Friday, December 17, 2010
Poppy Seed Ribbon Cookies
Cookie season is in high gear. Chocolate, vanilla, nuts. Crunchy, chewy, crispy. Plain and adorned. Sliced, rolled, dropped and scooped. Sandwiched and thumbprinted, dipped and dusted. As the flour flies and the mixer whirs happily, oh what fun to share so much abundance.
These cookies are a little riff on Nancy Baggett’s Cranberry-Cherry Icebox Ribbons. I threw some poppy seeds into the cookie dough and used mixed berry preserves in the filling to produce these striped and polka dot gems.
Cookies are always a welcome ritual in this season. I hope your holiday baking fills your kitchen with wonderful aromas, family and friends.
- The filling can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- The dough is frozen so the cookies are easy to slice and hold their shape.
- Frozen cookie dough will keep for up to 1 month. Transfer to an airtight container.
- One test for doneness for cookies is to gently nudge one with your fingertip. If the cookie slides easily, they are done. If you feel a lot of resistance, bake for another minute or so. Once removed from the oven, most cookies will need to firm up for a minute or two before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Lots more cookies in my Recipe Index.
Poppy Seed Ribbon Cookies
based on Cranberry-Cherry Icebox Ribbons from The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett
Makes about 30 cookies
generous 3/4 C (3 oz) dried cranberries
generous 1/3 C berry preserves
1 - 1 1/2 T sugar, to taste
3 T orange juice
1/8 t vanilla
2 C + 2 T flour
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 T + 1 t poppy seeds
3/4 C sugar
2/3 C butter, softened
2 1/4 t vanilla
For the filling, combine the dried cranberries, berry preserves, sugar and orange juice in the bowl of a food processor. Process until coarsely pureed.
Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Stir to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until chilled and thickened.
For the cookie dough, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the poppy seeds.
Cream the butter and sugar until smooth.
Add the egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.
Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes. If it's too soft to handle, chill it for about an hour or until it's easy to work with.
Line a 4 1/2” x 8 1/2” loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang of about 4” on each side.
Divide the dough into quarters. Shape one portion into roughly the size of the loaf pan. Place in the pan and pat an even and smooth layer into the bottom. Spread one-third of the cranberry filling over the dough with a small spatula. Repeat with the remaining three portions of dough and two portions of filling.
Fold the plastic wrap over the dough, completely sealing it. Freeze the dough in the pan until very firm. If the dough is too soft, the filling will squish out when the dough is sliced.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment or a silpat.
Remove the cookie dough from the freezer and carefully unwrap. Use a sharp knife to trim the sides into straight angles. Clean the knife between cuts. Cut the loaf into thirds crosswise, forming three blocks approximately 2 3/4” x 4”. Work on one block at a time, keeping the others chilled.
Cut each block into 1/4” slices that are about 2 3/4” long, keeping your knife clean after each slice. Place the slices on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake one sheet at a time for about 12 - 14 minutes, until the edges start to darken and firm up. Cool the cookies on wire racks.