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.