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Holiday Treats: Polish Poppy Seed Brioche


Have you ever tried Polish makowiec? It's a traditional holiday dessert made of rolled brioche dough stuffed with a sweet poppy seed spread. Poppy seeds are a symbol of wealth and prosperity in Eastern Europe, so they're used in lots of recipes. While every Polish family has its own version of makowiec, here's one that you can easily make at home.

© Gourmandize / Silvia Santucci


Serves 8

For the dough:

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar + 1 tsp, divided
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups flour

For the poppy seed spread:

  • 1 3/4 cups poppy seeds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • Milk, for brushing

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These salted caramel thumbprint cookies are easy to make and super delicious!


  • 1/4 cup / 50g of softened butter
  • 1 egg (divide the yolk and white)
  • 1/4 cup / 50g of sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup / 150g of flour
  • 1 cup / 100g of chopped nuts
  • Salted caramel
  • Melted dark chocolate


  1. In a bowl, mix together the butter, egg yolk, sugar, and salt.

  2. Add the flour and mix. Roll into a ball.

  3. Chill for 30 minutes.

  4. Remove from refrigerator. Divide the dough and roll into 1-inch balls.

  5. Dip each ball in egg yolk, and then roll in chopped nuts.

  6. Place on baking sheet (lined with parchment paper), and press your thumb into the center.

  7. Bake at 340°F/170°C for 12 minutes, or until golden.

  8. Remove from oven and let cool.

  9. Pour the salted caramel into the center groove,and drizzle with dark chocolate.

  10. Enjoy!

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