Baking Partners February Challenge was to bake Cookies! Swathi gave us a couple of options. Linzer heart cookies or Crunchy seed cookies. No doubt I was taken aback by the pictures of linzer that I definitely wanted to try them out. I halved the original recipe and it yielded me 10 simply delicious cookies.
Linzer cookies are slightly sweet, melt in the mouth cookies with trickling flavors of cinnamon, orange and lemon. It is usually filled with jam/preserve and are served with powdered sugar on top. They are derived from Linzer torte, said to be one of the oldest cake in the world. It is named after a city called Linz, Austria. They are simply delicious and are usually made during Christmas.
Adapted from the book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich
1 cup and 2 tablespoons (5.06 ounces)/145g unbleached All-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) 63g ground Almonds or Hazelnuts
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces)/50g granulated Sugar
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground Cloves
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest or 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest or 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
Strained or pureed good quality preserves or fruit spread
1 teaspoon + extra Powdered sugar for dusting
• Blanch almonds and process it in a food processor along with one teaspoon of powdered sugar. You can also substitute it with almond meal.
• In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, powdered almonds, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, almond extract, lemon and orange zests(or extracts) and mix well.
• Add the chopped cold butter and mix until mixture looks damp and crumbly. Continue kneading until all the dough comes together.
• Roll the dough into a flat square and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
• Preheat oven to 325°F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
• Remove dough from the plastic wrap and dust it with flour. Roll the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch between sheets of wax paper or between heavy plastic sheets . Turn the dough over once or twice while you are rolling it out to check for deep wrinkles, if necessary, peel off and smooth the paper or plastic over the dough before continuing to roll it.
• Dip the edges of the cookie cutters in flour and cut desired shape and size Cut a smaller shape from the center of half of the large shapes.
• Using a spatula gently lift each cut out cookie and transfer it to cookie sheets. Leave two inch space between each cookie.
• Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cookies are just beginning to color at the edges. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
• Let the cookies firm up on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes and then transfer the cookies to cooling racks.Before assembly allow the cookies to cool down completely.
• Sandwich each cookie with a layer of jam (cutout cookie on top of each preserve-covered cookie) and dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Linzer cookies are ready.
• Cookies without filling can be stored in an airtight container for more than 10 days.
• Cookies with filling holds good in an airtight container for 3-4 days but the moisture from the preserves will soften them.