You’ve had them on bagels or maybe seen them in salad dressing. If you’ve been to Germany, you’ve probably had a slice or two of Mohnstollen cake. (Or if you’ve been to Konstanz, maybe you’ve even had Mohneis, which is a delicious invention indeed.) I’m talking about poppy seeds. They’re massively popular everywhere from Austria to India, but aside from being used as bagel toppings — a nod to their prominent place in Jewish cuisine — poppy seeds get short shrift in the American foodscape. Granted, you probably don’t want to eat them by the bucketful if you’re about to take a drug test or fly into countries where consumption is highly frowned upon (Saudi Arabia comes to mind), but if you’re looking for a tasty new ingredient to add to your next batch of cookies, give poppy seeds a try!
Poppy seeds come in white, black, and a blueish-black so dark it’s almost black. The latter has an almost silvery sheen and is generally considered to have the best flavor and appearance. I like it the best, too — its color makes it stand out beautifully in these cookies. Then again, if I were making a cake frosted with dark chocolate, I might prefer to sprinkle on white poppy seeds for contrast. The choice is up to you.
Poppy Seed & Almond Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
1/2 cup raw buckwheat flour OR sorghum flour*
1/2 cup brown rice flour*
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/2 cup palm sugar OR sucanat
1/4 cup poppy seeds
6 T. butter, melted, preferably butter from grass-fed cows
2 eggs, preferably from free-range hens
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, palm sugar, and poppy seeds. Make a well in the center and add remaining ingredients. Stir together until well-blended, then use a standard teaspoon (the kind you’d stir your coffee with, not the measuring kind) to spoon out little mounds of cookie dough onto the covered baking sheets. Leave a little room between each cookie.
If you’d like flat cookies, gently push each ball down; if you’d prefer balls, leave them as they are. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are turning golden brown. Let cool on wire racks. Completely cooled cookies can be stored in an airtight container for a week. If the weather is warm, it’s best to store them in the fridge.
* These are gluten-free flours. If you’d rather make a wheat-based version, use 1 cup of kamut, spelt, barley, or whole-wheat flour.
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