Linzer Cookies have long been on my "one day / to do list". It was Valentine's Day when I decided to tackle them - was going to use my heart-shaped cookie cutters. Though I had quickly reviewed the recipe for ingredients, I overlooked that the dough had to be refrigerated overnight, so I made round cookies the day after Valentines...
"Linzer" is perhaps more often associated with Linzer Torte - a crust that includes nuts, a jam filling and a lattice top. Like many European classics, the recipe dates back hundreds of years. The ingredients and construction with a jam centre seem to lend themselves to "cookies", though I have no idea when that trend began. This recipe comes directly from the Neue Cuisine Cookbook distributed by the NYC Neue Galerie - the home of Gustav Klimt's "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer" (known to some as "The Woman in Gold"). (You might enjoy my related blog post.)
The recipe makes a nice dough, easy to work with. Depending on how thin you roll out the dough and the size of your cookie cutter, you should get about 6 dozen cookie pieces - about 36 cookies when "sandwiched".
- as noted above, the dough is refrigerated overnight
- hazelnut flour (or other nut flour - see Notes below)
- cookie cutters - 1.5 - 2" and 3/4" for hole
- seedless raspberry jam
- bring eggs and butter to room temperature
- workspace: keep in mind that (unless you make only half the recipe) you will likely have 6 batches of 12 cookies and so will need a space to set them out and let them cool before sandwiching the cookies.
2 1/2 cups hazelnut flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Combine and whisk together. Set aside for next step. (Prep this the day before if you wish to save time.)
2.5 sticks (10 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1.5 cups confectioners sugar
(plus more for dusting)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
grated zest of one half lemon
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter with the confectioner sugar until pale and creamy about 4 minutes. Add the whole egg and then the egg yolk beating until creamy. Add the lemon zest and the flour mixture (as above) beating until incorporated about 3 minutes. Pat the dough into a thick disk and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
Baking Day. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit for about half an hour to make it easier to work with. Line baking sheets with parchment - note that you will have 2-3 rounds of baking.
Roll (half) the dough to 1/8" thick. Place cookie rounds on bake sheets - preparing to bake two sheets at a time - or only one at a time if you prefer. Place the rounds about 1/2" apart. No matter how many you fit on a single bake sheet, make sure the second bake sheet has the exact same number - on the second sheet, cut out 3/4" holes. The cookie hole dough can be added to the remaining dough and used for the next batch.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. The cookies with holes will bake faster than the others and may need to be removed sooner. Transfer the cookies and the parchment to a cooling rack and let the bake sheet cool slightly before doing the next batch(es).
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
Assembly. Once cooled, dust the cookies with the holes with icing sugar. Onto the other cookies place 3/4 - 1 tsp of seedless raspberry jam and sandwich the cookies.
Notes and Tips...
- Nut Flours - traditional Linzer torte (and cookies) uses hazelnuts (also referred to as filberts), but recipe variations also use almonds or walnuts - and I should think even pecans would work.
- Hazelnut Flour - I used almond flour the first time - good, but hazelnut flour delivers the optimal colour and flavour. Hazelnut flour / meal is not the kind of baking staple most of us have on hand, unless it's one of your gluten-free 'go to' flours - (this recipe also uses all purpose flour, so you don't end up with a gluten free cookie). My local bulk barn did not carry it, but it's part of the Bob's Red Mill product line so you may find this in a well stocked health food store. You could also order it from Nuts.com - I love that online supplier!! Worse case, you could toast whole hazelnuts, let them cool and then pulse them in a food processor until you get a fine flour-like consistency. (Adding a bit of the all purpose flour may help achieve a fine grind - avoiding the risk of ending up with a nut butter.) Note that nut flours are best kept refrigerated or in the freezer.
- Jam - raspberry seems to be traditional. I am sure I have eaten these with jam with seeds. In truth I didn't even know you could buy seedless jam (eek!). Apricot or strawberry jam can also be used - but best to blitz it to remove lumps.
- Modification - This same dough can be used to make traditional Austrian "half moon" cookies called Vanillekipferl.
- Make ahead - This cookie dough can be frozen for up to two months.
- For KB Recipe Attribution Practices please click here.
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