linzer love ::::
I’ve looked at this recipe for many months, loving the smooth, stained glass quality of the jam used. Seeing as my day off from work was not busy enough with laundry, socializing, an almost meeting about kindergarten registration, and at a loss for another post this week, Linzer cookies seemed appropriate. A throwback, some nostalgia, some jammy stickiness.
I would drown in Linzer tarts when I worked in the Maine restaurant summers as a teenager; we seemed to make them non-stop. It was Jim the Baker, famed from my challah post, who often handed me the reins to make them myself as he waddled home in the early afternoon. Don’t get me wrong: I love the simplicity and deep flavor of a jam tart, and Linzer with its raspberry tang is the pinnacle for me. The change today to cookies rather than another tart is a welcome change, however. They’re cute, like an amuse bouche Linzer tart, a Jim the Baker on a much smaller scale. Perhaps a jammy tart will come later this year when the kissing strawberries from my Valentine’s post estranged from one another, so over the honeymoon period of new love, thrown into a rave of summer berries, have ended their romance. I’m not so fickle.
One year ago: calabrese sausage stuffed bell peppers (your peppers won’t wilt!)
Two years ago: homemade ricotta
- ¾ cups unsalted butter (1½ sticks), room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- 1½ cups finely ground blanched almonds or hazelnuts
- 2¼ cups cake flour (can sub all purpose flour, which is what I did)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 ounces raspberry jam, or other red preserve (I used seedless raspberry jam)
- Powdered sugar
- Cream butter in a standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Add sugar and continue creaming until pale in color. Add the egg, lemon, and vanilla and mix. Mix in the ground nuts.
- Stir together dry ingredients in a bowl and add to mixer and blend. Form the dough into two disks, wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. I chilled mine overnight.
- Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper to ⅛-inch thickness. Put rolled dough (still between parchment paper) in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to firm up before cutting. I felt 10 minutes was better. The dough needs to be firm enough that the cut out cookies don't feel soft when you pick them up to transfer to the baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut out the base cookie shapes. Cut out the centers of half the disks with a smaller cookie cutter shape. Re-roll scraps and repeat the freezing process before cutting again.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until edges turn golden. Cool on a wire rack.
- Heat the jam or jelly and spread the solid disks with a layer of the warm preserves. Don't overfill, or you will have the jam ooze out the sides of cookie when the top layer cookie is placed on the bottom one (see my photo in the post). Place the top layer cookie over the bottom, pressing down lightly. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, then fill the holes with more preserves, if needed. Let set slightly before serving.
- Makes 12-24 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter shapes. I had closer to 24 but I also only rerolled my scraps once, and baked the total twice-rolled scraps as is to nibble (and shamelessly dipped them in raspberry jam like I was eating chips and salsa while I waited for the proper cookies to bake). My base cookie cutter was about 6 cm (2.5 in) in diameter and the cut out cutter size was about 3.5 cm (1.5 in) in diameter.