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Czech Poppy Seed Cookies

cover

November 30, 1999
Web posted at: 4:46 p.m. EST (2146 GMT)

From "Prairie Home Cooking" (Harvard Common Press)
By Judith M. Fertig

Bohemians and Czechs settled in large numbers in Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin in the late 19th century. Many of the immigrants' baked goods were flavored with poppy seed and lemon, including these traditional cookies, still popular today. If you cannot find ground poppy seeds, grind your own in the food processor, blender or spice grinder.

Makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients: For the dough:

  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
For the filling:
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup ground poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
Method:

Make the dough: With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, egg and sour cream in a large bowl. Mix in the flour, salt and lemon zest to make a stiff dough. (The dough may be made ahead and refrigerated covered, for up to two days.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly oil a baking sheet. Make the filling: Bring all of the filling ingredients to a boil in a sauce pan. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sugar and honey are well dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Roll out the dough on a floured board in a rectangle 1/3-inch thick. Spread the poppy seed filling on the dough and roll the rectangle from the long side as you would a jelly roll. Bake the roll on the baking sheet for 40 to 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and slice while still warm into about 24 cookies.

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