A great basic butter cookie made even better, thanks to earthy poppyseeds and bright lemon zest and juice. Easy to make too.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies
- 1 lemon
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons poppyseeds
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- Decorations such as colored sugar, jimmies, silver balls, and icing (optional)
Zest the lemon. Juice the lemon to yield 2 tablespoons of juice. Set the lemon zest and juice aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, poppyseeds, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and lemon zest and juice juice, beating until smooth. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
On a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a 3/4-inch thick round for cookie-cutter cookies or into a log for slice and bake cookies (I shaped mine into a log for the cookies in the photo). Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and as long as overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment.
Meanwhile, if making cookie-cutter cookies, on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut the dough into various shapes. Gather up the scraps and roll out the dough again. Use cookie cutters to make another set of cookies. Discard the scraps. If making slice and bake cookies, cut the log of dough into 1/4-inch slices. Either way, if you like, decorate the cookies with colored sugar, jimmies, silver balls, etc. (Or make checkerboard cookies following the instructions here.)
Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets about 1/2-inch apart. Bake until just beginning to turn golden at the edges, 11 to 13 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool thoroughly before decorating with icing, if you like.