Almond poppyseed cookies for all & sundry ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

07 December 2012

Almond poppyseed cookies for all & sundry

almond poppyseed cookies

December is the height of cookie season at my house. Actually, we tend not to have any cookies at any other time, so I suppose it's the only part of cookie season. Um.

It's cookie season! Let's make some cookies!

Nearly every winter I bake a batch of our now-traditional Swedish farmer cookies. You may have heard of these, since they're one of the few kinds of cookies I ever make. But this year I decided it was time to step it up a notch. So yesterday I not only made a batch of Swedish farmer cookies for our annual cookie exchange, but also a totally new-to-me cookie: almond poppyseed cookies.

This was a great choice for a few different reasons.

1. I have a big bag of poppyseeds hanging out in our spice cabinet, and it's hard to find ways to use more than a tablespoon at a time.

2. There was significant ingredient overlap between the two cookie recipes, so I didn't have to do much prep at all between batches. I also completely used up the almonds, which is good, since my freezer is still just as full as ever.

3. Both recipes are for refrigerator cookies, so it was more than plausible that I'd bake only some of each batch and freeze the rest. Now I have all the cookie dough in the land hanging out in my freezer, waiting for emergency late-night cookie-baking sessions. Hooray!

This recipe comes recommended by my friend Veronica, who is a pretty amazing baker in her own right. The original version is from Penzey's.

almond poppyseed cookie dough

Almond Poppyseed Cookies

1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
1/2 cup poppy seeds
1/4 tsp salt
additional sugar for decoration

Cream the butter with the sugar. If you are unfamiliar with the term "cream" as used in this context, it's ok; it just means "beat until light and fluffy". Add your egg and vanilla and beat well.

Mix all the dry ingredients (minus decorating sugar) in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in several batches, beating well after each addition. Or, if you are me, you can add the almond meal, poppyseeds, and salt to the wet mix first, beat well, and then add the flour in smaller increments. I used a cup and a half of plain all-purpose flour and half a cup of whole wheat, because that's how I roll. I would also like to note that it is not necessarily the best idea to grind your almonds in a coffee grinder if you have other options available. I'm just saying.

almond poppyseed cookie dough

The finished dough will be pliable and easy to handle. Gather it into a ball, divide it into equal parts--the original recipe said two parts, but I made four, because I like smaller cookies--and roll each part into a log. If you want to end up with cookies edged in sparkling sugar, roll your dough logs in the sugar of your choice. I rolled two of mine in raw sugar, but found that the large granules were not super interested in sticking to the dough, so I left the other two plain.

Wrap your dough logs in waxed paper, plastic wrap, or tinfoil, and stick them in the refrigerator for at least an hour. You can also freeze a few of the rolls for super easy slice and bake action later, if you prefer. I highly recommend this course of action.

unbaked almond poppyseed cookie

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325F. Slice your dough into 1/4 inch cookies, arrange on parchment or silicone-lined baking sheets, and bake for about 12 minutes, or until just starting to brown around the edges.

Cool on a rack until you can't possibly wait any longer.


almond poppyseed cookies

These guys are very buttery, not too sweet, and excitingly full of seeds that pop under your teeth. They're also very good with tea, as all shortbready cookies tend to be. Really, is there a cookie on the planet that is bad with tea?

Which cookies are holiday traditions at your house?


Abigail said...

Those look yummy!

Caz said...

These look fab and as you say, the perfect way to use up some poppyseeds. Great storage tips too, I like the idea of having a batch of ready made cookie dough on hand for when you get that cookie craving!

Eileen said...

Thanks! I think I may actually like these better than the Swedish farmer cookies--unbelievable, but true. Maybe now I will just have to make the same two kinds of cookies every December!

Catherine said...

Beautiful! Poppy seeds are so dang cute, in my opinion.

I don't know that I have required cookies each year, just that it's required that I bake them! I have a tendency to go all-out and make somewhere around 10 varieties!

Hannah said...

Love the look of these little morsels! Most poppy seed recipes only call for a tablespoon or two, so I'm glad you went for the gusto and packed them in, so you can actually enjoy their flavor.

Joanne said...

That almond poppyseed combo is one of my absolutely favorites! Add in some lemon zest and I am in HEAVEN.

Jes said...

I'm with you--cookie season comes about once a year with us too! Those poppyseed ones look like they'd be happy to hang out in our house for a bit though. No baking time this Christmas...but maybe soon?