The Baking Illustrated Challenge: Lemon Poppy Seed Sugar Cookies

I was searching for the perfect treat to make for the people who helped me with my AT device. I settled on two different treats. I made a classic Apple pie for two gentleman, and these sugar cookies for my husband and I! We are in love with these cookies. It reminded me of a lemon tart, poppy-seed muffin,  and of course a sugar cookie all rolled in to one!  I have to admit we have eaten half of the batch already this week, and the cookies may not last the rest of the week! Next time I would like to add even more lemon zest to these cookies. I also want to try to use a small ice cream scoop to get them perfectly round. I am thrilled that I made these cookies, and I can not wait to make them again!

Source: Baking Illustrated

Section: Cookies, Brownies, and Bar Cookies

Lemon Poppy Seed Sugar Cookies


2 C lower protein unbleached AP flour (Pillsbury or Gold Medal)

1/2 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

16 T butter softened but still cool

1 C granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for rolling dough

1 T light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 t vanilla extract

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower middle positions and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.  (Whisk 1 T poppy seeds in to the dry ingredients)

2. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, cream the butter, the 1 cup granulated sugar, and the brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg and vanilla; beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. (and add 1 T grated lemon zest to the creamed butter and sugars along with the egg and vanilla.)
Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.

3. Place the 1/2 cup sugar for rolling in a shallow bowl. Fill a medium bowl halfway with cold tap water. Dip your hands in the water and shake off any excess (this will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands and ensure that the sugar sticks to the dough). Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a 1 1/2 inch ball between moistened palms, roll the ball in the sugar, and then place it on the prepared baking sheet. repeat with the remaining dough, moistening your hands as necessary and spacing the balls about 2 inches apart*you should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet). Using the butter wrappers, butter the bottom of a drinking glass and then dip the bottom of the glass in the remaining sugar, Flatten the dough balls with the bottom of the glass until they are about 3/4 inch thick, dipping the glass in the sugar as necessary to prevent sticking (after every 2-3 cookies).

4. Bake until the cookies are golden brown around the edges and their centers are just set and very lightly colored, 15-18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom half way through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets about 3 minutes; using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.





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