It’s January 2012, the month of detoxes, painful gym membership fees and sighing longingly in the mirror at your Christmas food baby. And here I am, asking you to make cookies. What sort of blog post is that? I should probably post you a fabulous salad recipe, or invest in a juicer to make sexy juices like food blog Shutterbean does. And yet, my first experiment of 2012 heralded such success, I’m ripping up the blogging book and telling you to eat some cookies.
The pairing of poppy seed and lemon is normally a flavour of choice for fat American muffins, but this food relationship keeps on giving in biscuit form. These cookies are delicately scented with lemon zest, with little blue-ish flecks of poppy seed. Big chunks of smashed white chocolate give a sweet vanilla flavour which doubles up with the dot of vanilla paste. If you’re looking for a new food love folks, this is it. Hunt some down, it’s baking nectar.
If you’re feeling guilty that sugar and butter aren’t exactly on your ‘Good Food’ list, never fear. Pack ‘em up with a flask of coffee and go for a walk instead. Bundle them up for a friend in need with a bottle of wine to blast away the January Blues. Treat yourself after a day of soul destroying dissertation work with an hour spent making these beauties. I promise you won’t be disappointed. New Year’s resolutions? Pah, let’s just promise to eat well and be happy this year.
Basic cookie recipe from The Boy Who Bakes by Edd Kimber
You Will Need
250g plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon of poppy seeds
Zest of 1 lemon
113g softened butter (I used Stork)
110g caster sugar
110g soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
¼ teaspoon vanilla paste (optional)
150g good quality white chocolate, roughly chopped
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder through a sieve. Stir through the poppy seeds and lemon zest. Set aside
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the sugars and butter until creamy. Carefully add the egg a little at a time until fully combined. Add a small dot of vanilla paste if using and mix in well (If you have none to hand, don’t worry, the vanilla flavours in the chocolate will give you the same notes).
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix slowly until fully combined. Mix in the chocolate carefully (I find this easiest mixing by hand) and wrap the dough in cling film tightly. Either chill overnight or place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to chill.
Preheat the oven to 160oc fan/ 180/ gas mark 4 and grease two baking trays with butter. Remove the dough from the fridge/freezer and roll into small balls about 60g in weight. The dough should make around 12-14 cookies. Space out evenly on the baking sheets and bake for 16-18 minutes. Cool for a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.