Friday, August 12, 2011

Seahorses & Sea Scallops (Lemon Poppy Seed Sugar Cookies)

I miss the ocean. Don't get me wrong - the desert is full of beauty, and Tucson sure does know how to set a sun - but nothing quite beats a sea breeze rolling off from the seemingly-infinite, blue horizon...

I have one of those conch shells on my nightstand, and it teases me with the sounds of the ocean. So I was left no choice but to roll out my longing on a lightly floured surface, and squeeze out my wanderlust through a pastry bag. The result are these cute little seahorse and sea scallop cookies.

The base is a lemon poppy seed sugar cookie - a perfect flat canvas for whatever creation you have in mind. With plenty of lemon zest, this sand dollar packs a refreshing punch.

I've traded sand between the toes for poppy seeds between the teeth, but there are worse second-bests... I hope these cookies bring a smile to you, as they do to me :)

Lemon Poppy Seed Sugar Cookies
adapted from Martha Stewart

yields about 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on the size of the cookie

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

In the bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. While the mixer is running, add the egg, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and poppy seeds, and mix until well combined. Turn the mixer down to low and gradually add the flour, salt, and baking powder, and mix until just combined.

Transfer dough to a work surface. Shape into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper;.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes, and transfer to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in between. Leftover dough can be rolled and cut twice more. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes, but do not allow to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Decorate with royal icing, if you fancy. Enjoy.

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  1. Beautiful. The seahorse is cute but the sand dollar is STUNNING! I love the desert, but there is nothing like the ocean...

  2. Thank you!

    @ Ann - I can't take the credit for the sand dollar. The cutter did all of the work :) It's by Betsy Cukla over at Hammer Song Tin

  3. Simply beautiful..the seahorses look like they just came out of Spongebob's backyard!

  4. I completely understand about you missing the ocean and beach-I used to live in Fl. Very good creative work on those cookies and the recipe sounds tasty.

  5. Ohmigoodness, the sand dollar cookies are incredible! Love all of these, almost too pretty to munch :) Buzzed!

  6. Hi Meghan, I stopped by to visit and say thank you for the FB add. You are a gifted and talented writer. I love the “squeezing out my wanderlust” through the icing bag with the photo of the ocean beach. Beautifully done. By the way, I love cookies. Way too much. You have clear, crisp photos and your recipes are fun. I know that you are pursuing you PhD. But if you ever change your direction, you certainly have found a successful niche in the field of food and writing.
    Stop by and visit my blog next time you get a chance. Maybe follow. That would be cool.

  7. Cookies look so cute and yummy. The lemon poppy seed sounds wonderful.

  8. Oh, gosh, these are wonderful cookies! I so admire your talent...just beautiful~

  9. wow these cookies are amazing love your blog, you have so much talent baking Rebecca

  10. How pretty can cookies be?!

  11. Hi Meghan! Tks so much for your invite in Fbuzz and nice to know you and your awesome blog! ;D
    These cookies are so beautiful! Love all your creative decorations and designs! You're just so talented! :D

  12. I love your ocean cookies! The lemon poppy seed sand dollars look incredible and super delicious. Such a cute post. I'd miss the ocean too if I lived near one as beautiful as the one in your pic.

  13. The seahorse cookies look almost too cute to eat!

  14. these are so cute! I'm not sure if i could ever eat them if i made them...


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