Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Little lemons add lots of zest to cookies
Those adorable little lemons I discovered on my doorstep the other day have found themselves the stars of a fresh batch of cookies.
I’ve kept the following recipe in my files for years now, and figured the neighborly gift of nearly a dozen lemons was the perfect excuse to finally test the recipe.
These delicate cookies are packed with fresh, tangy flavor, and the poppy seeds add a nice little crunch. They taste great with a glass of milk, and I think they’d pair well with a mug of tea on a chilly December day. I think I'll try coconut instead of poppy seeds the next time I make these cookies, just for fun.
A side note: While I believe in giving credit where credit is due, I’m not quite sure where this recipe came from. I tend to collect recipes printed on the pages of various magazines, so this could be Real Simple or perhaps Martha Stewart Living?
Zesty Lemon Poppy-Seed Cookies
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
3 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
½ cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon poppy seeds, plus more for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bring lemon juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once reduced by half, add one stick (1/4 cup) butter, stirring until melted.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Cream remaining butter and 1 cup sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer (use paddle attachment). Add egg and lemon butter, mixing until pale, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons lemon zest. Mix in flour mixture and poppy seeds.
Stir together the remaining sugar and lemon zest—I did this in a glass pie dish. Roll spoonfuls of dough into balls. Roll balls in sugar mixture and place them on a cookie sheet 1 ½ to 2 inches apart. Gently press each ball with the flat bottom of a glass—dipping the bottom of the sugar mixture helps—and sprinkle with additional poppy seeds.
Bake cookies 10-11 minutes, until they’re just starting to brown around the bottom edges. Remove from oven, and let sit on cookie sheet 1-2 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.