Memories of Mohn cookies

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One of my favorite childhood memories was arriving at my grandparent›s apartment to the smell of freshly baked Mohn Cookies. That smell reminds me of a wonderful time because it would fill the air and surround me like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s night. None of my siblings or cousins recall those cookies the way I do. Perhaps that’s because I was the youngest at the time. Sometimes my father and I would sit and enjoy the company of my Bubbe Sarah as she set out a plate of freshly baked cookies and hot tea. When thinking of what to do for the Kosher Senior Cafe’s October cooking project, a favorite monthly activity, I always try to share experiences that bring back good memories.

On Oct. 17 in Cranston and Oct. 18 in Providence, our senior guests and I met an hour before lunch and whipped up some delicious Mohn Cookies, which called to mind good memories of spending time with our loving bubbes. I was surprised to find out that many of their mothers and grandmothers baked these same cookies as well. When your hands are busy forming cookies and mixing dough, the mind has a way of freeing itself from the troubles of everyday life.

At the Kosher Senior Café, we have been sharing memories and tastes from the past together. When visiting Florida in the last couple of years,  my wife, Peggy, would send along a package of these cookies. My father would take a few bites and begin to reminisce about his youth and tell stories about  his mom. 

My wife likes this recipe which adds lemon taste to the original. Try it out at home and let us know what you think! 

Mohn Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Baking Time: 12 minutes

Ready in 1 hour 17 minutes

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup poppy seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup white sugar

1 egg, separated

2 tablespoons lemon zest

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup granulated sugar for decoration

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Stir together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light; beat in the egg yolk, lemon zest and lemon juice. Fold in the flour mixture and mix well.

Divide dough in half and roll each half out on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters and place cookies on the prepared baking sheet. Brush tops of cookies with beaten egg white and sprinkle with white sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden, the edges should be light brown.

NEAL DROBNIS (ndrobnis@jewishallianceri.org) is coordinator of Kosher nutrition at Jewish Family Service. If you have a favorite recipe you would like to share with the Kosher Senior Café contact Neal Drobnis. The senior guests are always interested in other recipes. All activities, including the monthly cooking activity, are free and open to the public. If you want to stay for lunch, reservations are required two days in advance.