old fashion linzer cookies

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There is something about a jam filled cookie.  Perhaps it’s as if you are a child again eating a peanut butter jelly sandwich.  The thought conjures images of a being young and having your face smeared with jelly. These beautiful cookies are like a window pane of baked goodness.  Not only are they delicate but elegant as well.  I packaged these into individual clear cellophane bags and gave to my valentines.

The filling looks the best with seedless rasberry jam, but I only had strawberry on hand.  For spring or summer you can use apricot or peach jam.  Be sure to dust the tops with confectioners sugar just like a red cherry on top of a lovely dessert.

Old fashion linzer cookies

Ingredients (3 dozen cookies)

  • 2/3 cup of chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 12-oz jar seedless raspberry jam
  • A linzer tart cookie cutter, or a large scalloped cutter and small circle cutter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Toast chopped hazelnuts in a thin layer until fragrant, watching closely to ensure they do not burn. This should take 3 to 5 minutes. Remove any loose skins and cool.
  3. Add nuts and 1/4 cup brown sugar to a food processor and pulse until finely ground. There should be no large pieces of hazelnuts – it should be a cornmeal consistency.
  4. Whisk or sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  5. Cream together the butter and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add nut mixture and beat until combined well, about 1 minute. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
  6. With floured hands, form dough into 2 balls and flatten each into a 5-inch disk. Chill disks, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 2 hours.
  7. While dough chills, add jelly to a small sauce pan over low heat. Stir jelly and allow to reduce until thickened – about 10 minutes.
  8. Roll out 1 disk of dough into an 11-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick) using as little flour as possible to dust the work surface and rolling pin. Keep the dough as cold as possible. Cut out as many solid cookies bottoms as possible from the first disk of dough and transfer to 2 large baking sheets, arranging about 1 inch apart.
  9. Using the second disk of dough, cut out the cookie tops either with a linzer top cutter, or by using the cutter for the bottom cookies and a smaller cutter for the center. Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely.
  10. Keeping the tops of the cookies separate, dust tops of cookies with powdered sugar until completely covered. Spread about 1 teaspoon jam on top of each solid cookie bottom and sandwich jam with flat side of the top cookies. Enjoy immediately or freeze to enjoy later on.

 


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