Monday, December 16, 2013

Linzer Cookies

When it comes to classic recipes, ones that I’ve never tried before, I sometimes get caught up in checking every possible source at my disposal for versions of the recipe in question. It’s a little crazy, but I have to know what all the options are. And, so it was with Linzer Cookies. I kept seeing them here and there and really wanted to try making them this holiday season. With the sugar-dusted tops and jam filling, they make pretty holiday cookies. I had an excellent reason to bake some extra cookies too. The gang behind Austin Bakes organized another bake sale on the weekend following Thanksgiving to benefit recovery efforts after the recent flooding in south Austin. It was a great way to start the holiday baking season. So, my search for recipes started with the original The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Ina’s Linzer Cookie is a plain, shortbread sandwich cookie with raspberry jam. They’re lovely but a little less traditional. A more traditional option would be made with ground nuts, spices, and maybe citrus zest in the dough. In The Model Bakery Cookbook, Linzer cookies are made with almonds and lemon zest but no spices. Raspberry Linzer Disks from The Modern Baker have almonds, cinnamon, and cloves but no zest. The version found in Martha Stewart’s Cookies includes ground pecans and cinnamon but no citrus zest. And, the version I finally settled on is from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies, and it combines all the possible ingredients with cinnamon, cloves, orange zest, and lemon zest. Hazelnuts are suggested for the nuts, but I liked the idea of using pecans and made that one change. 

The cookie dough comes together quickly in the food processor. Flour, toasted pecans, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cloves were pulsed until the nuts were finely ground. Pieces of butter were added and pulsed until crumbly before almond extract and lemon and orange zests were added and pulsed into the dough. The dough was divided into two parts, each was wrapped in plastic and left in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours. I actually made it in advance and left it in the refrigerator for a couple of days. When ready to bake, each half of dough was rolled out between sheets of parchment paper. Circles were cut, and I used a piping tip to cut smaller circles in half of the cookies for sandwich tops. The dough does become soft and sticky as it’s rolled and cut. While combining and re-rolling dough scraps, I placed the dough in the refrigerator from time to time to let it chill for easier handling. The cut cookies baked for about 14 minutes. When cool, the cookies for the bottoms were topped with raspberry jam that had been strained to remove the seeds. The cookie tops were dusted with confectioners’ sugar before taking their places on top of the jam. 

I’m easily entertained by learning about different approaches to the same type of cookie, and in the end, I was thrilled with this choice of recipe. All the flavors of spices and citrus were fragrant and lovely. I think Linzer Cookies are now going to have a permanent spot on my holiday cookie baking list. 

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  1. You found the recipe from one of the best bakers in the US. I love Alice Medrich's recipes, they are so spot on with flavor.

  2. So pretty! I bet those cookies would not last long at my place.



  3. They look lovely. Using a piping tip was a great idea.

  4. Hi Lisa,

    Something strange happened while I was typing a comment. I'm not sure if it went through or not but I was just saying your cookies look lovely, I love your choice and I certainly wouldn't mind having one right about now. Thanks for sharing...

  5. Lisa, I've always been fascinated by Linzer cookies, and I had to smile all through your post, imagining you surrounded by cookbooks, taking notes, writing modifications, amounts, details... until settling for a recipe

    I completely understand you... ;-)

    and your effort paid off big time, they turned out perfect!

  6. I haven't made Linzer cookies either! I bought a fancy cookie cutter set that has never been used... With your scrumptious as post as motivation I may get them made for this Christmas!

  7. I saw these on FB and thought they looked gorgeous. They're so beautifully perfect. I haven't made these before and must add them to my list of things to bake for Christmas xx

  8. They look perfect and have a lot of homemade fig jam to use.

  9. These look so terrific! We've never made them, but they're definitely on our list. Great job with these - thanks.

  10. these are classic cookies, yet i've neither made nor eaten them. beautiful work, lisa!

  11. Ohhh Lisa estàn muy muy lindas y clàsicas me encantan para Navidad,hugs,hugs,

  12. I would like to try these with apricot jam or maybe peach?
    A client of mine gave me some homemade peach jam from the summer that I'm dying to dig into.

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  14. Lisa, these are one of the prettiest Linzer cookies I've ever seen.
    And I've seen lots of them, because the original recipe comes from my country.
    Great job, my friend and Merry Christmas!!

  15. drool worthy cookies...only to look at them is a treat and the tastes delectable for sure...perfect for celebrating holidays,thanks so much for sharing :-)


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