Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lemon poppy seed cookies... And no poppy seeds in Brazil

Lemon poppy seed cookies

After posting this cake, I received several emails and comments from people here in Brazil asking me where I had bought poppy seeds, because they couldn’t find the seeds anywhere. I had no idea there was something going on – I had purchased the package a while before that.

I call the store I usually buy spices from and the employee told me that poppy seeds had been forbidden in Brazil for a while; now, they are no longer banished, but there are so many rules for importing them that the companies prefer not to. I am so mad! I don’t write about politics on my blogs because it’s not my goal and I respect my readers, but I thought that forbidding poppy seeds is too much – there are so many illegal and wrong things happening in Brazil that they should worry about what really matters.

I baked these super yummy cookies months ago and publish them now hoping this ridiculous situation ends soon and Brazilian cooks and bakers can use poppy seeds again.

Lemon poppy seed cookies

Lemon poppy seed cookies
from here

¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
1 cup (226g/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups (250g) sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 teaspoons lemon zest
3 cups (420g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds + extra for topping

Preheat oven to 175ºC/350ºF; line 2 large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a small saucepan, bring lemon juice to a simmer and let reduce by half. Once it has reduced add ½ cup of butter (113g) and let melt, remove from heat and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In another bowl whisk remaining ½ cup of butter (113g) and 1 cup of sugar (200g) together until smooth and creamy. Beat in egg and melted lemon-butter mixture, beat on medium-high with an electric mixer for 3 minutes, or until very light and pale in color. Mix in vanilla, poppy seeds and 3 teaspoons of lemon zest; once combined, add dry ingredients and mix on low until smooth, you may need to stir in the last 1/3 to 2/3 of a cup by hand. Blend until smooth.
In a plate, combine the remaining ¼ cup of sugar (50g) with 1 teaspoon of lemon zest – rub the sugar and zest between your fingertips to obtain a lemony sugar. Roll leveled ½ tablespoons of dough into small balls and place on a prepared cookie sheet, 5cm (2in) apart. Using a very slight moist glass, dip the bottom into sugar mixture and flatten cookies, follow by sprinkling a few poppy seeds and a pinch of the sugar+zest mix over the top of each cookie.

Bake for 11-12 minutes (mine needed 14) or until perfectly golden around the edges. Let cool for a few minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack.

Makes 70


Anonymous said...

These cookies look delicious!! I hope I can make them this weekend. What a great texture they must have.

Deeba PAB said...

Seems to be my lucky day...I have a bag of poppy seeds that a friend got for me from Ukraine. A little goes a long way & I know just what to make now...have been on the trail for something like this for long! Gracias!!

Jen Yu said...

Such lovely cookies, but what a stupid regulation about poppy seeds! My dear... ahem... if you require them in the future and find you don't have them - drop me a line :) xxoo

Meeta K. Wolff said...

That is so lame! My sweetie - if you need poppy seeds then poppy seeds is what you'll get - just let me know and I'll send ya an extra bib bag with a hug! ;-) These cookies look lovely!

mari said...

Time to get out into the streets and start a major poppy protest. Here in California there are a ton of things that are not considered food safe anymore, many of which I use for my cookie and cake decorating, such as silver dragees and gold luster dust. Crazy.

Manggy said...

Huh? What did they think you'd do to them? Make opium? That is kind of silly. You're absolutely right. Besides, it would be a great injustice to deprive Brazil of these pretty cookies, and send them out without their crunchy adornment!

Kirby! said...

I don't know... maybe the Brazilian government has a point banning poppy seeds. I mean, your cookies clearly look dangerous. Public enemy #1: cookies.

But seriously, these look so yummy! I love love love lemon cookies....

Deborah said...

Well, that is kind of silly! I hope that changes soon, because I love to see recipes with poppy seeds!

Cris said...

Lemon and poppy seed go so well together! I have a pack here still from before this prohibition. :-)

Scatterbrain Tal said...

They look so delicious! I'm quite obsessed with poppy seed so I was planning to make a batch of cookies myself.:)

Ann said...

These look wonderful - I love that they appear thick enough to "sink" your teeth into! If you ever need poppy seeds, you let me know! :)

Anonymous said...

That's really silly ! What's wrong with poppy seeds ?! You should send them a picture of your lovely cookies they will change their mind !

Anonymous said...

What? Poppy Seeds? Why? Does it have to do with the whole opium/poppy plant thing? Still, some on! I love those seeds and I hope they are not looking you now that you posted them LOL!

Anonymous said...

That is so odd that they've been banned in Brazil! Here in Australia, I think you can only buy them in bulk if you're a baker because some people use them as a drug. I remember seeing one woman on tv who bought bags of them and spent all day chewing the seeds and getting high.

Hang onto your precious supply Patricia! Those biscuits look so delicate and delicious and worth opening up your stash for :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'll add my name to the list of people who would be happy to send you some contraband poppy seeds. How ridiculous....

Shari said...

It's so interesting to find out what ingredints different countries have and don't have. No poppy seeds in Brazil! Who knew?! They have them in Canada, so I'll clip this post and make some soon!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Anonymous said...

Poppy seeds are banned in Singapore thus, I've never tasted poppy seeds before. Nevetheless, your cookies still looks good!!!

Anonymous said...

No poppy seeds? I can imagine you being a little mad about that. Good thing you know where to get it :)
The cookies look delicious, love the combo of poppy seeds and lemon.

Aimée said...

Hmm, that's so strange. Can you ask someone to smuggle some in for you? What happens when you want to bake bagels??
Beautiful cookies, nevertheless.

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo I love lemon poppyseed muffins but never thought about making them in cookies. They look delicious!

sunita said...

Those cookies are to die for...as for the ban,:-(...drop me a note if you need any :-)

krysta said...

how silly, poppy seeds? come on now.

the cookies look amazing.

Carla said...

You should bake these for the government so they realize they were dumb for banning poppyseeds!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Lori, thank you - I'd love to hear your opinion about them.

Passionate, I hope you like these!

Jen, you are so sweet, thank you, darling!

Meeta, I know you would! You are fabulous!

Mari, really, darling? That sucks. I can send gold luster dust from here if you need some, just drop me a line.

Mark, if poppy seeds were dangerous in this way, I would be high all the time, since I love them. :)

Kirby, your comment made me laugh - thank you! :D
I love lemon cookies, too. Actually, I love lemon anything. :)

Deb, I love them, too!

Cris, that is a treasure, my friend.

Scatterbrain Tal, thank you for visiting! I'm obsessed with these little beauties, too. :)

Ann, you are so kind, dearie! Tks!

Vanille, that sounds like a plan! :)

Cathy, I don't know - they won't even explain why they have banned them! How crazy is that?
I'll be the poppy seed poster girl. :)

Lorraine, really? My goodness. I love poppy seeds, but I have never gotten high. :)

Lydia, I am sure you would - because you are such a special friend!

Shari, I think you'll like the cookies!

Bernice, oh, no! That is so sad!

Linda, I have some great friends, I'll tell you. :)

Aimée, I have to call some bagel store here and find that out.

Ashley, I think you'd like these!

Sunita, you are such a dear! Thank you!

Krysta, very silly, indeed. :(

Carla, that sounds like a plan to me! :)

Debbie said...

I am a cookie addict and I just love poppy seeds. What a great cookie!

Dragon said...

I hope the silliness ends soon. The cookies are too beautiful not to be made.

LyB said...

My gosh! What will lemon become without poppy seeds? I remember at University, I always got a lemon-poppy seed muffin for breakfast at the cantine. My friends would joke that I'd gotten addicted to poppy seeds. Pfft! What do they know!

Those cookies look delicious Patricia, and I'll add my name to the list of people you can call upon to send you poppy seeds if you ever need them! :)

Dee said...

That's silly! But no more ridiculous than some of the things that are banned in my country.

The cookies look amazing. I'm probably baking them this weekend. Purportedly for my son, but we all know who's going to polish them off *sigh*

Nic said...

They look fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Laws against poppy seeds are just so bizarre! If you can't get your hands on any more, and if the mail strike works it self out, I would happily ship you some. :)

Emily said...

That is NOT cool! However, the cookies look great.

Amy said...

Aw that's such a shame about the poppy seeds. I love them and these cookies look great!

Jeanne said...

Good grief, how desperate would you have to be and how many bags of poppy seeds would you have to munch your way through to get even a slight buzz?? Crazy world.

The cookies look fantastic though - I have always loved lemon poppyseed muffins, so these cookies are just my kinda cookie!

Niki said...

These look absolutely adorable!! Now I really want to try them! :D

Jaime said...

that's so silly. what is wrong w/poppyseeds??? those cookies look good, i love lemon poppyseed bread too

Lucy said...

those look delicious! the poppy seed ban is so not good tho....hang on to your supply because that combo of lemon and poppyseed is mmmmmm

Anonymous said...

OH My.. Brazil has a ban on poppy seed? Very strange. The Middle East has a ban on the white poppy seeds.. you actually go to jail for a long time if you try to smuggle it in. But on the other hand, black poppy seeds are available in stores. Go figure..
Regards Q8

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