Spring has officially come to Seattle, and as I mentioned before I’ve been on a lemon everything kick. The mornings and evenings are still chilly enough to keep a warm cup of tea nearby, and these lemon poppyseed cookies are the perfect tea or coffee pairing. I especially like them with a cup of strong black tea (this is one of my favorites, just in case you’re looking) but they’re equally good with herbal tea. They’re just slightly sweet with a kick of tart lemon from fresh lemon zest and juice. I like to split the batch, wrap half tightly in plastic wrap and stash it in the freezer for an afternoon calling for a bite of something sweet.
This dough is a little sticky, I recommend rolling it out between sheets of plastic wrap to make rolling and cutting a little less treacherous. I made mine about 3 inches round but you could definitely make them smaller if you’d prefer. If the dough becomes difficult to work with just pop it in the fridge for ten minutes to firm it up again before cutting it. Make cookies, pour tea, and enjoy.
adapted from allrecipes
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup plus 2 tablespoons (158 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 egg, separated
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest, from about 2 large lemons (meyer lemons, if you can get them)
- ¼ cup lemon juice, from about 1 large lemon
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped, or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (31 grams) poppyseeds
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup (67 grams) coarse sugar, such as demerara, for sprinkling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until well combined and lighter in color, about 3 minutes. Be careful not to overbeat. Add the egg yolk, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla bean and mix until incorporated.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, poppyseeds, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix just until combined.
- Split the dough in half and refrigerate until cold or freeze for later use*.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Once chilled, roll the dough to ⅛ inch thick between two sheets of plastic wrap. Use a cookie cutter or glass to cut 3-ish inch rounds and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet about an inch apart.
- Beat the egg white until foamy and, using a pastry brush, brush the cookies with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. Store in an air-tight container for 3-5 days.
- *I like to form half of the dough into a log to be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen. Once thawed, I slice it into ⅛ inch thick rounds and bake according to the directions above. You can also use this shaping and cutting method for all of the dough, but I found rolling the dough and using a cookie cutter gave me neater circles.