This lemon is about 1/2 the size of Munkie’s head. Believe me, Munkie has a big head!
When life gives you giant lemons, you make lemon poppy seed cookies!
So the BIL came back from California with these amazingly, unbelievably ginormous lemons. They are mutants, I tell you. I’ve never seen such a monstrosity in my life. At least the lemon wasn’t this huge, otherwise it would have scared the crap out of me. I figured I should bake something with it. I decided on lemon poppy seed cookies. The preparation & ingredient list was simple, which was a major selling point to me. I wasn’t in the mood to be in the kitchen for hours on end.
Lemon Poppy Seed Banana Cookies – adapted from The Creekside Cook
Makes about 4 dozen small cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
2½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 medium sized bananas (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350º.
Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.
In a large bowl, sift your dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda). Add poppy seeds & use a whisk to mix them all together.
Use a stand mixer to cream butter and sugars together until fluffy (~1-2 minutes).
Add eggs one at a time & beat each egg until it is incorporated.
Add vanilla & lemon zest & mix.
Add your dry ingredients into the butter mixture & mix until combined (do not over mix).
I have a small cookie scoop (about 1 tablespoon each), so I made more than 3 dozen cookies as stated in the original recipe. Place each scoop an inch away from each other on the baking sheet.
Bake for 11 minutes (may be longer if you have a larger cookie scoop), rotate pan halfway through until the edges are browned. The time depends on your oven.
Take them out & slide the cookies off the baking sheet onto a cooling rack. Let them cool completely. They can be stored in an air tight container for about a week.
The cookie is not as chewy as I would have liked, but they are still delicious. The poppy seeds add a nice crunchy texture to each chew. The cookies are 2 bite sized. They’re not very sweet & would make a perfect treat with a cold glass of lemonade on a warm spring day. My 2 friends nearly devoured 20 of them within 15 minutes.
Somewhere in the middle of baking, hubby told me they would taste better with bananas. Given that brilliant idea, I decided to mash my cookie dough in between a slice of bananas.
Banana version 1 – Scoop dough onto Silpat, with slightly damp fingers, flatten first layer, add sliced banana, scoop dough on top then pat down all sides to cover banana. Bake 14 minutes.
The MIL really liked this version. She loved the taste of the lemon. I’m not quite sure if she noticed there was a piece of banana in the middle. Hahaha The banana incorporated so well with the cookie that you might not even notice the banana in the middle. It makes the cookie more moist, which was very pleasant.
Banana version 2 – Just plop cookie dough down, add banana & plop cookie dough on top without flattening. Bake 14 minutes.
Hubby & I preferred this version that I decided to concoct on the fly. The banana added a surprise to your bite. Since they are technically 2 cookies, the one on the bottom bakes faster & gets a crunchy bottom, while the top cookie stays soft. The banana stays soft in the middle & peeks out between the 2 cookies, which makes for an interesting looking cookie. The cookie has a nice contrast of textures. You get the best of both worlds; a crunchy & soft cookie all in one.
The banana versions do not keep as well since there’s more moisture trapped inside the cookie. Once you put them into an airtight container, they lose their crunchy bottoms. I’ve decided not to leave them out too long at room temperature because I’m afraid the banana might rot, so I’ve left them in the fridge. They retained their soft cookie structure, but they’ve definitely lost the crunchiness that I so crave.
Let me know how you like this cookie. ENJOY!