Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sasha's Kitchen: Raspberry Linzer Cookies

Linzer cookies have long been my favorite European cookies. The have their origin in the Austrian Linzer Torte, which is traditionally made with flour ground nuts and spices into a tore filled with currant jam and topped with a lattice. I've always loved the American-style linzer cookie variation, using a similar pastry, often cut into heart shapes, filled with raspberry jam.

My blog is going to be featured on the upcoming ShopRite blog panel, and I received an introductory basket of goodies from ShopRite that got my creative cooking juices flowing. One of the items in the shipment was a jar of ShopRite raspberry preserves, made with fresh raspberries. I decided to sample the jam by making my own linzer cookies, using a set of heart shaped cookie cutters that I borrowed from a coworker.

The recipe for these cookies is adapted from a recipe that I found online from Joy of Baking. The main modification that I made to this recipe is that I used Bob's Red Mill blanched almond meal rather than grinding my own almonds. In addition, I didn't remember to dust the cookies with confectioner's sugar, but you can go ahead and do that if you like.

Cookies were delicious and lived up to expectations. Seconds after the last cookie was complete, my husband game running into the kitchen, eager to try one! The quality of the jam from ShopRite was also great - fresh and delicious!

Linzer Cookies (adapted from Joy of Baking)
1 cup almond meal
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
zest of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Shop-Rite raspberry preserves
confectioner's sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350. Whisk together the almond meal, flour, cinnamon and salt. In the basin of your stand mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar for about three minutes, until smooth and combined. Beat in the vanilla extract, egg yolks and lemon zest. Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated into a dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours (and up to three days). If you don't refrigerate first, the dough will stick to the surface when you roll it out.

Roll out the dough. Cut into cookies using a medium sized heart shape cookie cutter. In half of the hearts, cut out a smaller heart using one of the smaller sized heart shaped cookie cutters. Bake each tray (bake one at a time) for 12 minutes until just lightly browned.  Allow the cookies to cool completely.

Dust with confectioner's sugar. Place a heaping teaspoon of raspberry jam on the solid hearts (without the smaller hearts cut out in the middle). Top with the cut out heart cookie to form a sandwich. If you use the confectioner's sugar, sandwich carefully so not the disturb the sugar.



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