Friday, June 3, 2011

Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

No weekly lunch post this week - I've taken the week off to host some visiting family members. It's always fun to see my city through the eyes of tourists, and we're enjoying all that my (rainy and gray) city has to offer. It's always nice to have some fresh-baked cookies when guests come to town, and these lemon poppy seed cookies are great for this - they can be made a couple of days ahead of time and baked whenever you want.

One of the few sunny moments I enjoyed this week.

One flavor combination that I love is lemon and poppy seeds, the tiny nutty crunch against a fresh tart flavor. If almonds are also involved, I am almost guaranteed to like it. Here are a few lemon poppy seed recipes I've been looking at lately:

Poppy Seed and Almond Cake from Nettle and Quince - this recipe has the most poppy seeds of any I've seen (and the least lemon of the ones listed here)

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Coconut Muffins from Healthy Exposures - coconut sounds like a tasty addition

These Mini Blueberry Tarts with Lemon Poppy Seed Crust are just adorable! From Happy Sugar Fun Time

I was inspired to make some lemon poppy seed cookies after seeing these incredibly buttery-looking Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread on Lottie and Doof. The challenge was to make them gluten free. I am far from a gluten free baking expert, so the cookies did not turn out like shortbread and instead were thin and crisp, with slightly pillowy centers. Delightful, but not shortbread at all.

I also made some lemon sugar, which was a great idea and I highly recommend it:

Lemon Sugar
In a jar or other container with a lid, combine the zest of one lemon with 1/2 to 1 cup sugar. I used 3/4 cup sugar, all of which I used in the cookie recipe below. The lemon sugar can be stored for up to 2 weeks.


Another nice thing about this recipe is that it makes quite a bit of dough, and you can save some or all of it in the refrigerator or freezer for future use. I rolled the dough into a log and chilled it for a few hours before cutting half of it into slices and baking. I saved the rest of the log in the refrigerator and baked more cookies a couple of days later. Very convenient when you have house guests.

So I present to you:

Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies (Not Shortbread)
Makes about 30 cookies

8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup lemon sugar (or 3/4 cup sugar plus the zest of one lemon)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup almond meal
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup sweet white rice flour
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, whisk together the almond meal, flours, poppy seeds and salt.

In a medium bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy, then add the lemon sugar and beat an additional minute. Add the almond extract, then stir in the dry ingredients.

Spoon the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, then pat the dough into a log. Wrap up with the plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 3 days. The wrapped dough log can also be frozen for a couple of months.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut 1/4" slices of dough and lay them 1-2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake until the edges are golden, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then place on a cooling rack.



  1. Have SO much fun with your family! I'll miss your totally inspirational lunch post - but I've needing to catch up on your old recipes that I've been meaning to make! Have fun!

  2. These cookies look sooooooooo good! I adore the idea of lemon sugar...delish!

  3. those look great! I love cookie logs - they make everything easy!

  4. Yum! I haven't had anything lemon-poppyseed flavored in so long- too long! These look great :)

    I love lemon. I need to try the lemon sugar, too!

  5. The lemon sugar is great - can't believe I didn't know about it before. I use more citrus juice than zest, and this is a really nice way to save the zest for future use.

    Tori, thanks for stopping by! I look forward to checking out your site.


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