In the very first book I wrote — the one that will forever sit in a box in the wardrobe, yet at the same time, is being canabalised for the ‘good parts’ because even though it’s a total pice of crap, it still has ‘good parts’ — the heroine, Sara, dealt with stress by baking cookies. Sara never ate anything she made. She simply baked, gave away the fruits of her labour, or shoved stuff in the freezer. Sara made today’s cookies. I of course would eat today’s cookies.
I think in everything I write I have a cookie scene. If you read A Basic Renovation or For Your Eyes Only, maybe you recall the cookie scenes in them. Writers are often told ‘write what you know.’ I know cookies. Therefore, I write cookies.
I love these little spotty orbs of golden sunshine. The seeds get stuck in my front teeth and no one seems brave enough to tell me they are there, which means if I have one with my mid-morning coffee I go around for the rest of the day with black speckles wedged between my front teeth and gums. I’.m a smiler, a full-toothy-grinned smiler, so you can guess how my nice straight white teeth look with speckles.
There are orange poppy seed muffins. You can think of this recipe as those muffins in a slightly crisp and crunchy cookie form.
Cranberry-Orange Poppy seed Cookies
Oven to 350F/180C
- 1 ¼ cups flour 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened ¾ cup sugar
- 1 large egg 1 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 Tbsp fresh, packed finely grated orange zest (about 1 ½ large oranges)
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest 1 cup dried cranberries
Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, orange juice, orange zest, and lemon zest; beat until blended and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add cranberries and mix in well.
Add the flour mixture, beating until combined.
Scrape the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and chill for 3 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake, roll the dough into a 9-inch-long log. Remove plastic and roll dough through a lightly floured surface to smooth the dough and round out the shape.
Slice the log crosswise into 1/3 inch-thick rounds. Place the rounds 1 inch apart on lightly greased cookie sheets, or cookies sheet lined with baking paper.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.
Let cool for 5 minutes on the sheets; transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
I would serve these with a Medium roasted coffee, but they would stand up well to a dark Italian roast too.