Sunday, January 2, 2011

Week 1: Lemon Poppy Seed

Happy 2011 everyone! As I promised to myself, this weekend marks the beginning of my year in cookies: 52 cookies in 52 weeks. I'm working toward trying a new recipe each week, so you probably won't see chocolate chip cookies or snickerdoodles throughout the year; maybe as a bonus in the middle of the week, depending on how I'm feeling. ;-)

These cookies were nice, pretty easy to make, and with great flavor. Apparently I don't know what a medium-size lemon looks like, and by the time I was done juicing my third lemon I felt like I had almost too much juice. This required more flour to be added, which made me think that maybe I didn't begin with enough flour since I don't have all the required measuring cups for solid with my next paycheck, I'll be investing in new graduated measuring cups and spoons to help keep me on track. Also, I used my regular cookie scoop, which has the capacity of approximately 1 or 2 tablespoons of dough while the recipe calls for drops of 1 teaspoons; I decided that I wanted bigger cookies, anyway. Well, the combination of the larger cookies and extra flour caused baking time to extend quite a bit; instead of 8-10 minutes, the cookies were done around 15-20 minutes. I did the first 2 dozen with my new silpat mats lining the cookie sheets, and the second 2 dozen without the silpat mats (since I thought baking time would shorten if I did that). Baking time did not shorten, and I decided that the cookies with the silpats were much better...but both did turn out well.

Following is the recipe for the Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies that I used. This recipe can be found in "Crazy About Cookies" by Krystina Castella, Sterling Publishing Company, 2010.

Lemon Poppy-Seed Cookies
Type of cookie: Drop
Makes 36 Cookies

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Freshly squeezed lemon juice from 6 medium lemons
3 tablespoons grated lemon zest from 2 medium lemons
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 cup poppy seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Stir in the oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and poppy seeds, blend well.

4. Drop 1-teaspoon mounds of dough on the cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges are golden. Transfer to a rack to cool.

That concludes Week 1's cookie experience. Stay tuned for next week's cookie; it has become a staple of mine in our household for various functions, mainly for Christmas. It will be one of the few cookies that I will make that I have already made, and there is a reason for it....but you'll just have to tune in next week for more fun in the kitchen!

Happy baking!


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