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Lemon-Poppy Seed Shortbread3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (yellow portion of peel)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt Sift sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on low speed until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, zest and vanilla extract; beat well. Sift flour into a bowl. Add poppy seeds and salt; stir to combine Add dry ingredients to butter mixture; with hands, knead until well combined. Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. (Or freeze up to 2 months; thaw in refrigerator before proceeding.) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.Meanwhile, remove dough from refrigerator; let sit at room temperature 15 minutes. Roll dough between 2 sheets of wax paper to a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 10 by 12 inches). If dough seems soft, return it to refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Cut shortbread into 3 x 2-inch bars using a knife. If desired, cut bars diagonally, forming triangles. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Prick shortbread with a fork; bake until pale golden all over, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Yield: 20 cookies.


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