Hye Thyme Cafe: Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

I don't know what it is about me and cookie recipes! I went to try a recipe I saw in the newspaper a few years back and made the mistake of not reading the whole thing before I started. Part way through, I realized that there were ingredients listed that were not mentioned in the directions, and other ingredients referred to in the directions without having been listed in the ingredients. I ended up winging it and coming up with a great cookie (a retraction was printed the following week), but you would think that would have taught me a lesson. Not so much ...

I was flipping through my sister's recipe collection at some point and saw these cookies. I decided to give them a try but saw that the recipe had continued onto another page and she had apparently only clipped the beginning; again, I winged it. This is one of our favorite cookies now, and aside from how crisp and tasty they are, they seem to keep FOREVER. The first time I made them, it was around Christmas, and there were so many different treats in the house, they didn't get eaten as fast as they normally would. After a while, someone would reach into the tin hesitantly like ... they MUST be stale by now ... but nope.  

* Optional - Lemon/Orange Zest
1 T orange juice
1 T lemon juice
3 c flour
3 T poppy seeds
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 1/4 c sugar
2/3 c butter
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla
2 t almond extract

1/3 c sugar
1/2 t poppy seeds
3 T lemon juice

Zest and juice your citrus and set aside. You might be able to get away with one lemon, but I always have a spare handy in case the first one doesn't give off much juice. If using bottled juice, don't  worry about the zest. There will still be plenty of flavor.

Using a fork, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt, and set aside.  

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the extracts, juices, and zest.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, a little at a time until incorporated. I don't usually bother, but this is a very soft dough, so you might want to chill it for a few minutes to make it easier to handle.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Working with about a third of the dough at a time, on a lightly floured surface, roll it out to between 1/8" and 1/4" and cut as desired. You can use whatever size cutters you want. Just make sure that if you make various sizes of cookies, you bake the same size on one tray so they don't bake at different rates. Sometimes I just use a pizza wheel to cut them into sticks or diamonds. I used 2" cutters this time and ended up with around 5 dozen cookies.

Set the cookies on parchment-lined trays and bake for 12-15" until lightly browned around the edges. They will puff up more than spread out, so you don't need to leave a whole lot of space between them.

While waiting on that first tray, you can stir together the sugar, seeds, and lemon juice for your glaze. You want to let it sit for a few minutes to give the sugar a chance to dissolve somewhat; it will be pretty thick/syrupy.

As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, brush the tops with the glaze so it will soak in. Let the cookies sit on the tray for a few minutes before transferring to racks to cool/dry. [They will continue to cook a little more, and you won't have to deal with glaze dripping on your counter. J]  



  1. I like your site. I have tried a couple of your Armenian recipes. Well done.

    1. Great, thank you! I really do need to add some other Armenian recipes soon!!! I think I'm going to try a Peaches & Cream version of Kadayif for Thanksgiving next week.

  2. I love poppy seeds, but one day, much to my surprise, I discovered I was allergic, as I went into an opium stupor after eating a poppy seed muffin, and had to sleep it off in the emergency room well into the night!

    1. Wow!! And you didn't get nicknamed Dorothy after that? I thought the Wizard of Oz reflected an exaggerated reaction to poppy. That mush have been some muffin!!

  3. Hi,Chris
    Pop over to my blog and you'll see that I've awarded you the Liebster Award because yours is a blog that I enjoy.

    1. Thank you! Funny timing - I was just scrolling through Reader and saw your post as you were over here. :)

  4. I want to make these for a fun change from our traditional Christmas cookies--they look so good!

    1. I have made these for Christmas before, and their longevity is one of the reasons why. I never understand how people start baking so far ahead of the holidays. I'm always afraid things will be stale. That's not a problem with these -- at least if kept in a tin. I just switched the cutters to X-Mass Trees, Candy Canes, etc. Hope you enjoy! :)

  5. Now this one I can handle! Looks yummilicious and so pretty!


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