Monday, October 13, 2008

Poppy seed shortbread and a pissed off kitty


I had some big plans for my day off today. I was gonna take myself out for pancakes, go kitchen doo-hickey shopping, possibly hit up a nice bowl of pho for lunch, and take a power yoga class. Yeah. I was looking forward to it. It was gonna be a good day. Some serious "me time", ya know? All of that was shot to hell when one of my cats developed a nasty cold, which started on Friday night, then steadily got worse over the weekend.

This is why I don't have kids. Hearing his kitty sneezes breaks my heart. His drippy little eye looks like he's crying, and then makes me want to cry. It freaks me out, and I drop everything to rush him to the vet.
If that were my child, I would probably be panting into a paper bag.

So, little Percy (why yes, he is in fact named after the Scarlett Pimpernel) spent the morning being poked and prodded. Thermometers shoved up his bottom, hissing and growling at vet techs who smell like foreign animals. Usually, his sister is with him at these dreaded appointments, so he's got the comfort of the buddy system. But alas, she is feeling fine and got to sit this one out.
Leave me alone. I am both sneezy and grumpy.

The vet decided not to treat him with any meds and just let this thing just work itself out. He had an upper respiratory infection as a kitten, and they do tend to pop up now and again. So, now I feel too guilty to go run around. All I wanna do is stick around the house and keep an eye on my guy.
Who is totally pissed off at me.

Maybe I'll make a pot of soup and a loaf of bread. Equally as satisfying and shopping and going out for pho.
I guess.

Right now I am drinking a pot of coffee and snacking on my favorite cookie EVER. I made these during The Great Baking Marathon of last week. I always try to keep a log or two of poppy seed shortbread in the freezer. People always love them. These days, I tend to prefer the simpler, less sweet butter cookies over the big chewy chocolaty varieties.
This batch was made to bring along to my mom's salon when I was getting my hair done. Where they quickly disappeared.
By the way: ALWAYS bring your hairdresser coffee and's just common courtesy.
Excellent dippage.

Poppy seed shortbread

8 oz. butter, softened
5 oz. sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
3 T poppy seeds
Good cookies start with good butter and salt. Readily available brands I like are La Bailene sea salt and Plugra unsalted butter

Combine butter, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Using the paddle attachment, cream until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the lemon juice and vanilla- mix. Combine the flour and poppy seeds (poppy seeds should be evenly distributed throughout the flour. Add to the bowl and mix until dough just forms.
"Poppies! Now they'll sleep! Sleeeep.."

Dump out onto a work surface and form into a log (or rectangle, as I like to do). Wrap in plastic. Freeze or refrigerate until firm. Slice off 1/4 inch thick cookies and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes, rotating halfway though.


cook eat FRET said...

the photos are kick ass

if you knew what i paid my guys to cut and color my hair you would understand that i don't need to bring them a fucking thing...

i want a cookie

Brooke said...

Wah, poor Percy. How's he doing? What is wrong with us and our cats? Hecubus is asthmatic, and you should see me in the middle of the night when he starts wheezing (which I've been assured is completely normal and fine). I freak out. Grendel gets the cold every once in a while too. It's so sad and pathetic.

Oh, your cookies are bomb ass. I love those things. Now I can make them myself. Sweet.

Foodycat said...

Poor Percy! Hope he is feeling better soon.

My hairdresser gives me champagne and potato chips, why should I take her biscuits? But if I were going to I would definitely try those!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Poor little kitty! Hope he feels better now! I cut cut your hair for those cookies if you want!

Lori said...

YUM!!! Man, those look amazing. I'm bookmarking this one.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Very cool photo of the stacked shortbread.

cookiecrumb said...

I'm so glad I am finally here. You are awesome.

matt wright said...

Awesome looking shortbread (my fav cookie by a mile) - and I am sorry to hear about the cat!

dancingmorgan mouse said...

I followed cookiecrumb over, and learned a new shortbread recipe - which is always a good thing.

Peabody said...

Hope your kitty starts to feel better. Sick pets are no fun.
Great looking shortbread...mmm, butter.

Brittany said...

Ok, that mug was HILARIOUS!

Brittany said...

Claudia- Fair enough. I get the family discount and pay my hairdresser nothing. I would die of guilt if I didn't come bearing gifts.

Brooke- He's still not out of the woods yet : (
I'm not supposed to worry but...

Foodycat- Thank you

Clumsy cookie- Mom has been tending to these locks since they sprouted, so I have a "thing" about letting other people touch my hair.

Lori- Give em a whirl, you'll love em

Susan- Thanks!

CookieCrumb- Exactly my sentiments when I first stumbled upon your blog : )

Matt- mine too. People think I'm crazy for not being into big ass chocolate chip cookies, but I'm just not.

Dancingmorgan mouse- enjoy! Thanks for following the "cookie crumbs"
Damn I'm witty.

Peabody- Thank you, I know you've had your own experiences with sick pets, and yes, it is absolutely no fun whatsoever.
Butter. Totally.

Brittany- Glad to see another fan out there. Raising hell is like my favorite album of all time

Emiline said...

I love the pictures!

Poor, poor, Percy. I hope he's okay.

The cookies sound fantastic...I have some poppy seeds to use up...

You always make the best stuff. I went browsing through some of your older posts and I got very hungry.

Heather said...

Oh, I hate when life (or one of our 4 cats) throws us a curveball. Just hate it. You made nice use of the time, though.

I prefer Tillamook butter as the go-to butter, but I'm an Oregonian. :P

I love your mug.

matt wright said...

Big arse chocolate chip cookies are fine and all.. but er, well, we have all had a ton of those, and even when you have an amazing one, it is still a chocolate chip cookie. There is FAR better cookies out there.. shortbread being one of those.

Grace said...

aw, this makes me miss my cat (aptly named fatticus maximus). hope he's better by now.
meanwhile, your shortbread looks fantastic--picture perfect. :)

The Spiteful Chef said...

Holy shit! You've created shortbread Jenga! It's a good thing that wasn't around back when I used to actually PLAY Jenga, or I would have purposefully toppled the damned tower into my gaping maw.

Am I the only person who still pays $14 a haircut at Great Clips? I don't bring them cookies. Pretty much our agreement is that I give them $14 and they DON'T give me Hepatitis.

Lisa said...

Oh - just catching up on all your posts since wine-o country - peach pie! birthdays! short bread! damn - it all looks mighty fine. :)

peter said...

I'm too late to say anything original about a) cat condolences, b) cookies, or c) the awesomeness of your mug.

Brittany said...

Em- Thanks sweetie. I have also learned to NEVER read your blog on an empty stomach.

Heather- Tillamook is my "savory" butter. Salted for smearing on bread/toast. Unsalted for cooking. I keep Plugra in the freezer for baking purposes only.
I also need to have a block of Tillamook extra sharp cheddar in the fridge at all times. Hubby is partial to their "private reserve" xtra sharp white cheddar.
Tillamook just plain RULES. As does Oregon. As do you.

Matt- true dat

Grace- thank you : ) Sadly he's still having a rough time, but I am trying not to freak out about it just yet.

Spiteful jogging fiend- Thats my new name for you by the way. If my hair cuts were not free, I would probably go there. Well, no. Probably not. I am way too much of a prima donna about my hair. It's the only thing I am a prima donna about though, I SWEAR.

Lisa- glad you made it back ; )

Peter- yeah, but you did stop by. And that is something, ya know? I'm sure had you commented earlier it would have been really witty and unique. Just know that.

Brooke said...

Tillamook private reserve extra sharp white is the best cheese ever. Especially with all those little crystallized bits in there. You know it's special if it comes in a black package.

How does one "twitter"?

Brittany said...

Brooke- Trevor likes to sit on the couch with a full loaf of xtra reserve, a log of summer sausage, a dull paring knife, and a beer.

He works his way through both by hacking off chunky, unprofessional slices.

It's discusting and very Al Bundyesque. But I always want some.

Click on my twitter link. You'll figure it out eventually.

Emiline said...

I love that cat. I'm going to steal him.

I've been thinking about these cookies a lot today. Would you like these as a lemon-poppyseed shortbread?

Brittany said...

Em- if you're gonna steal my cat, that means you have to come out to Seattle to do it. Which means we're going out for a drink before the theft takes place.

I would love a lemon poppyseed shortbread....

Peter M said...

I;m sneezing, little coughs and I think a stack of these cookies in bed would help me dearly...will you?

Maggie May said...

what great sumptious photos. and your cat is named Percy awww my dog love of a lifetime was Percy. i had him from about 8 to 17 and he died.

i also want a cookie. please. now.
mail me one.
i'll eat it stale.


Lo said...

Awww. Poor kitty! Tell Percy that I have a kitty who's been there, and it'll be OK.

Smashing cookies! And great photos. Love it that I happened to stumble over here to gawk! It might inspire some baking!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I've never heard of bringing cookies to the hair salon! Maybe they'd treat me better!! Those poppy seed shortbreads look amazing!

Andrew Abraham said...

Poppy seed Short bread ...I have to try this recipe... too good not to much for the diet..


Ann said...

Oooo, that sliced dough really got me - I LOVE dough. Come to MY salon! Wait, I don't have a salon. But who cares?

Aw Percy! I'm a total animal lover, so I would've stayed home and kept an eye on the furbaby too. Hope he's feelin' better, little punkin'.

Seattle Tall Poppy said...

Hi Britt! It's me...happily pilfering recipes here. I'm so glad we met this weekend!

I love the shot of the cold dough before you sliced them. A nice twist on plain old round cookies, you know?

LaurieA-B said...

I baked these this weekend and now they're one of my favorites too--perfect crisp shortbread. I'm pleased to see that you make rectangles for your slice and bake. I've pretty much given up on getting perfect round logs so now I'll make rectangles too.

I'm looking forward to eating your desserts at one of your restaurants. Thank you for the recipe.

Dawn said...

Oh, man, I just made a batch of these this afternoon and can't stop eating them, still warm, off the cookie sheet. You should have included a warning that these are addictive!

Anonymous said...


Thanks Norm!