Poppy Seed Butter Cookies

These buttery not-too-sweet cookies are a poppy seed lover’s dream. Great with a cup of tea or coffee the texture resembles classic shortbread. The easy to make dough can be made days or weeks ahead and refrigerated until needed.

Poppy seeds have a high oil content and if not refrigerated can turn rancid. Buy fresh poppy seeds for this recipe and freeze any leftovers where they’ll stay fresher longer than on your pantry spice rack.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
¼ cup poppy seeds
½ cup raisins (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, combine the flour, poppy seeds, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Form the dough into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Preheat oven to 325° F. Remove dough from refrigerator and slice the dough with a thin sharp knife into ¼ inch rounds. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake until bottom edges turn a light golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack.

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