Linzer Cookie Recipe Needed
I would like to make Linzer cookies for Valentines day. Although I cook and bake passionately, I've never felt particularily good at cookies. I have never made Linzer tarts (the closest thing I've ever made was gingerbread), so I could use and tips and tricks as well as a fool-proof recipe.
This is a generic Linzer recipe. I would use AP flour, but be careful not to over-mix the dough. the dough must be well chilled, but it will always be very tender and breaks easily. I would suggest baking the cookies on a parchment lined sheet pan as this great insurance against sticking.
I prefer to use a bag and pipe the filling into the cookies, but you may not want that mess or have the equipment. If you want to use a pastry bag, I would use a generic round tip, about 1/4" dia.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter (at room temperature)
1 cups sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups finely ground hazelnuts (about 1 pound)
3 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (12 oz.) jar raspberry jam
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, egg yolk, lemon rind and vanilla extract. Stir in nuts.
Mix flour, baking powder and cinnamon on wax paper. Stir into egg mixture, blending well to make a stiff dough; use hands if necessary to mix the ingredients together. Wrap in wax paper and chill several hours or overnight.
Divide dough into quarters. Work with one-quarter at a time and refrigerate the rest. Roll quarter between sheets of wax paper to about 1/4-inch thickness. With 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut as many circles from dough as possible. Carefully remove circles from wax paper and place on ungreased baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining 3 quarters. Refrigerate scraps for second rolling.
With a 1 3/4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out and remove center of half the circles on baking sheets. Re-roll the scraps. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until edges are golden. Remove from oven and cool cookies on baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove cookies with metal spatula to wire racks to cool completely.
Heat jam in small saucepan. Spread each of the solid cookies with thin layer of jam. Top each with a cut-out cookie and gently press together to form sandwich. Place cookies on wire rack placed over wax paper. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Spoon a small amount of jam in opening of each cookie. Allow to set.
This is very similar to what I make. A few things I do different: I use cinnamon and nutmeg both, I use vanilla and almond extract both (and use almonds rather than hazelnuts), and to cut the little hole on the top I use the top of the vanilla jar to make a small hole. Actually I use a china demitasse cup to cut the cookies themselves. But they will come out really good if you follow this recipe.
I use almonds or hazelnuts interchangeably, but toasting them for a few minutes helps to bring out the flavor. I have tried to use pecans or walnut but they don't work. I agree that cinnamon(Ceylon) and fresh nutmeg makes a huge difference, as the mild flavors there are really stand out. I have never used almond extract, but I use 2X vanilla at 1.5 the required strength.
Thanks for clearing up my overlooked advise. :-)
Toasting the nuts makes all the difference. This year I had some almond meal laying around and used it, but it wasn't as good as fresh nuts. I love almond extract, I add it all over the place (and almond paste, I just found a recipe to make it yourself, wonder if it would be cost effective?)
I know, I thought you had to get 50# sacks but they had little bags (around a pound?) at Trader Joes! But you know how TJs is, can't say if they still have. I think I got it last summer.
Almond Paste Recipe (I just found so can't vouch for it yet)
1# (1 2/3 cup) whole blanched almonds
2/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1/2 tsp almond extract
1) Preheat oven to 325
2) Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in oven 5 minutes. While hot, place almonds in bowl of food processor, add 2 Tbsp water and process until finely ground.
3) Combine sugar, corn syrup and remaining water in saucepan and bring to boil without stirring. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and boil until a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees. With processor running, slowly pour in hot syrup and almond extract and process until mixture is a smooth, sticky paste. (I assume you still have the ground almonds in there?) Paste will firm up as it cools.
Can be refrigerated for up to one week.
Makes 1 1/4 cups.
When I don't have time to make indiv linzer cookies, I make these:
1 1/2 Cups Flour, (Plus 2 Tbsp.)
2/3 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Toasted Almonds, ground
1 Egg, slightly beaten
15 oz. jar Raspberry Jam
1 Egg Yolk, mixed with
1 Teaspoon Water
Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugars, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Slice the butter into small pieces and cut into dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Add the ground almonds and stir well, then add the egg and stir until the dough hold together. Remove 1/2 cup, and into it stir the remaining 2 tablespoons flour, then chill for about 30 minutes. Press the remaining mixture evenly over the bottom of an 8" square baking pan. Spread the raspberry jam over the bottom crust. Preheat oven to 350. Roll out the reserved chilled dough into a rectangle about 8 inches long and 6 inches wide, then cut lengthwise into 10 strips, each about 1/2 inch wide. Spread half the strips over the jam and place the other half crosswise over them. Brush the strips with the egg yolk-water mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is a deep golden brown.
something i picked up when i was working in a pastry shop - if the hazelnuts are too expensive, or you run out, you can substitute almond flour (for texture) and some hazelnut paste (for taste.)
Excellent advice so far. All would add is that if your raspberry jam is very sweet you might want to cut it with some lemon juice, currant jelly or lingonberry jam because otherwise you lose a contrast that I find makes the cookie or tart or bar extra special.