Lemon poppy seed cookies are a delicious and easy cookie to make. This is an old family recipe that originates from my mother's Great Aunt Mary. Her recipe was a bit less precise, consisting of a 'little of this' and a 'little of that.' At some point in the 1950s my grandmother asked Mary to make the cookies for her, and subsequently measured out all of the ingredients. This current iteration is still the same recipe.
Over the years my mother was the only one who continued to make these cookies. When she would mail them out over the holidays, they became a much sought after commodity. In fact, when my mom's Uncle Nat (Mary's brother) received them he would stash them away and not let any of his octogenarian friends near them. Apparently, these old geezers would come visit him simply to steal the cookies. He valued them so much that when my mother started having wrist pains from work and couldn't mix the dough, he bought her a stand mixer to keep mailing them to him.
Albeit she was the only person to continue making these, as time passed these cookies slowly came back into vogue within my family. People would often ask her for the recipe and rarely would she give it out. This recipe is a carefully guarded secret. Thus, my mom was mildly taken aback and annoyed when I told her that I was going to share this recipe online and requested that I do not because the cousins might see.
To be fair, I don't think anyone we are related to actually bothers to read my Instructables. However, I will preface that if you happen to be a cousin or other blood relation, please stop reading now. You are not supposed to know how to do this. Perhaps you can read a book, go watch the entire Breaking Bad series on Netflix, or take up organic gardening. I don't particularly care how you chose to distract yourself from reading on.
For everyone else not in our family - follows are instructions for making really awesome lemon poppy seed cookies. Not only do they taste great, but you can cut them into all kinds of fun shapes. Also - as mentioned earlier - they mail well. These make great gifts for any occasion.
Step 1: Lemon Poppy Seed Cookie Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups oil
2 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
6 cups flour
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
Step 2: Start the Dough
Start the dough by mixing together the sugar and the oil.
Step 3: Lemon Extract
Pour in 2 teaspoons of lemon extract.
Step 4: Eggs
Beat in four eggs.
Step 5: Salt
Add a teaspoon of salt.
Step 6: Vanilla Extract
Pour in a teaspoon of vanilla.
Step 7: Baking Powder
Now add 2-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder.
Step 8: Mix Flour and Poppy Seeds
Now is the time to make it seem like actual dough by adding flour and poppy seeds.
Mix in the first three cups of flour one cup at a time.
Next, mix in the poppy seeds.
Finally, add the remaining three cups of flour a cup at a time.
Roll the dough into a ball.
Step 9: Roll Out the Dough
Place the ball of dough on a well floured cutting board.
With an equally well-floured rolling pin, spread it out until it is about a quarter to a half-inch thick.
Step 10: Cut Cookies
Cut out cookies using your favorite cookie cutters and place them spread and inch or two apart on a greased baking pan. They will expand slightly, but not much.
Repeat the process and keep rolling out the unused dough and cutting more cookies until there is no more dough left.
Step 11: Bake Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
Bake the cookies in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for about 12-16 minutes (until very lightly browned).
Step 12: Enjoy Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
Enjoy all of your lemon poppy seed cookies and remember to share (or you will get fat).