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Lemon–Poppy Seed Shortbread

You can prepare the shortbread dough in advance, shape it into a log 2 inches in diameter, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator, cut the log into slices 1/4 inch thick and bake at 350°F until barely golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) plus 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. poppy seeds
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

Mix the dough
Preheat an oven to 325°F.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour, poppy seeds and salt and beat until the dough comes together and is smooth.

Bake the shortbread
Press the dough evenly into a 9-inch round cake or pie pan. Lightly prick the surface all over with a fork. Using a sharp knife, make shallow cuts halfway through the dough to mark 12 equal wedges. Bake until the shortbread is firm and barely golden brown around the edges, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Carefully invert the shortbread onto a plate, then invert again onto a cutting board. Cut into wedges, using the marks to guide you, and serve. Makes 12 cookies.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Baking, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2006).