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
1 egg
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.

1 comment:

  1. yummmmmmy...sounds delish..

    on a nice rainy day like today, I decided to bake. I took a look at all the mandarins, grapefruits, lemons that I picked off my trees last week(before it snowed) and decided to try and make your Zesty Lemon Poppy-Seed Cookies.

    I didn't have Poppy-Seeds and I didn't have lemon zest (as I squeezed all my lemons last week and kept the juice in the frig), so I had lemon juice. so I made the recipe substituting lemon zest for mandarin and grapefruit zest and is delicious and to die for.

    my friend is coming after work later tonight for hot Earl Gray tea and lemon cookies with a zest of mandarin to celebrate her birthday...

    Thanks Loryll for sharing...