On my last trip to Berkeley Bowl as I was stocking up on dried chick peas for hummus, I decided to get a large bag of poppy seeds as well. As I have the tendency to do when faced with a bulk bin, I bought way more than I would need to sprinkle on my challah. My co-workers have been politely requesting more cookies since the day I introduced them to my crack-like peanut-butter cookies. I needed a post for the blog, I already had the oven heated from roasting pumpkin earlier in the day, and I had vague memories of the existence of Jewish poppy-seed cookie recipes. A quick perusal of the internet and my cookbooks proved I was indeed correct. Mohn (Poppy Seed) cookies originated in Germany or Poland depending on the source you consult and they are frequently served with coffee or tea. This version is only mildly sweet and has a lovely contrasting texture of the soft dough and crunchy poppy seeds. The recipes varied from softer drop cookies to crisp rolled and cut cookies. Unfortunately, almost all of them were parve and called for oil. There is pretty much nothing I dislike more than parve cookies, so I decided to substitute the oil for butter, and to get the dough to the right consistency, (and for added flavor) I added lemon juice and zest.
Tag Archives: poppy seed cookies
While Gordon made Haman’s Ears for Purim, I decided to go for something a little less cannibalistic and make the traditional hamantaschen. Many a young Jewish-American child will learn this week in Hebrew school that the triangle shape of the hamantaschen represents the three corners of Haman’s hat, but in Israel they are still referred to as Haman’s Ears. Back in my younger days I used to make these every year around Purim, but haven’t made them in many years. I used to take a short cut and fill them with fruit preserves, which still produces a delicious treat, but I decided to change it up a bit and go for the more traditional poppy seed variety. I also noticed as I was pursuing recipes that the doughs were all variations on rolled butter cookies, so rather than futz around with them I decided to use my favorite from Cooks Illustrated. You will need about a cup of poppy seeds for the filling so I suggest you find a place to buy them in bulk, as they will be significantly cheaper that way. A couple of warnings about the poppy seeds: One, stock up on dental floss and make sure you check your teeth after consuming one of these, as they will most likely be riddled with seeds. Two, don’t eat these if you have a drug screen coming up. You will consume way more poppy seeds in one of these cookies compared to the average muffin or bagel (and I dare you to eat just one) and you may very well test positive for opiates for up to 48 hours. So either way, these are not good pre-interview snacks, but post-some-Purim-worthy-inebriation they are delightful.