a very popular and particularly ashkenazi jewish bakery item, poppy seed cookies are much enjoyed all year long and especially during the holiday of purim. they commonly go by the name of mohn cookies, a word taken from yiddish and german for black poppy seeds (pronounced like the word moon, more or less).
mohn cookies are easy to make at home and don't require much skill except for the defining how thin you should roll them in order to get the correct final texture. different places make different versions — these are sweet and crispy, not soft and crumbly. they are made with only egg whites and not the whole egg which lends to its final texture. they can be flavoured with either lemon or orange zest to add a little extra flavour.
learn more about (opium) poppies and their seeds here & here.
make sure to read this! LOL.
for those of you not-in-the-know, poppy seeds are not always only black.
poppy seed (mohn/moon/mun) cookies
makes about 4 dozen
3 egg whites
3 oz vegetable oil
1/2 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 pkg vanilla sugar (optional but recommended)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange or lemon zest (optional)
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 c all purpose flour + 3 1/2 tbsp
preheat oven to 350 F.
place the egg whites and oil in a bowl.
using a mixer, blend the two until well combined and frothy.
add the sugar and salt and blend again.
add the vanilla, orange/lemon zest & vanilla sugar, if using. add the poppy seeds.
blend in the baking powder.
add 1 cup of flour and mix well with the mixer.
now by hand, or with mixer if you have a strong one, add the rest of the flour.
the dough should be slightly tacky feeling and you should be able to make a small ball easily. if it is still very sticky add some more flour. do not add too much.
on a floured surface, place half the dough.
roll it out until it is 1/8th of an inch thick. do NOT make them 1/4 inch thick as they will not have the right texture once baked. they should be crispy once baked and not cake-y.
baking tip: if making these for the first time or you are not familiar with this type of cookie, bake one batch of 6 cookies first before continuing and see how they turn out; if they are too thick correct your rolling for the next batch.
cut out out round shapes and bake for 9 to 11 minutes only. they should be slightly golden brown. some will brown if they are too thin ..... not a big deal. adjust your baking time or roll thicker if too thin.
re-roll the scraps and cut out again. do not knead them, just stack them all together.
let cool on a tray.