Nothing funky, nothing fancy, just pretty little Poppy Seed Butter Cookies

At first glance, little butter cookies infused with a generous amount of tiny blue-gray poppy seeds may look ho-hum. If you had other cookie choices available on a tray, you might pass by the poppy seed butter cookie. But, that would be such a mistake.

My mom discoverd Poppy Seed Butter Cookies late in her life. She made the little cookies as thumbprints and filled the shallow well in each one with raspberry jam. The cookies are so buttery good. The crunchy poppy seeds add a nutty flavor.

I pulled my mom’s recipe from her collection last week after I’d made pots de creme. I knew those buttery rounds would be a good nibble with the creamy chocolate. But I had other plans for Poppy Seed Butter Cookies. A jar of fresh homemade lemon curd was also tucked into my refrigerator. Even after using the lemon curd for Lemon-Filled Coconut Meringues, I still had enough left to fill some thumbprinted Poppy Seed Butter Cookies.

I mixed the dough one day, stored it in the refrigerator and pulled it out the next day for baking. The dough was a little hard at first as I scraped my portion scooper over the top. But in no time, the dough had softened and was easy to form into little balls. I filled half of the thumbprinted cookies with jam. I was sure the open jar in my refrigerator was raspberry preserves, but when I pulled it out I found it was sweet cherry. No problem. It worked just fine as a filling. I left the remaining cookies unfilled.

Some of the unfilled cookies recieved a topping of lemon curd and a fresh raspberry just before serving. And some of those plain little cookies got dunked into silky chocolate pots de creme before they were eaten.

Poppy Seed Butter Cookies are nothing funky, nothing fancy. Just perfecty sublime.

My recipe for lemon curd is in my last post. You can click here to get right to the recipe.

If you’d like to eat unadorned Poppy Seed Butter Cookies with a bit of decadent chocolate, try easy-to-make pots de creme that is in my column this week. Yes, that’s the pots de creme in the picture at the top of this post. Click here to get right to the recipe.

Poppy Seed Butter Cookies

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • Fruit preserves or lemon curd, for filling

Cream powdered sugar and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, salt and poppy seeds. Stir to blend until all dry ingredients have been incorporated into the butter mixture.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Form balls of dough, using 2 teaspoons per ball. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheets. Make a thumbprint in each ball. Fill each indentation with fruit preserves of your choice. Leave some without preserves if you are planning to fill with lemon curd. Bake cookies on parchment-lined baking sheet for about 20 minutes, or until edges of cookies just begin to turn golden brown. Transfer baked cookies to wire rack to cool.

When cookies are completely cool, transfer to tin or airtight container for storing. Unfilled cookies should be filled with lemon curd right before serving.

Makes about 5 to 6 dozen cookies.