Top 100 Cake Blog

Top 100 Cake Blog

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Muriel Clar's Poppy Seed Bars

Yesterday while cleaning out my files (one of many, many New Year's resolutions), I was delighted to discover a recipe given to me by my mother's friend, Muriel Clar.  Mrs. Clar, as I always called her despite her constant pleading to call her Muriel when I became an adult, was renown for both her cooking and baking skills. She and her husband Mr. Clar (Bob) raised three sons in Akron -- and she ran a household in suburbia without ever driving a car. How she managed that is something I can't imagine, for nothing was in walking distance.

Many years ago while I was visiting Akron, Mrs. Clar arrived at my mother's house with these delicious poppy seed cookies, and happily wrote out the recipe. Mrs. Clar died last year, but I'll always remember her warm smile, gregarious personality and her stories, which were every bit as good as her cookies.

These are buttery cookies, not too sweet and wildly addicting. Good thing the yield is high; depending on how big you cut them, you can easily get 70 cookies from this batch. And, they are so easy to make that you just need one bowl and a pair of hands to put the recipe together.

Start by combing all the ingredients in a bowl.

I used my Kitchen Aid, but the recipe says to mix everything with your hands.

Pat the dough evenly in a sheet pan. I lined it with aluminum foil for easy clean-up.

Sprinkle the poppy seeds on top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Cut into squares while the cake is still hot.

Below is the note card with the recipe. I followed it exactly, using butter instead of shortening.


  1. "Don't Burn." Very sensible advice. I have to say these are suspiciously simple: no leavening? No vanilla? No salt, even? You promise they're good?

    1. I never make promises ; )) but these are very buttery, which to me is a little bit of heaven. And you're right, no leavening or flavorings other than the poppy seeds. And butter.