Butter is infused with thyme. A little sweet, a little savory, these thyme poppy seed shortbread cookies are great for gifting or simply to make your home smell festive.
While growing up, we did not really have the tradition of receiving gifts from ‘Santa’. We got a new dress, lots of good food and Santa would visit along with church carolers to do a merry dance and give us candy. My mom and aunt would make lots of homemade sweets and we distributed that amongst friends and neighbours.
Keeping that tradition, while I was in Dubai, I started giving my friends homemade chocolate truffles. There is something so special about homemade / DIY style gifts. Whether it is fancy craftsy stuff from talented DIYers or just cookies or truffles or cake. Simple, sweet, made with love and care. And you avoid all the frenzied holiday shopping!
This year I decided to give truffles a rest and make cookies instead for gifting. Steve’s aunt makes a really good gingerbread, his mom makes delicious eastern European crescent cookies. So, I combined flavors I like and made these thyme poppy seed shortbread cookies
I was inspired by Teresa Floyd’s recipe for pink peppercorn shortbread. I adapted it to make a simple shortbread, elevated by the warm and spicy notes of thyme and the subtle nuttiness of poppy seeds. The butter infusing step can be done in advance. Overall, the cookie comes together super quick.
Thyme Poppy Seed Shortbread Cookies
Ingredients – Makes 20 cookies
3 sprigs of thyme
53g icing / powdered sugar
2 tbsp poppy seeds
In a small saucepan, heat the butter till it melts. Add thyme and bring to a simmer. Switch off the gas and let cool. Once cooled, this can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Makes for a good, flavored butter to spread on warm bread.
Once the butter is room temperature and solidified to soft butter consistency, cream with the icing sugar till pale.
Whisk flour, salt and poppy seeds together and add to the creamed butter. Beat on low till just combined.
Place between two pieces of parchment paper and roll to desired thickness. Slide the dough alongwith the parchment onto a baking tray and stick it in the refrigerator to chill for atleast 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350F. Remove chilled dough from the refrigerator and with a cookie cutter, cut the rolled dough into desired shapes.
Place the cookies one inch apart on another baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 10 – 15 minutes (baking time will depend on the thickness of your cookies.) Keep a close eye and once the edges start to turn golden brown, remove from oven. While it cool, savor the aroma of thyme and butter in your kitchen.
Re-roll the scraps – refrigerate – cut into shapes – bake – repeat.