Gramercy Tavern Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread

Gramercy Tavern Restaurant Recipe

3/4  cup powdered sugar
1 cup 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
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt

Sift the sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on low speed until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Beat well.

Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the poppy seeds and salt. Stir to combine.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Knead with your hands until well combined. Form the 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 the oven to 300 degrees. Meanwhile, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Roll the dough between 2 sheets of waxed 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 by 2 inch bars using a knife. If desired, cut the bars diagonally, forming triangles. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Prick shortbread with a fork. Bake until pale golden all over, about 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Makes 20 cookies.