A few weeks ago I saw the first episode of 'Holiday Baking Championships' on The Food Network, fell in love with the show, and immediately wanted to start making Christmas cookies. They didn't share but one recipe from the episode so I started looking for new recipes to try. And then it hit me. I wanted to try making Christmas cookies from around the world. My family watches (multiple times a year) Rick Steve's European Christmas DVD where he travels to different countries to show their Christmas traditions. It makes me want to find a thick parka and head to Sweden and Germany to see the decorations and dining room tables for myself. So what better than to have a taste of each country here at home, and maybe learn a thing or two about their Christmas traditions. And a new blog series was born.
Around The World With Christmas Cookies
I'll post a recipe or two each week between now and Christmas, and I hope you try out a few for yourself. If nothing else, you'll get a taste of traditions around the world. Nothing like a little education on the side!
First up are Mohn (Poppy Seed) Cookies. Mohn actually means poppy in Yiddish. Ok, so calling them a Christmas cookie isn't exactly accurate. These are traditional cookies for Purim and other Jewish holidays. But I figured why not include a Hannuakah cookie in the series? The taste is worth it! From what I can tell these originated in Poland (though some argue Germany). I'll warn you, these cookies aren't very sweet, which makes them perfect for the non-cookie lover (or dieter) in your life. Just be sure there's not a drug test in your future...there's a lot of poppy seeds in here. Next time I make these, I'll try a lemon glaze on the top of add a touch more sweetness and play up the lemon flavor of the cookie.
Mohn (Poppy Seed Cookies)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup poppy seeds
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup butter
Juice from 1 lemon
- Mix flour, baking powder, poppy seeds, and salt in a bowl & set aside.
- In a stand mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth.
- Add the slightly beaten eggs into the butter/sugar mixture.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until a thick batter is formed.
- Roll a teaspoonful of dough into a ball and place onto cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or oven-release foil.
- Sprinkle a pinch of sugar on each cookie & use a glass with a flat bottom to press down each cookie (sugar keeps the glass from sticking).
- Bake at 400*F for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are brown.
- Makes at least 2 dozen cookies.
Adapted from Jewish Food