This spin on lemon poppy seed cookies adds both orange and lime zest to the mix for a bold, citrusy cookie that tastes almost like tropical punch. The trick to getting the most flavor out of the zest is to massage it into the sugar. This helps release some of the oils from the zest, perfuming the sugar with a bright flavor that infuses the cookies. If one of the citruses isn’t your favorite, feel free to omit it or swap it out with any other citrus of your liking. Grapefruit, pomelos, and clementines would all work well as substitutes.
- Make Ahead: If wrapped tightly in plastic, the dough can be stored in the refrigerator for several days before baking.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and ¼ cup of the poppy seeds.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the lemon zest, lime zest, orange zest, brown sugar, and 1 cup of the granulated sugar. Massage the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until the sugar is tinted a light yellow and is very fragrant.
- Add the butter and beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through, until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. (Alternatively, use a hand mixer and large bowl.) Turn the mixer off and add the egg, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until very fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and set 2 racks at the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
- Place the remaining ½ cup granulated sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons poppy seeds in a shallow, wide bowl and mix with a spoon to combine. Using a medium 1¾-inch (#40) cookie scoop or 2 tablespoons, portion out the dough and roll into balls. Roll the balls in the sugar mixture to coat them and place at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets (12 per sheet).
- Bake both sheets at the same time, swapping the top sheet to the bottom rack and bottom sheet to the top midway through baking, until the cookies are puffed and very lightly browned, 14 to 17 minutes. Immediately bang the baking sheets on the countertop as they come out of the oven to deflate the cookies slightly. Let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Storage: The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Reprinted with permission from Cookies. Copyright© 2021 by Jesse Szewczyk. Photographs copyright ©2021 by Chelsea Kyle. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House