1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, well softened and cut into small chunks
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1-2 tablespoons for topping
Generous 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon rice flour
2 tablespoons finely ground green tea
1/4 cup poppy seeds
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using a mixer on medium speed, cream butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. With mixer on low speed, gradually add all-purpose flour, rice flour, tea, and poppy seeds. The dough should start to come together like moist pie pastry and form into clumps. Alternatively, if using a wooden spoon, cream butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Gradually add flours, tea, and poppy seeds, beating well after each addition, until dough is well blended and forming clumps.
Press dough into a 9-inch square baking pan, removing any air pockets. Prick with a fork, pricking right through to the pan, making rows of marks spaced 1/2 inch apart. Then cut into fingers 1 1/2 inches by 1/2 inch or into 1-inch squares (I cut mine into about 1 1/2-inch squares). Bake until edges of shortbread pull away from sides of pan and top is touched with brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
Cut shortbread again while still in the pan. Sprinkle on 1-2 tablespoons sugar, then carefully lift shortbread out and place on a rack to cool. (I prefer leaving them in the pan until they are cool because they crumble so easily when warm.) Makes 25 servings. foodgal.com
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