Flavor pairings always interest me, and lemon and poppy seed is probably one of my favorites. Today’s lemon poppy seed sandwich cookies are inspired by the fact that I had some lemons in my fridge I needed to use and that I wanted to make something vaguely black and gold, in honor of my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers and their miraculous presence in the playoffs. I’ll be waving my Terrible Towel this evening against Kansas City, for sure.
Black and gold baking can present a challenge if you’re not interested in using black food coloring, which I tend to shy away from for its propensity for staining one’s lips and tongue a rather ghastly color. While these are much more black and yellow (cue the Wiz Khalifa song!) than black and gold, they are absolutely delicious. Next time, I’d bake my cookies for a minute or so less so they’re just slightly softer and the filling won’t squish out quite as much when you take a bite. In any case, here we go Steelers!
For the cookies
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- zest of 1 small lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
For the filling
- 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- zest of 1/2 lemon (or use more zest to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Scrape down your bowl and add the salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour and mix on low to combine completely. Stir in poppy seeds.
Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop scoops of dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 9-10 minutes, until edges are set and tops no longer look shiny. Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheets for about 1 minute, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
To make filling, combine butter and powdered sugar in a mixer and beat on low speed until the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter. Add lemon zest, lemon extract, and milk and beat to fully combine. Place filling in a piping bag for easier cookie assembly.
To assemble, flip cookies over and pipe a dollop of filling into the center of half of the cookies, then top with a second cookie and press gently to spread the filling. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Makes 17.