Lemon Poppy Seed Sugar Cookies

Recipe by luckybites

Yield: About 3 dozen 2.5" cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tbsp lemon extract
Zest of one lemon
2 tbsp Blue Poppy Seeds
3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups confectioners' sugar
6-7 tbsp lemon juice (about two lemons)
4 tsp meringue powder (optional—use if you want the icing to firm up completely - a good idea if you're gifting the cookies)

​2 tbsp Blue Poppy Seeds
zest of one lemon, air-dried completely

Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
Wax paper
​Microplane/fine grater


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mat.
  2. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium speed until well blended. Add baking powder, salt, and lemon extract. mix for one minute. Add egg. mix until well-combined. Add poppy seeds.
  3. Stir in flour just until incorporated and smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Do not over mix. Dough should be firm and hold together well, but should no longer be sticky. It should easily fall away from sides of bowl and paddle. You may need to adjust flour quantity.
  4. Divide dough in thirds and place each third on a sheet of wax paper. form into a flat disc. Cover disc with another sheet of wax paper, sandwiching the dough between the two sheets.
  5. Roll out to a 1/4" thickness, smoothing any creases that develop in wax paper.
  6. Peel away & replace one sheet of wax paper (this will prevent dough from sticking when cutting cookies, and keep work surface clean). flip "sandwich" over & remove top sheet of wax paper, leaving other sheet underneath dough.
  7. Cut out cookies & place on baking sheet, 1" apart.
  8. Roll out scraps & repeat, until all dough is used up. you may need to refrigerate the rolled out scraps if they become to warm & sticky. Repeat these steps with the other discs.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven 10-12 minutes, until cookies are golden around the edges. Cool two minutes on baking sheets. Place on wire racks to cool completely.

Un-iced ​cookies can be stored at room temperature for 1-2 weeks.

To make icing:

  1. Zest a lemon. spread out zest in a thin layer on parchment paper or cutting board and allow to air dry completely. depending on the humidity of your kitchen, it could take as little as a few hours, but may need overnight. you can skip the drying, but the moisture in the fresh zest may cause the icing to become splotchy.
  2. Juice the lemons, straining out any pulp.
  3. Mix powdered sugar and lemon juice (& meringue powder if using) till just incorporated. you can certainly mix by hand (i often do for single batches). but if using an electric mixer, mix at lowest speed just until smooth. 
  4. Apply icing to completely cooled cookies.
  5. Add zest and poppy seed toppings within a minute of icing the cookie so they will adhere. pop any air bubbles that may appear.
  6. Allow to air dry for 8-12 hours, until icing is firm.
  7. Store any unused icing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month.

Iced ​cookies can be stored at room temp for about a week.

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