Thursday, June 1, 2017

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies with a Lemon Glaze

When life gives you lemons... bake cookies! Once again girlfriend Tanya gifted me with a bagful of gigantic lemons from her tree in Yuma. Besides smelling divine, these juicy monsters yield oodles of zest - perfume with a purpose.  

Ooooh, the possibilities; lemon cookies, lemon cakes, lemon sauces, Hollandaise of course, fresh lemon zest in everything... No contest! Let's celebrate Spring-almost-Summer with a batch of lemon cookies. 

RL was out of town and I never rarely bake cookies just for myself, so this first, experimental batch was purposed as a thank you treat for a medical office crew I've visited lately. An upbeat, supportive group of professionals, I expect them to sample with enthusiasm and provide honest feedback on taste and texture.

Lemon sugar cookies, dropped not rolled, sounded sunny and flavorful but I turned to some online resources to fine tune the recipe.  A Cooking: NYTimes post for Basic Sugar Cookies did cover the basics, but I wanted more flavor "pop" to highlight the essential lemonyness.

Lemon Sunshine Cookies at Serious Eats made claims to "melting away on your tongue into a burst of lemon". Yeah, that's more like it, and a dip in a lemon glaze upped the sweetness factor. This recipe had possibilities, but I kept searching.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies at Two Peas & Their Pod added poppy seeds, just because, and that sold me. Who doesn't love Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins?! (My Costco Copycat version is a winner around here.) link

One of Tanya's Arizona lemons, plus a couple of tablespoons of poppy seeds, transformed ordinary sugar cookies into soft, sweet, lemony bites of sunshine. Thanks to Maria and Josh for posting the recipe. Now I can't wait for the taste test feedback. I will update soon.

6/5/2017 update: the cookies were a major hit with the clinic staff (plus a few incidental other folks who heard there was food in the break room). Two dozen Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies and three dozen Cruising Cookies tied for "favorite cookie" honors. I consider that a baking success.

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
from a recipe at Two Peas and Their Pod
yield: 24-30 cookies
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 heaping tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4-5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to line 2 insulated cookie sheets. Set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl. Whisk and set aside.

In another small bowl, blend together the sugar and lemon zest.

Use an electric mixer, stand mixer or handheld, and beat the softened butter and lemon zest/sugar mixture together at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, lemon juice, vanilla and lemon extract; mix until smooth.

Add the dry ingredient mixture; use low speed and beat until just combined. Stir in the poppy seeds by hand. Drop walnut-sized blobs of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, placing them roughly 2-inches apart.

Bake until the cookies are just set and the edges are golden brown; approx. 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool cookies on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Then remove to baking racks to cool completely. (Don't glaze until the cookies have cooled!)

For the glaze: whisk powdered sugar and 2/3 of the lemon juice together in a medium bowl. Whisk together to remove lumps, adding remaining lemon juice as necessary to achieve desired glaze consistency. Dip each cookie top into the glaze; return to baking rack, glaze side up, and let rest until the glaze sets up. (You will have extra glaze - get creative with the leftovers.)

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