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Frosted Lemon Poppyseed Cookies

Frosted Lemon Poppyseed Cookies

It’s a bit hard to say what makes lemon poppyseed such a good combination in baked goods. Zesty lemon flavors are always good, of course, but the poppyseeds don’t contribute much in the way of flavor. They do, however, add a hint of additional texture to a cake or muffin and that crunch is a nice break from otherwise soft pastries. Perhaps it’s the subconscious idea that the teeny tiny amount of opiates in the seeds will make you feel good (and fail a drug test, if what I’ve seen on Seinfeld is true!). In reality, it’s probably a combination of some of these things: a bit of crunch from the seeds, a bright acidity from the lemon and the sweetness of the dough that surrounds them.Anyway, the combination is a good one and that’s all you really need to know before baking these lemon poppyseed cookies. The lemon flavor in the cookies comes from fresh lemon zest. It’s fairly subtle at first, but really pops once you add a lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar glaze to the top of the finished cookies. The cookies are soft and a little bit cakelike, rather than crispy. They remind me a little bit of scones or teacakes and go great with iced tea.

These are drop cookies that come together very quickly. There isn’t a whole lot of juice called for in the recipe, and one lemon is really all you need. You’ll get a better flavor with fresh zest than with lemon extract, so it’s worth picking up a fresh lemon if you don’t have one on hand. You can also try these cookies with lemon, orange or other citrus fruits for a little variety.

Frosted Lemon Poppyseed Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp poppyseeds

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Beat in egg.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined, then stir in poppyseeds. Drop by 1-inch balls onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until cookies are set and just begin to brown at the edges (the bottoms may be lightly browned, but not the top of the cookies)
Cool for 1-2 minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool before glazing.

Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tbsp lemon juice

Whisk together juice and sugar until icing is a smooth, pourable consistency. Add additional juice if yours is too thick to drizzle easily or additional sugar if it is too thick.
Drizzle over cookies. Cookies should not be hot, but it is ok if they are not completely at room temperature before frosting.
Cookies must be cooled to room temperature before being stored.

Makes 2 dozen.

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  • Kay
    August 14, 2009

    I love lemon poppyseed muffins – can’t wait to now try these cookies! Its great to read about this variation on this wonderful combination – thanks!

  • Nutmeg Nanny
    August 14, 2009

    Mmmm these cookies look delicious! I think the Seinfeld poppy seed muffin episode is hilarious. I think it’s even more hilarious that Elaine gets Jerry’s mom to give up her pee and they still won’t let her go because J.Peterman thinks she is going through menopause…haha. Great show and great cookies;)

  • Chicago Bears
    August 14, 2009


  • Anonymous
    August 15, 2009

    They sure look nice, looking forward to taste it 😉

  • raina
    August 15, 2009

    Yummy! i love everything citrus. Will have to try them. Thanks.
    About the pyrex prep bowls, how do u use them for baking? Do they have to be put on a baking sheet in the oven or just on the rack and what temp? Sorry to bother, im just learning to bake.
    Thanks again.

  • Angelia McGowan
    August 15, 2009

    Those look so delicious. I never thought of putting poppy seeds in cookies, what a great idea!

  • Trish
    August 15, 2009

    Couldn’t agree more…lemon and poppyseeds are a winning combination alllll the time!

  • alaina
    August 15, 2009

    i made these this afternoon on a whim and have eaten… nearly all of them. woops.

  • argas
    August 16, 2009

    They look so delicious!! I love lemon in everything 🙂

  • Haley
    August 16, 2009

    These are fabulous! I’m not typically a fan of frosting on cookies, but this one gives them the perfect amount of citrus zing.

  • CakeSpy
    August 17, 2009

    This is one of my FAVORITE types of cookies, but I’ve never made them myself–I’ve always gotten them from a local bakery. I’m so happy to have a recipe now. Whether it’s the poppyseeds or the sugar and butter (or all three) I know these have already made me happy!

  • Johannes
    August 18, 2009

    They look great and taste even better, and I really like lemon as well as (apparently) like most of the others here.. =) My mother used to bake these when I was a kid, I sat at my computer all day playing games and eating cookies and drinking milk.. lol

  • Singapore Shopping
    August 21, 2009

    These cookies looks really delicious. Yummy!

  • lOv3raku
    August 25, 2009

    Yummy yummy yummy that’s all I can say!

  • Lu
    August 29, 2009

    These were a BIG HIT with friends and family – Thanks ur the best 🙂

  • Shaz
    August 29, 2009

    I have to say, I first found this site while looking for a Tagalongs recipe (which I found and made and loved!), and then I was hooked. After a long search for poppyseeds that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg, I was finally able to make these. They’re some of the easiest and most delicious cookies I’ve ever tasted, even without the glaze!

  • baguette
    September 1, 2009

    who doesnt love this cakes…!!!!
    i will try it this weekend.

  • baguette
    September 1, 2009

    who doesnt love this cakes!!!
    i will try it this weekend.
    whit fresh lemmon the taste is the best.

  • Denise
    April 11, 2012

    Can you freeze these cookies after frosting them? How long can you freeze them?

  • Mike Schwartz
    January 22, 2015

    The Seinfeld episode (with the shtick about poppy seed muffins) is described fully on Wikipedia — at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shower_Head

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