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Gramercy Tavern Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread

3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 C. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 t. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 t. grated lemon zest (yellow portion of peel)
1/2 t. vanilla
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 T. poppy seeds
1/2 t. 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; 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 300F. Meanwhile, remove dough from refrigerator; let sit at room temperature 15 minutes. Roll 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 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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