Lemon-Poppyseed Sugar Cookies(Cook's Illustrated)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins

The cookies are softer and more tender when made with unbleached flour that has a protein content of about 10.5 percent. Pillsbury or Gold Medal works best; King Arthur flour has a higher protein content (around 11.7 percent) and will result in slightly drier, cakier cookies. Do not discard the butter wrappers; they have just enough residual butter on them for buttering the bottom of the drinking glass used to flatten the dough balls. To make sure the cookies are flat, choose a glass with a smooth, flat bottom. Rolled into balls, the dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 week. The baked cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Adjusting the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions, then preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed, scraping as needed, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs, extract, lemon juice, lemon zest. Beat at medium speed until well combined, less than a minute.
  4. Stir together the 4 cups flour, salt, baking powder and poppy seeds. Add to creamed mixture and mix until just blended together. A light hand will yield a tender cookie. Test for stickiness. Add more flour until not sticky. You don’t want them so stiff they turn out to be cardboard, but you do have to shape them for baking.
  5. Place the 1/2 cup sugar in a large bag. Using a 1 1/2″ cookie scoop, scrape them out of the bowl and dump into the bag of sugar. Shake gently, then reach in and with your hand, shake the extra sugar off and put the rounded mounds onto the parchment-covered cookie sheet. (You can use a nonstick cooking spray, but the bottoms of your cookies will be darker.).
  6. Using one of those papers from your butter cube, butter up the bottom of a drinking glass that’s about 2″ across, then dip the glass into the sugar.
  7. Flatten the cookies just until they reach the edge of the glass. (They will be about 5/8″ thick.).
  8. Bake for 15-18 minutes, switching the cookie sheets mid-way through baking, as well as turning them around. Bake until the edges are golden brown and the middles are just set and very lightly colored. .
  9. Cool on the sheets for about 3 minutes, then move them to the wire rack.