Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Strawberry Linzer Cookies

I'd intended on baking these scrumptious linzer cookies for Christmas, but then, well, I broke my foot.  I spent Christmas on the couch with my foot up, not in the kitchen baking (where I'd much rather have been, believe me!).

Now that I'm at least a little bit mobile (still with an aircast.....) I thought I'd bake these as pretty Valentine cookies!   Granted, they'll be LONG gone before Valentine's Day.

The cookies are crisp and sweet, nutty and fruity.  So yummy.

The cookie dough is made with ground almonds, butter, sugar, flour, vanilla, a smidgen of cinnamon and an egg.  Once refrigerated for a few hours, the dough is rolled thin and cut with cookie cutters.

You'll need two cookies for each linzer sandwich.  In half of the cut outs you'll cut a smaller cut out in the center.

The cookies are baked for about 10 minutes until lightly golden, then removed to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once cool, the cookies are spread with jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Finally, the sugary top cookie is placed on the jammy bottom cookie.   Beautiful!

These are so beautiful, don't you think?   You can make them with any shaped cookie cutters you have---circles, squares, hearts, flowers, etc. as long as you have a smaller one to cut out the center for the top cookie.

Here's the recipe, which is from Wilton.

Linzer Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup finely ground almonds
1/2 cup seedless jam (strawberry or raspberry)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
confectioners' sugar

In small bowl, combine flour, ground almonds, and cinnamon; set aside. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Add flour mixture; mix only until incorporated. Divide dough onto 2 pieces; press into small disks, about 1 inch thick. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm enough to roll.

Preheat oven to 350°F. On floured surface, roll out one disc of dough 1/8 in. thick (keep remaining dough chilled). Cut the dough using the cookie cutter of your choice;  cut half of those with a second, smaller cutter.  These will be the top cookies.  Transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Dough scraps can be formed into a disk, chilled for at least 30 minutes and rerolled.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes; remove from sheet and cool completely. Spread bottom cookies with about a teaspoon of jam. Dust the top cookies with confectioners' sugar; gently sandwich cookies together.  Store in an airtight container with wax paper between layers of cookies.

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