Last year’s Christmas got me on a cookie baking roll. I am still on it. It’s especially gratifying when my family likes them. These days, they deserve all the good (and healthy) cookies of the world.

You wonder why? You might have guessed it. Because they have to put up with me, who is running a marathon in less than 36 hours. 4-5 times a week for three months they made it possible that I can I run during regular waking hours, not in the middle of night when everyone else sleeps. They had to put up with endless whining last month when I first was injured and then got the flu. Subsequently I missed out on crucial training. My honest family admitted that they’d rather have me out there running instead of getting on their nerves with my niggles. They put up with never-ending stories of training details, marathon goal times, statistics of weekly mileages. They would probably even know what negative splits are, if they ever listened to my ongoing marathon talk.

It probably got even worse during taper time in the last two weeks, as I was running much less, and spent so much more time at home. Nevertheless, the marathon was constantly on my mind and therewith more marathon talk to my family.

Our meal plans have for the three days before the marathon have been adjusted so I can carb-load until I drop: porridge, rice and pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Today is Day 2 and I am feeling pretty loaded already, I must say.

Tomorrow is a public holiday here in Dubai. I was granted the right to sleep in because the sleep two nights before the race is actually more important than the sleep of the last night.

On Friday morning, I will get up at 4:30am, be at the race site by 6am. And be running my 3rd marathon from 7am on. My family will see me at several spot along the course, providing me with bananas, energy drinks and whatever else I may need. When I asked my son if he wants to see me run the marathon, he said: “Errrhh, no, not really. It’s always so boring……..” He will have no choice as to tag along.

Marathons are not only the running person’s business. It’s a family undertaking. I really appreciate all the support I got and want to say thank you! I’ll try my best to deliver what I trained so hard for: a 3:20 marathon.

And I offer cookies as rewards. These meringue cookies are crispy and very sweet, with a great flavor combination of hazelnut and vanilla. They keep very long on the kitchen counter (theoretically). Only four ingredients are needed. Additionally, they are gluten and grain free. A simple and delicious sweet treat. Enjoy.


Print Recipe

2 egg whites
1/3 cup granulated raw sugar

1 cup hazelnut meal
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Yields ca. 20
Preheat oven to 150C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

In an electric coffee of spice grinder, pulse the raw sugar a few times until it reaches the texture of caster sugar. Set aside.

In a very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer on low for a couple of minutes, until bubbly. Increase the speed to medium for another minute, then whisk the high speed until stiff peaks are formed. Now whisk in the sugar at high speed, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

Gently fold in the the nut meal and the vanilla. Put heaped teaspoons of the batter on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten them  to 1/2 inch height with the back of a spoon and for a circle. Bake for about 40-45 minutes. Switch off the oven. If the cookies are still a little soft, leave them in the warm oven for another 10-15 minutes.


  1. Hey Anja, just wanted to wish you luck for the marathon. Enjoy! Thinking of you…

  2. I’m keeping tabs from Lisbon… Good luck for the race, it will be a 3:16 marathon ! I’ve feasted my eyes with those cookies… they remind me of the ones I once brought from Dubai, some time ago…!

  3. Chico, you are probably still awake when I start running tomorrow morning. Will let you know how it went.

  4. Good luck with the race. I am happy to say my husband does not require me to be present at his numerous mountain biking races. That is his world and I have mine. They overlap in other areas.

  5. Hi Anja

    Hope you are OK.

    I’ve been anxiously checking in here, then suddenly realised that the results might be online. And they are!

    So I can see that you finished. I won’t put the time here as it’s up to you to post when you feel like it. But well done, anyway.

    Looking forward to hearing your views on the race.

  6. Thank you!!! Yes, I did finish, and in my new blog post I wrote about it and published my finish time. I took me some time to get my act together. Too much happiness was still floating around 🙂

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