You know the line from ‘The Alchemist’ that goes something like, “When you really want something, the universe conspires to give it to you”? That’s what I feel about these wonderful Linzer cookies
Linzer cookies supposedly originated in the Austrian city of Linz and have the same ingredients as its larger cousin, the beautiful Linzer Torte. Two delicate almond-flavored cookies with a jam filling and a gorgeous dusting of
snow icing sugar
I have wanted to make them for the longest time; I mean, look at them… minimalist yet gorgeous…they are totally my style!
And yet I had given up hope of finding the right cookie cutters to make them. Without that tiny, delicate ‘eye’ through which the filling peeks, the cookie simply can’t be a Linzer cookie.
Funnily I found the cookie cutters when I wasn’t even thinking about cooking! Remember that girls’ weekend trip I took to Berlin in the summer? While shopping for clothes in the Mall of Berlin, I came across a quaint shop selling baking supplies and they had a whole wall of cookie cutters.
I was transfixed and couldn’t make up my mind on what shapes to buy, when there they were: Linzer cookie cutters with interchangeable fruit shaped ‘eyes’
So I have known since summer that I would make Linzer cookies this Christmas. All that was left was to decide the flavors and the filling.
In keeping with the decadence of the season, I thought rich, creamy, golden Dulce de Leche would be very apt and I planned to make Dulce de Leche using condensed milk, since I’ve never found it in the stores here.
Again, the universe seemed to conspire to make things easier for me! Standing next to the cans of condensed milk in this high-end supermarket, were cans of Dulce de Leche 😀 Serendipity? I think so!
For a tart-sweet contrast to the luxurious caramel, I filled some cookies with Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam. Buttery, crumbly and so very delicious!
The cookies are beautifully crispy, but they do become soft when you sandwich them with filling. So if you intend to store them for a few days, add the filling on the day you want to serve them.
The munchkin helped me making these and she was delighted with the tiny fruit-shaped windows. You can just as easily make these cookies if you have cookie cutters of different sizes, using the smallest size for the ‘eye’.
And they make the most adorable edible gifts, don’t you think? How can anyone resist these beauties? As you can probably tell, I couldn’t put my camera down 😀
You can fill them with any flavor of jam you like. You also can’t go wrong with Nutella or other chocolate spread. Lemon curd would work great too. These might just be my favorite holiday cookies!
If you are making these, remember, as with other cut-out cookies, to preserve the shape while baking, it is very important that the cookie dough is chilled. Be sure to not skip this step and you will be fine.
How festive would a plate of these look on your holiday table? Go ahead, you know you want some 😉
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- 2¼ cup All-purpose Flour
- ¾ cup Almond Flour (almond meal/ finely ground almonds)
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup salted Butter
- ¾ cup granulated Sugar
- Seeds from ½ Vanilla pod (or 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract)
- 2 Egg Yolks
- Icing Sugar, for dusting
- Dulce de Leche
- Your favorite Jam
- Lemon Curd
- Chocolate Spread
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until combined about 1½ minutes.
- Mix in the egg yolks, one at a time, waiting until the previous is completely mixed in.
- Add the vanilla seeds or extract and mix well.
- Stop the machine and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed from time to time.
- Turn the mixer on a low speed and add in the almond flour, wait until completely mixed in, about 1 minute.
- Add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
- Form mixture into 2 evenly sized balls, flatten each into a 6-inch round disk and wrap each one separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Position two racks near the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats and set aside.
- Dust your work surface with flour and roll out one disk of cookie dough into ⅛ inch thickness.
- Cut into cookies using a linzer cookie cutter or a medium round or fluted cookie cutter.
- Then use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the centers of half of the cookies on the baking sheet
- Carefully transfer to baking sheet, using a very thin metal spatula to lift cookie dough to baking sheet.
- Place cookie about 1 - 1½ inches apart from each other on baking tray. Place the baking tray in the fridge for 10 minutes or in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Repeat with the second ball of dough.
- Bake the cookies for 9-12 minutes until edges start to turn golden.
- Let the cookies cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
- To assemble, place the cut out cookies on a baking sheet and lightly dust the tops with powdered sugar. Spread a thin layer of jam or your filling of choice on the bottom surface of the full cookie (top of cookie will face out). Place the cut-out cookie on top and gently sandwich them together.
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