Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread / by Chelsea Zwieg

These cookies exist as a testament to my love of baking. There are some days (really all days, but some overwhelmingly so) that all I feel like doing is baking. It doesn't matter that I just worked 8 1/2 hours on my feet, it doesn't matter that the air conditioning in my apartment is a sick joke to the point that the thermostat read 89 degrees a few days ago as it, I am pretty sure, actually laughed in my face and it doesn't matter that I only have one solemn egg, sitting alone in my refrigerator. The mood to bake struck, and I was was going to find a way. I first started with an intense round of googling, trying to find recipes for brownies with one egg, cake with banana-for-eggs substitutes but then the beautiful, life-saving creation that is shortbread came flying at me and how could I say no? There are no eggs, it uses powdered sugar which I have in excess after some buttercream experimentations (graham cracker buttercream. it's the best, just saying) and they are just plain adorable.

The cookies are everything you could want in a shortbread, bright, lemony, buttery, crumbly but not too crumbly that you need to sweep the floor after you eat them. They would be wonderful with some tea or with some iced coffee, because hey, it's summer which means my body is pretty much 90% iced coffee right now. I cannot get enough. 

Lemon Poppyseed Shortbread

Adapted from Epicurious 

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

| Instructions 

  • In an mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add lemon zest, juice and vanilla and mix to combine.
  • Add the poppy seeds, salt and flour one at a time, beating after each addition just enough to incorporate the dry ingredients. Be careful not to over-mix, or the shortbread will become tough.
  • Roll dough into a log, about 1 1/2" thick. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and freeze until dough is firm, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 300. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper After dough is chilled, remove from plastic wrap and slice into coins, about 1/2" thick. Arrange cookies on prepared baking sheets and bake 30 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool on pans for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.