I’m in love with lemons. Up until about 7 years ago, I was indifferent about lemons. But when I got pregnant the first time, I wanted lemons on everything. I guzzled lemonade. I squeezed lemons on every darn thing I ate. I even remember deconstructing a roast beef sandwich at a restaurant and squeezing lemon juice all over the roast beef before devouring it. Even thought I’m not pregnant, I still love lemons. I start every day with a glass of warm water and fresh lemon juice. I feel a little off without it. So, when my little ones asked me for some cookies, I thought, why not whip out a lemony treat. And lucky for me, my picky-mcpickerston eaters like lemon as well. Since I keep a large stash of fresh lemons in the house, I automatically thought of making these Lemon Poppy Seed Linzer Cookies.
I’m not exactly sure what constitutes a linzer cookie. But in my book, a linzer cookies has to have 4 essential qualities: 1 – It must be a sandwich cookie (two cookies with some sort of filling). 2 – The filling must be fruit based. 3 – There must be some sort of hole in the top cookie in which you can see the filling. 4 – It must be finished with a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar. My definition of a linzer cookie is totally made up, but I like it. So, I’m going to stick with it 🙂
These Lemon Poppy Seed Linzer Cookies are made of two buttery cookies filled with lemon zest, a bit of lemon extract, and a ton of poppy seeds. The poppy seeds add a nice little crunch to the cookies without overpowering the lemony goodness.
And for the filling in these Lemon Poppy Seed Linzer Cookies, any lemon-lover will tell you that there’s really only one option: lemon curd. I’ve made my share of lemon curds, and this one is one of my favorites. It’s pretty intense and not overly-sweet, which is why it makes the perfect cookie filling. It packs a lemon punch while balancing out some of the sweetness in the cookies.
When I say that this lemon curd is strong, I mean it’s pucker-your-lips strong. If you eat it on it’s own, it can be overwhelming. But when you pair it with cookies, a tart crust, fold it into buttercream, or spread it on toast, it is pure, lemon perfection. Plus, it’s darn easy to make. Just throw all the ingredients in a pot. Cook and stir for about 7 minutes. Strain (which is the step I always want to skip, but never dare to because without straining, you can never achieve the silky, smooth texture that every lemon curd deserves.) And it’s done. A perfect lemon curd is made.
To finish the cookies, I added two coats of powdered sugar on top. It makes the cookies so pretty, and when you bite into the Lemon Poppy Seed Linzer Cookies, you have the crisp, buttery cookie, the silky, smooth lemony curd, and the whole thing is finished off with that touch of powered sugar just melting in your mouth. When I packaged these up to give to some friends, I put a few aside for my family, and I may have hid one or two somewhere in the kitchen just for me 😉
- For the Lemon Curd
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 6 tbs unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
- pinch of salt
- For the Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
- To Assemble the Cookies
- about 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Place a strainer over a bowl. Set aside.
- In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, add the lemon juice, sugar, eggs, egg yolks, and salt.
- Then add the butter cubes.
- Place over a low flame and stir until the butter is melted.
- Once the butter is melted, slightly increase the heat and stir continuously until the mixtures thickens. You will know the mixture is thick enough when it coats the back of a spoon, and when you drag your finger over the back of the spoon the the line remains. (This step took me about 7 to 10 minutes.)
- Immediately strain the curd using the prepared strainer and bowl.
- Chill the lemon curd until it’s completely cool.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
- In a medium bowl, sift the flower, baking powder, and salt. Mix in the poppy seeds. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and mix until just combined.
- Add the lemon zest and extract. Mix until just combined.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Roll the cookies out to about 1/4-inch thickness on a floured piece of parchment paper.
- Cut out in desired shapes. I used a circle scallop cutter that’s about 4 inches in diameter. I cut out a smaller circle in the middle for half of the cookies.
- Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for about 7 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Continue this process until all of the dough is cut and baked.
- Once all of the cookies are completely cool, on the flat side of a whole cookie, spread about 1/2 tsp of lemon curd.
- Place a cookie with it’s center cut out on top of the lemon curd.
- Continue to assemble all the cookies in the same manner.
- Place the confectioners’ sugar in a sifter, and sift the sugar over the cookies two times.
This post is linked to these awesome parties.