Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lemon Poppy Surprise Cookies

I love poppy seed filling so much I could eat it out of the can. Not so good if you're about to have your picture taken. These cookies are delicate and buttery to the bite filled with a sinful surprise. I added surprise to the title because when I served them, everyone was sure that there was raspberry jam or chocolate inside. No one expected to see and taste the sticky and delicious black specks of poppy. The dough is infused with a good dose of lemon zest that lend a  really bright zing to this cookie. Sprinkled with a little powdered sugar, it's your morning coffee or teas best friend. 

The dough is really soft and delicate. When you make them you will feel the urge to add more flour, but don't. This is what makes them so light and crumbly. 

Lemon Poppy Surprise Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
4 sticks margarine
1 cup confectioners sugar, plus more for dusting
3 tbsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
zest of one lemon
Poppy seed filling

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar until pale white, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest. Add the flour and beat at low speed just until combined.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Using a 2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles. Fill half of the circles with 1 tsp of poppy seed filling. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of the filled circles with a little bit of water. Cover the filled cookies with the remaining circles and press lightly on the edges to seal. Poke the cookies with a few holes, not too deep, just to create a design. 
Bake for 22 to 24 minutes, until the bottoms are golden and the tops are pale blond; Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the cookies cool for 10 minutes. Dust with confectioners sugar and garnish with lemon zest curls. 

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