Made up a half batch of these tasty little cookies to see if I could work through any of the shaping issues that were being discussed in the forums. I must say, even though I am not a poppyseed person and these have a ton of poppyseeds, I find them delicious! Rose is a master at creating amazing textures and these cookies are no exception. The inside is slightly moist and soft, yet crispy from the seeds, and the outside is a bit crunchy. They were kid-approved, too. I weighed ingredients and made no changes to the recipe, except that my almonds were unblanched instead of blanched. My cookies were done at 18”, the low end of the 18-20” range.
Just my personal opinion, but I don’t think these would benefit from more flour than what is called for in the recipe. They are less than 19% sugar by weight, and adding more flour might make them not sweet enough and bland. The flavor is perfect as is. And even though my shapes were slightly flatter than the picture in the book, they were close enough that I was happy with them. I chalked it up to some variable like the stylist used a hotter oven or stronger flour than I did (mine was Gold Medal bleached AP).
To figure out the shaping, I baked two cookies on the same pan, doing everything to one that I thought would make the cookies rounder, and then everything to the other that I thought would make the cookies flatter. So, for the round cookie I shaped it with plenty of flour on my hands (more than a dusting), and then also pressed plenty of almonds into it. I then refrigerated it for 15 minutes. For the flat cookie, I didn’t use flour for shaping at all, pressed roughly the same amount of almonds into it, and then let that cookie warm up on the counter for the same 15 minutes that the other cookie was chilling. And after all that, they were indistinguishable after baking. I literally could not tell the two apart.
In looking at the whole batch of cookies, I came to the following conclusion: the variables that seem to matter most are cookie size, i.e., the smaller cookies were rounder and the larger cookies were a little flatter; and the other variable seemed to be how much “stuff” was pressed into the outside of these. It didn’t seem to matter if it was flour or finely ground nuts, but the cookies with plenty of stuff pressed into the outside were rounder than the ones with only a little. It makes sense that if you add more structure to the outside of these, they’ll hold their shape better.
So, for what it’s worth, my conclusion for rounder cookies is to make the cookies small-ish and to press lots of the ground nuts into the outside to get a rounder shape. It would make sense to chill them as well, it may just be that my kitchen wasn’t warm enough to make a big difference in these. And given that my cookies were done at the low end of the time range, to make sure that the oven isn’t running even a little cool.