to me in a way my job never will, so I think it’s inspiring! Love, love the idea of blueberry cookies – they look delicious and addictive! :)

  36. What fun sounding cookies! I definitely thought they were going to be muffins.

  37. how sweet if your post to Julia. She was an inspiration to most of us and will be for years to come.
    Your cookies sound so light, love the blueberry and buttermilk combo.

  38. What a great tribute to Julia…I’m certain she’d be delighted to know how she influenced your career path :) PS…yummy cookies!

  39. Isn’t it wonderful to be inspired by an accomplished woman like Julia Child;-) you’ve written a lovely tribute to her as well as shared a blueberry treat that we can all enjoy;-)

  40. Yum, they look like little cakes. I’ve gotta make them!

  41. Great post! Have you read Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard? Not quite Julia Child but it is full of romance, struggling to find direction, love affair with food, recipes, and of course Paris.

  42. OH gosh Jen these are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!

  43. Julia was an inspiring woman with her joy at the simple things. I have had several careers already in my life and I did a language degree, which really is good for nothing except travelling, which I love. I am now sitting in an office making someone else rich and I am so not happy. The food blogging has already opened doors but not enough to give up the day job yet. Congratulations on getting where you want to be.

  44. I know about frustrating myself and my family over career indecision all to well. And I love blueberries! They would make such an awesome cookie :)

  45. Hi Jen. What a wonderful tribute to Julia. I’m sure she would love them! And I’m sure I would love them too! Thank you for sharing them with me.

  46. Gorgeous pics for a gorgeous cookie – so light and airy looking and cookies with blueberries – doesn’t get any better!

  47. Wonderful! Those cookies look amazing. I bet I could not stop with one…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  48. You are so brave! I would love to go to culinary school, and I always feel like my techniques in the kitchen are lacking. Cheers to you, and cheers to Julia. She inspired so many of us.

  49. Aw what a sweet post:) It’s amazing how people can touch and impact our lives so deeply. The cookies look scrumptious!

  50. Very touching tribute! I think its lovely to be so inspired by someone :)

  51. Hi Jen! I really love the look of these cookies and the cover photo. That a great tribute to Julia Child and your real-life story now starts inspiring other bloggers and readers. It’s nice to know that someone who’s very successful also went through some difficult time – gives hope to people that if we really want something we can achieve it! I love your cookies have buttermilk in it, and my favorite blueberries. Saving this recipe and hope to bake these soon!!

  52. I can certainly identify with your story (indecisiveness, uncertainty, family pressures etc). Good on you for signing up for culinary school. I’m sure you will find true happiness and we, your readers, look forward to hearing about this stage in your life :) I’m not ready for culinary school (at least for now) but I’m in a much happier place now than I was even just a year ago and I believe that things will only get better. Thanks for sharing.

  53. These cookies are calling my name! I love anything with blueberries thrown in! :)

  54. I love the idea of turning scones into cookies! These look light and fluffy and full of flavor!

  55. these cookies look amazing! I’m really glad you found a career you love. I’m always so impressed by how talented you are, I love reading your blog it’s always so beautiful and inspiring

  56. What a beautifully inspiring story ! Thank you for sharing.

  57. I live in Germany and about a month ago, finished reading Julia Child’s “My Life in France”. I too fell in love with her, her zest for food, the little details about living and of course France. Thanks for sharing her recipe here. I can’t wait to try it. I”m sure it’s divine.

  58. Charlotte says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe, but I can’t seem to find when to add the blueberries in the recipe. You might have missed it out.

  59. Julia’s story is so inspirational. I discovered her (and my passion) in going back to school when I was 32 (for an English degree–go figure!). The most important part is that it’s never too late for what you truly love. Culinary school has been on my radar a few times, but with a family to support, it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe someday. In the meantime, I’m okay with where my life is right now. And I’m glad you have found your passion–and have taken it to the next level recently!

  60. ‘These cookies look so simply delicious! I can’t wait to make them!

  61. These look awesome. Looking for a cookie to make that doesn’t seem as heavy – looks perfect!

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