Old Fashioned Poppy Seed Cookies (Dairy or Parve)

Old Fashioned Poppy Seed Cookies for Purim
Old Fashioned Poppy Seed Cookies for Purim. Giora Shimoni
  • 22 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: 60-80 cookies (60-80 servings)
Ratings (5)

These dairy-free Poppy Seed Cookies have a vintage feel, and pair pleasantly with afternoon tea or coffee. (Kids will love them with a tall glass of milk.) The recipe is simple to prepare (no mixer required!), and makes a large quantity, so it's a great choice for parties and potlucks. 

Want to dress them up a little? Sandwich them around homemade lemon curd, or strawberry ice cream. Or serve them alongside fresh berries and sorbet or Raspberry Whipped Cream. 

Giora Shimoni likes to make the cookies for Purim, when poppy seeds make an appearance in traditional holiday foods like hamataschen (Queen Esther is said to have eaten seeds while living in King Achashverosh's palace in order to keep kosher). Shimoni says "If you have 20 free minutes in the days leading up to Purim, make a batch of these Poppy Seed cookies and stick them in your freezer. Then you can pull them out on Purim day to serve for dessert...or you can put them in your Purim food baskets." 

Tips: Thanks to their oil content, poppy seeds can go rancid, so taste yours before making this recipe. If they're pleasantly nutty, you're good to go, but if you detect bitterness or off flavors, ditch them and buy new ones before making this recipe. As a rule of thumb, unless you frequently cook or bake with poppy seeds, it's best to buy them in small quantities and store them in a cool, dark place. 

This recipe makes a LOT of cookies. Unless you have a double oven, you'll need to bake in 2 to 3 batches. If you don't need need lots of cookies on hand, shape some of the dough into logs, wrap it well, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When a cookie craving sets in, simply slice and bake!

Did You Know? Poppy seeds are safe to consume and non-narcotic, but they can cause a false positive on drug tests. If your employer requires mandatory drug testing, you may want to avoid eating this cookies in close proximity to the test.  

Edited by Miri Rotkovitz

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk (or soy milk)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

How to Make It

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (177° C/Gas Mark 4). Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil and sugar. Add the eggs, milk or soymilk, and vanilla and stir to combine. Add the poppy seeds and mix until they are evenly distributed.

3. Stir in the flour and baking powder, and mix just until smooth.

4. If you'd like to bake the cookies immediately, use clean, floured hands to break off walnut-sized pieces of dough.

Roll the dough gently between your hands to form a ball, then flatten and place on the prepared cookie sheets. 

For sliceable icebox cookies, divide the dough evenly into 4 parts. On a floured surface, shape the dough into logs, wrap in parchment or wax paper, place in a freezer bag, and chill in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 1 hour. When you are ready to bake the cookies, slice into 1/8" (3 mm) slices, and arrange on the prepared cookie sheets. 

To shape with cookie cutters, divide the prepared dough into 4 parts. Shape each into a disc, wrap in parchment or wax paper, place in a freezer bag, and chill for at least 1 hour. When you are ready to shape the cookies, unwrap a disc of dough, place it on a lightly floured surface, and roll it out to 1/8" (3 mm) thick. Cut with cookie cutters and transfer carefully to the prepared cookie sheets. Continue with the remaining dough, gathering and rolling any scraps. 

5. Bake on the prepared cookie sheets in the preheated oven for 12 minutes to 15 minutes, or until edges are golden. Enjoy! 

Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or frozen, well wrapped for up to 3 months.