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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Hungarian Poppy Seed Cookies

I found the recipe for these about five years ago in Betty Crocker's Ultimate Cookie Book and I thought, why not try them out? I'm very glad I did. I love poppy seed anything, so there really was no going wrong with these. These are very pretty and very tasty cookies. They have a nice hint of lemon and clove and are not overly sweet. Did I mention they are pretty? I love the swirl of dark poppy seed contrasting with the light cookie dough. Oh, and the smell while these are baking? Put away your potpourri and inhale. These make a wonderful addition to any holiday cookie tray. Don't be afraid of the multiple steps involved in these cookies, they are really not that difficult to make, and are well worth it for something a little different in your Christmas cookie repertoire. I have always used Solo Poppy Seed Filling for these, you should be able to find it in any grocery store, or you can always make your own poppy seed filling if you have the time and feel ambitious.

Hungarian Poppy Seed Cookies: (makes about 3 dozen cookies)
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup poppy seed filling
powdered sugar for sifting over the cookies
-In a large bowl, beat margarine or butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in lemon peel and egg. Stir in flour, baking soda and cloves, mixing well.
-Roll dough, between two pieces of waxed paper, into a 1/4-inch thick, 12"x10" rectangle. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.

-Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease a large cookie sheet. Remove waxed paper from one side of cookie dough. Spread poppy seed filling on dough to within 1/4-inch of the edges. Roll up dough tightly, beginning with long (12") side, peeling off waxed paper as dough is rolled. Pinch edge of dough to seal well. Cut dough into 1/2-inch (I find this to be a bit thick, so I tend to slice them 1/4")slices (the recipe recommends slicing and baking the cookies immediately after you have rolled them up, I have found that it is easiest if you wrap the cookie rolls in parchement and freeze the dough until it is solid, much easier to slice this way, and if you don't have the time to bake them immediately, they can stay in the freezer until you are ready for them). Place on cookie sheet about 1-inch apart.
-Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

I always do at least a double batch of these cookies (well, I do a double batch of most cookies) so I have a few more for each box of cookies that I give out. I hope you give these a try and like them as much as I do. I really do believe because they are a bit less sweet than many holiday cookies, they are a nice change.

Happy swirly cookie baking, and whatever you do, don't go taking any drug tests after eating these cookies! Oh, and if you will kindly take a look in the comments section, Zsuzsa has kindly posted a recipe her mother uses for a Hungarian cookie called "Bejgli" that look wonderful! Check it out :D

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Jigme Datse said...

We want a receipe for poppyseed filling. If only I could type... What happened to the blog of my friend Haesel? Been gone for a while. Maybe she deleted it.

Jigme Datse

Jen the bread freak said...

Hi Jess,
Well, I don't really have a poppy seed filling recipe that is tried and true, but I'm guessing you could probably find one at They have quite a few recipes for it there. If I ever do make one that I like, I'll let you know :).

Zsuzsa said...

I was delighted to see something Hungarian on your site. (Being, I guess, your only Hungarian reader :))
My Mom makes these delicious poppy seed cookies every Christmas called "Bejgli". It'a a tradiotional Hungarian cookie and it comes with either poppy seed or walnut filling. I can get the recipe for the filling from her and post it here for you, if you're interested. Might be a good base to start experimenting with :)

Jen the bread freak said...

Hello, Zsuzsa! The poppy seed filling recipe, or the entire recipe for the "Bejgli" would be wonderful! Thank you so much for your kind offer :D I look forward to trying it out!

Zsuzsa said...

Here is the recipe. I might add a few comments considering the differences: feel free to substitute the goose fat with butter, the only difference is that the dough will be lighter with the fat. As for the yeast. We usually use the non-dried kind that you have to add hot milk and a tiny bit of sugar for it to start up. I never tried it with anything else so have no idea how it works with dried yeast. The dough will make 4 bars, but the filling is only enough for 2. We usually make 2 bars with poppy seed and 2 bars with walnut filling.

(makes 4 bars)
500 gram flour
200 gram goose fat or butter
50 gram sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon rum
20 gram yeast
1 tablespoon sour cream
+ egg yolk for the top

(enough for 2 bars)
350 gram ground poppy seed or ground walnut
350 gram sugar
1 grated lemon peel
3 dl milk
raisins (optional and as much as you like ☺)

Mix the ingredients except for the milk. Warm the milk till it’s almost boiling. Pour it onto the mixture.

Mix all the ingredients together to make a dough. Make sure that the sour cream is warm. Separate the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each dough seperately as thin as a knife-edge. Note: it has to be very thin since it will still rise. Spread the filling on the dough and roll it up tightly. Grease and flower pan or use parchement paper, place the bars in pan. Rub the top with egg yolk and bake in a hot oven (180-200 °C) till nice and golden brown on the outside. When cooled cut up and you’ll get the nice yummy slices as on the picture ☺

Enjoy, and let me know how you like them or if you have any questions! ☺
A link to a Bejgli picture I found on the net:

Jen the bread freak said...

Zsuzsa: Those look and sound wonderful! Thank you so much for taking the time to post this :D. I will have to try these out in the next month or so :D.

Anonymous said...

I tried the poppy seed cookies and they were wonderful. Faster than doing the yeast bread kind, but want to do them too. Thanks for listing the recipe. I'll be doing these again.

Jen the bread freak said...

Jo: Thank you very much, I am very happy that you enjoyed them! I will be trying out the yeasted kind later this month, I believe :D.

Zsuzsa said...

My Mom just made us Bejgli from this recipe and she had a comments I'd share with you:
- For the filling you might not need all of the milk. Only add as much as it takes to make a filling that you can easily spread. If it gets too wet it might soak the dough

Happy cooking! :)


Jen the bread freak said...

Thank you very much again! It's always good to have these little pointers :D

blog.enthusiasticallyhuman dot com said...

ah...yes, i found this page looking for a recipe that used goose fat. oh...the goose fat jar is full, and we are tired of fried potatoes.

can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Hi - I just found your cookie recipe and am anxious to try it. I would also like to try the recipe that Zsuzsa posted but am unalble to translate the proportions. Is anyone able to help me with that? Thank you. Elizabeth.