Happy Valentine’s Day! I made you guys one of my favorite cookies ever, Linzer cookies, which are based on an ancient recipe for a tart in Linz, Austria.
These cookies are all things rolled into one delicious heart-shaped package: crisp and crunchy yet tender, packed with flavor thanks to freshly toasted and ground almonds, freshly grated lemon zest, cinnamon and vanilla in the dough, which chills for an hour or two before rolling out. After you cut out the cookies with a 3-inch cookie cutter and another slightly smaller cutter of the same shape, you sandwich the two halves together with seedless raspberry jam or your favorite jam. Douse with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and serve to one you love.
Don’t make these cookies because they’re economical or easy, make Linzer Cookies because they’re delicious.
- Linzer Cookies
- Makes about 26 3-inch cookies. Recipe adapted from “Joy of Baking”
- 1 cup whole almonds (blanched or natural)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Zest of one small lemon (about two teaspoons)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar, divided
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 large egg yolks
- To finish:
- ½ cup to a cup of seedless raspberry jam
- Powder sugar for dusting over cookies
- Two cookie cutters of the same shape,
- one larger and one slightly smaller
- Toast almonds on a baking sheet at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool. Then grind in a food processor with ¼ cup white sugar until finely ground.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt and lemon zest.
- In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer or a stand mixer, beat butter and remaining ½ cup sugar until light and fluffy, at least 3 to 4 minutes.
- Beat in the vanilla extract and egg yolks.
- Beat in the ground almonds and then the flour mixture.
- Divide the dough in half, cover each half with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm (30-60 minutes, or up to two days).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove one ball of dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about ¼ inch thick.
- Using a 3-inch cookie cutter (round, square, heart, etc.) cut out the cookies.
- Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the centers of half of the cookies on the baking sheet. The smaller cookies will be the ones on top to form the sandwich.
- Reroll any scraps and cut out the remaining cookies. Repeat with the second ball of dough. If the dough gets soft, put the baking sheets with the cut out cookies in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to chill to prevent them from spreading and losing shape when baked.
- Bake the cookies for about12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
- Assembling the Cookies
- Place the cut-out cookies on a baking sheet and lightly dust with powdered sugar.
- Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on the bottom surface of the full cookie. Place the smaller cookie on top and sandwich together.
- The filled cookies will soften when stored. If you want the cookies to stay crisp, assemble them the day of serving.
What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Have you ever had Linzer Cookies? Ever made them? Tell me in the comments.