Christmas Cookies, Part 3: Lemon Poppyseed

These are Jeeps’ favorite.  They are also the favorite of Panda’s third-grade teachers who email me every year to ask if they still qualify to get them.  Being that they were and are the greatest teachers in the world, of course they do.

These are light, lemony and just darling:  the kind of small little cookie that you feel justified eating six at a time.  You can make them any size, actually.  They go equally well with tea, coffee or a glass of wine.

Lemon Poppyseed Crisps

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 3 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (about 3 large lemons)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp poppyseeds plus more for sprinkling

Take 1 1/2 tsp of the grated lemon zest and mix it with 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl or tupperware.  Set aside or put in the fridge until you are going to make the cookies.

Bring lemon juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook until reduced by half.  Add 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter and stir until melted.  Set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.  Cream together the remaining 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter and 1 cup sugar.  Add egg and reserved lemon butter, mix until pale, about 3 minutes.  Mix in vanilla and remaining lemon zest.  Reduce speed to low.  Mix in flour mixture and poppyseeds.

You can wrap up the dough at this point and chill/freeze, or continue on.

Roll dough int 1 1/4″ – 2″ balls.  Roll balls in lemon-sugar mixture and place on baking sheets.  Press each with the bottom of a glass dipped in the sugar mixture to 1/4″ thickness.  Sprinkle with poppyseeds.

Bake 12-13 minutes at 350 until just browned around the edges.  In my notes I have “convection oven – 350, 6 minutes, rotate trays, then another 4-5 minutes.”


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