Preparing and sharing recipes I made as a boy are what keep me young at heart. And since I'm retired, I have plenty of time to bake treats like this for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.—Carl & Isobel Wanasek, Rogers, Arkansas
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1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup whole milk
1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Additional melted butter
POPPY SEED FILLING:
3/4 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
Confectioners' sugar glaze, optional
In a bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the next seven ingredients and 2 cups of flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Shape into walnut-size balls; roll each into a 2-1/2-in. circle. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets; brush with butter. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring poppy seeds and water to a boil; boil 1 minute or until thickened. Add milk and raisins; simmer for 10 minutes. Add sugar, butter, vanilla and cinnamon; simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the graham cracker crumbs.
Make a depression, about 1-1/2 in. in diameter, in the center of each roll; fill with 2 teaspoons of filling. Bake at 400° for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Drizzle with glaze if desired.