ilana freddye


Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread

You know how teachers used to assign seats in class? And it was totally devastating if your friends were all on the other side of the room. Well, teachers don't assign seats anymore. Apparently we've matured past that. What I find hilarious every single time I enter one of my classes is that people assign themselves seats. I mean that, it makes me laugh every time. We find a seat, we call it home and then for the rest of the semester we become oddly loyal to this spot. We're nesting. Oh the comforts we find in ritual, the same seat, the same workouts, the same schedule. We are creatures of comfort.

Recently, I have found comfort in the process of baking, especially in the morning. There's something about  the peacefulness of morning and the calm I find in baking that just go so well together.  Oddly enough I have been craving everything and anything lemon poppyseed lately. Why so odd? Because just last week I was no fan of lemony things, no fan at all. And then suddenly, I'm back on the wagon. Lemon poppy seed please.  First recipe to get the lemon poppy seed treatment are these buttery shortbread cookies. 

Since I was passing these on, I wrapped them in some parchment paper and tied the ends with butcher's twine that I had in the room. I've been coveting the lovely string from this company and since the twine I used was wrapped around a box of pastries (cannolis mmmm) we got last weekend, I think I'm going to consider ordering some of my own.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter 
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbl sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbl lemon zest
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbl poppy seeds
  1. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and light in color.
  2. Add lemon juice, zest and, vanilla extract. Combine with mixer.
  3. Add the flour, salt, and poppy seeds. Mix until just combined and pebbly.
  4. Press together to form a dough disk.  Wrap and refrigerate until firm, a few hours or overnight
  5. Set oven to 350 F (mine got slightly browned on the bottom, if this bugs you then just set the oven between 300 and 325 F. Make sure to double the cooking time and keep a close eye on them if you do this)
  6. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment until you reach the desired thickness, mine were roughly between 1/4 and 1/2 inch.
  7. Return the dough to the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.
  8. Cut the cooking in squares or with cookie cutters.
  9. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet, no more than one inch apart.
  10. Bake for 8-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them, the bottoms brown quickly.

If you feel like it, you can make some cute labels and share these cookies with friends. I've been thoroughly enjoying surprising people with baked goods, and super cute labels made it that much sweeter. I made these with cut up canvas paper and permanent markers (I love the Bic color assortment)

Now that I'm hooked, I can't stop thinking up lemon poppy seed recipes.