Glazed Meyer Lemon and Poppy Seed Cookies

by formerchef on January 23, 2010

Post image for Glazed Meyer Lemon and Poppy Seed Cookies

I’ve come to the realization that prolific citrus trees are like summer zucchini; you find yourself using them in every dish possible and then leaving sacks of them on your neighbor’s doorsteps in the middle of the night. I’m not saying I did this, but I know someone who has….

We have an gnarled old Meyer lemon tree in our back yard which is about as wide as it is tall, and considering that it’s shorter than I am, could almost qualify as a “Meyer bush” if such things existed.
For the first few years we lived here we got sporadic lemons and thought that the tree might have been so old it was dying. Then, a couple of years ago I gave it some citrus food and extra water and suddenly the lemon angels were singing “hallelujah!” and we had a tree which while still stubby, was now heavily laden with the kind of sweet-tart lemons for which Meyer trees are known. Now it’s blessing us with twice yearly crops and I am always on the lookout for new ways to utilize them.
So consider yourself warned; there may be more recipes with lemons to come. It’s raining here and I can’t be out there “sharing” with the neighbors if you know what I mean.

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies Glazed Meyer Lemon and Poppyseed Cookies
Adapted from the Ratio recipe for 1-2-3 cookie dough
Printable Recipe in PDF

12 oz butter, soft (3 sticks)
6 oz (wt) sugar (about 3/4 cup)
1 egg
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
zest of 3 Meyer lemons
1 tsp. vanilla extract
18 oz (wt) flour (about 3.5 cups)


The premise of Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio is that most recipes are in fact simple ratios. In the case of this cookie, 1-2-3 is the ratio for 1 part sugar, 2 parts fat (butter) and 3 parts flour. Change it up by adding egg or flavors and you get a different cookie depending on what you choose. This is a ratio of weight, thus the 1-2-3 becomes 6 oz-12 oz-18oz. Weighing the ingredients is a much more accurate way to measure, especially when dry ingredients like flour can vary greatly if using a liquid measuring cup. My husband gave me a Salter Kitchen Scale for Christmas and I don’t know how I ever cooked without it before. I love it.

Preheat oven to 350.
Cream the butter and sugar with a hand mixer or standing mixer.  Add in the egg, poppy seeds, lemon zest and vanilla. Slowly add in the flour until the dough comes together.


Using plastic wrap or parchment paper, shape the dough into a 2″ thick log (depending on how you wrap it, you may need to make two). Chill until firm.

Remove the paper or plastic and slice the dough log into 1/4″ thick rounds. Place the rounds on a cookie sheet (I used my Silpat Baking Mat on mine) and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack and then glaze (recipe for glaze below).

Meyer Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar (about 2 oz weight), sifted.
1 tsp lemon zest
3 tsp lemon juice

Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Spread on the cookies once they are completely cooled. The glaze will harden in about 1/2 an hour. Makes enough glaze to cover about 16- 2.5″ cookies. Store the cookies in an airtight container. 

Recipe Notes:
*Because the dough can be refrigerated, it’s easy to slice off as many cookies as you want to bake and then mix up a little glaze as needed. I usually devide the dough into two rolls and save one for later. It makes it easy to have a dessert on the fly if needed.
*The original recipe called for rolling the dough into 1″ balls and then flattening to 1/4 inch thick. I tried this and they were ok, but a little uneven looking for my taste. The other option was to roll the dough and cut it. I did this with the balance of the dough and liked the results better.
*Yes, you can use regular lemons if you don’t have Meyers. But if you see them, buy them, they are worth it! They also make excellent lemonade and lemon curd.
*No, you don’t have to glaze them. This is what they look like plain:

1 Michael January 23, 2010 at 7:23 am

yum as always!


2 Chris January 23, 2010 at 7:45 am

These look really good. I have a meyer lemon tree too so keep those lemon recipes coming!

3 Mom January 23, 2010 at 7:57 am

Oh look, there are the cookies I haven’t tasted yet—they look good—but who would know?

Just kidding.

BTW, Meyer lemons are sometimes called Sweet Lemons in the market

4 Madeline January 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Man, I wish you were my neighbor! I love anything lemon so these are right up my alley. The poppy seeds sound delicious and that glaze looks awesome!

5 MaryMoh January 23, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Lemony smell….just what I would love. Great for tea time with my friends.

6 style and inspiration January 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Oh, I love poppyseed!! I’ll be these are delish!

7 deana@lostpastremembered January 24, 2010 at 9:17 am

These are beautiful cookies… great photo and recipe!

8 nina January 24, 2010 at 10:54 am

I cannot resist anything with lemon and these cookies will not be an exception!!! Beautiful!!!

9 Carsten January 24, 2010 at 11:29 am

Hi, I didn’t know how to contact you so I left a comment here. I like to invite you to, a food & wine social network, where you can share photos, videos and a link to your own blog.

10 formerchef January 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Carsten-my contact information is on my “about” page.

11 Cam de la Ron January 24, 2010 at 3:24 pm

These look like they would go great with hot tea. Anything with lemon that looks like a tea cookie is worth making in my book. Poppy seeds also give me such a feeling of nostalgia.

12 Laura January 24, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Holy crud that comment from your mom made me laugh. These look awesome. My sister has Ratio–I am mildly afraid of it and I have no idea why. Possibly an insane desire to use as little math as possible for the rest of my life-shh, don’t tell my math major husband.

13 Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen January 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm

These look amazing! I have a meyer lemon tree – it is a young one, and I have had tiny little green lemons on it for months, some of them are finally starting to turn yellow!

14 formerchef January 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I have a smaller (younger) meyer lemon tree in a pot on my patio. I’ve had it for at least 4 years and this is the first year we got full sized lemons on it (albeit only two!). In previous years it would bloom, grow little green nubs and then they would fall off! So be patient, it’s worth it. 🙂

15 Aubrey January 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm

These look absolutely lovely! I adore anything lemon/poppyseed flavored so I’ll have to put these on my ‘to be baked’ list!

16 Karen B. March 14, 2010 at 5:10 am

This recipe must go on my “to be baked list” also, what yummy looking cookies. I also have a small meyer lemon tree so hoping for lemons in the future.

17 Angela@spinachtiger March 21, 2010 at 4:54 pm

This is a nice recipe. Thanks for sharing on twitter.

18 Patti January 30, 2012 at 9:47 am

Love this recipe! My meyer lemons are just ripening for the first time.
I’ve already used them for a meyer lemon curd mascarpone cream pie with gingersnap crust. Yay for meyers!

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