Linzer Cookies

Linzer cookies

Sometimes one needs cookies that not only taste but also look spectacular. These delicious and festive cookies with a hint of cinnamon and a nuttiness from the almonds fit the bill.

The dough is relatively straightforward to put together, but the dough is somewhat tricky to handle and can get a bit soft if the kitchen is warm. The easiest solution is to place a few ice packs on the dough (which has been rolled out between the sheets of parchment paper). A few minutes should cool the dough to make it handleable again.

These are excellent cookies for making for a special occasion or for gifting. I was inspired to make them after making a big batch of berry jam and using some of it for the filling.  Under pressure from brat no. 2, some cookies were filled with  dark melted chocolate. Maybe not traditional, but equally delicious.

Feel free to replace the ground almonds with ground hazelnuts (would be a great match with a chocolate filling) or pistachios for a different flavour.

The original recipe came from the New York Times cookbook and needs little altering.

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Linzer Cookies
Cuisine Modern British
Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 30 min
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
filled cookies
Ingredients
Cuisine Modern British
Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 30 min
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
filled cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, ground almonds, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  2. Using a stand mixer or hand-held beater beat butter and sugar together on medium-high until the mixture is light, fluffy and pale, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract, and beat until everything is well combined, again stopping to scrape down the bowl as necessary.
  3. Add in dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed, just until incorporated. The dough will be very soft, but it will harden after chilling.
  4. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces, and wrap each piece in cling film, patting into a 1-inch-thick disk. Chill at least 2 hours. The dough can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
  5. Heat oven to 160C (150 C fan) degrees. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper so it's about 1/8 inch thick. (Because of the almonds, the dough may crack in places while you’re rolling it out. This is fine, just patch it up with scraps.)
  6. Using a round cookie cutter about 2" in diameter, cut out as many circles as possible. Take half of these circles and cut out a 3/4" hole (round or star) from the centre of the circles to form the top half of each cookie.
  7. If at any point the dough becomes too soft to cut and remove from parchment paper, slide it onto a cookie sheet and chill for a few minutes in the freezer or refrigerator or place ice packs on top. Gather any scraps of dough, combine them and roll them out, chilling as necessary. Transfer dough circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet spaced about 1-2" apart and place in the oven (as always, you can use multiple shelves for baking cookies on the fan setting).
  8. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove and cool on a cooling tray/wire rack.
  9. Dust the tops of cookies (with the holes) with icing sugar.
  10. To assemble the cookies, spread about a teaspoon of the berry jam onto the flat sides of the larger circles and sandwich the sugar dusted tops.
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