Lemon Poppy Sugar Cookies for Remembrance Day
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. ~Written by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
Seeing red poppies pop up over the hearts of men and women around town always means one thing: it's time to remember. It's time to remember the sacrifices made by our fellow citizens. It is time to remember the soldiers that fell and the lives that would never be the same. It's time to remember how lucky we are to have the freedom and the peace we all enjoy, and often take for granted, today.
Having grown up in a family where my grandparents have lived through the war, both as soldiers and civilians, this time of year has always been very special to me. Hearing their stories, only a few as most are still too painful to recall and share, makes me incredibly thankful to live in a peaceful country.
While Remembrance Day (or Veterans Day, for my neighbors to the south) has never been about celebration through food, I decided this year I would create something special in honor of all those we will remember as we stand for our moment of silence at 11 am this November 11th.
These little poppy shaped cookies are light and flaky and have a refreshing lemon taste. They are buttery, melt in your mouth goodness. Decorating them was a test of my patience as they are finicky and took a long time, but the result was worth it.
I made these while starving and so thought it would be a good idea to make a double batch. Lesson learned: don't double the cookie recipe just cause you are hungry at that time. I'll be going out later to hand them out to some of the many people who live on the street in my community; maybe it was a good idea to double the batch, after all.
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Favorite Cookie Recipes:
- Almond Shortbread Cookies
- Sea Salt and Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
- Glazed Coconut Lemon Sugar Cookies
- Melt in Your Mouth Shortbread Cookies
- Oatmeal Carrot Whoopie Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Honor the brave soldiers who fought for us with these pretty (and tasty!) Lemon Poppy Sugar Cookies for Remembrance Day or Veteran's Day.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 2 cups flour, plus more for rolling the dough
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For decorating the cookies:
- 2 large egg whites
- 4 cups icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Red and black food coloring
- Poppy seeds, for sprinkling
To Make the Cookies:
- Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and juice until combined. Beat in flour, salt and poppy seeds. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out cookies using 2 or three different size cookie cutters. Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes
- Bake until the edges just start to brown, 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely
To Make Icing:
- Beat egg whites until firm but not dry. Add icing sugar and lemon juice and beat to combine. Add more lemon juice if too thick or more icing sugar if too thin. Tint a large portion red, a small portion black and leave the remaining white
To Decorate Cookies:
- Trace an outline around the cookie with the red icing, following the poppy shape. Pipe a dot of icing into each of the petals and feather to cover each petal. Immediately make a circle of small dots in the middle with the white icing. Using a toothpick draw the white icing to the edges of the poppy. Once the icing is set, pipe a large white dot in the center of each cookie. Once the dot is set, pipe a black line around the dot and immediately sprinkle with poppy seeds. Allow to set completely before storing.
Time does not include time to decorate these. This will take a while but would be fun if you can get some help from the kids in your life!