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Author Notes: These started out as a lemon poppy seed cookie: crunchy, lemony and addictive. I originally made them to be used as a sandwich cookie with a cream cheese lemon filling. They never made it to that stage as I watched people sitting in my kitchen, unable to stop eating these, just as they were. When I went to make them for this party, I found that my poppy seeds had gone bad but I had a stash of black sesame seeds that were fresh and aromatic.
Both poppy seeds and sesame seeds get rancid quickly, so it’s important to buy them from a vendor who sells really fresh ingredients and store them in your refrigerator or freezer. Taste them before you start this recipe: If they have an oily rancid taste, toss them.
These two seeds have very different flavor profiles. I think the black sesame seeds create a more sophisticated, slightly exotic cookie; but poppy seeds also result in a great cookie.
These cookies are deceptive. They look kind of plain, even unexciting, but the combination of lemon zest, lemon extract, and seeds make these a keeper. Also, the recipe makes a large amount and, carefully wrapped, they freeze well. —At Home with Friends
Makes 50-60 cookies
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl.
- Using a stand or hand held mixer, cream butter and sugar until well combined. Add in egg, sesame seeds, lemon zest and both extracts. Mix until well combined.
- Add dry ingredients in 3 stages, mixing well after each addition.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, divide in two and flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and chill several hours or several days.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Roll out disks one at a time on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. If dough won’t roll, allow it to warm slightly a few minutes. Using a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place on parchment lined baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Gather scraps and re-roll.
- Chill cookies on baking sheets 15 minutes.
- Bake until edges begin to color, approximately 18 minutes. Rotate baking sheets front to back and top to bottom, halfway through baking. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets 5 minutes and then transfer to racks and cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks or, carefully wrapped, frozen up to 1 month.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Sesame
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