Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed...Cake or Cookies

I was reading my daughter, Kelly, and her best friend, Kandyce's blog,  Notions & Threads, latest post entitled "Yellow" featuring the photography of KT, Kandyce's 13 year-old daughter, and it inspired me to create two different desserts using lemons and poppy seeds.  Lemons are such a wonderful addition to any dessert and was a favorite with my mother, but moreover, like KT's photographs, their bright yellow color just scream spring.  Whether you choose the cake or cookies, I think you'll enjoy the combination and so will your family and friends.

Note:  I used a combination of Meyer lemons and large lemons in both the zest and juice.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 T lemon zest (from one lemon)
4 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1/4 cup poppy seeds

In a bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.  In the bowl of the KitchenAid, beat butter and sugar at high speed until fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add zest, juice, and extract and mix to combine.  Add the flour mixture, one cup at a time and beat to incorporate.  Divide dough into half.  Form dough into 2 1/2-inch logs, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.  (You can also double wrap them and place them in the freezer for up to 3 months.)
Heat oven to 350F-degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or use a Silpat.  Slice cookies into 1/4-inch slices and place on prepared baking sheet, about an inch apart.  Alternatively, you could roll out the dough and cut into 2 1/2-inch scalloped shapes, but slice & bake is definitely quicker!

Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are a golden brown.  Remove to a cooling rack and let cool.  Makes about 5 to 6 dozen.

Now the cake...
Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 T lemon zest
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Use a oil/flour spray to coat bundt pan.
Combine sugar and eggs in the KitchenAid and beat until very light and fluffy.  Slowly add the cool, melted butter, lemon juice and zest.  Mix the milk, sour cream, and extracts together and set aside.  Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Add the dry ingredients alternatively with the milk mixture to the butter/egg mixture.  Beat at medium/high speed for 1 minute.  

Scrape batter into the prepared bundt cake.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  
While the cake is baking, prepare the lemon glaze.
In a small saucepan, stir together:  1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, 1 T lemon zest.  Stir together and place on the stove over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, without stirring.  Boil one minute, then, turn down flame to low and continue to cook, 5 minutes more.  Remove from the stove and set aside.
When the cake is done, cool for 10 minutes in the pan.  Turn out onto a serving plate and use a toothpick to poke holes throughout the cake.  Brush the lemon glaze over cake until all used up.

Mix up the icing glaze:  1 cup confectioners' sugar and 1-2 T lemon juice are mixed together, then poured over the cake.
Both these desserts are guaranteed to make you pucker then, smile and think of Spring!  Enjoy!

As an alternative to the bundt pan, try some other pans and adjust the cooking time to 20-25 minutes.
 Fill the cakelets with strawberries (see Strawberry Shortcake) then whip some heavy cream, about 2 cups.  Fold in 1/2 cup of lemon curd and serve over top of the strawberries.


1 comment:

  1. These compliment KT's yellow pictures perfectly :)