You know why I love linzer cookies? How could you not love something that is just so darn pretty? It’s cookie-art, that’s what it is.
Two thin hazelnut shortbread cookies sandwiched together with raspberry jam and topped with powdered sugar gets my vote, that’s for sure. Plus, these cookies remind me of Christmas and it’s never too early to start making Christmas cookies, is it?!
January might be too early.
But October surely isn’t!
This recipe is from back in my old Cordon Bleu days, and is one that I had to make a few times while in school. The ingredients were originally written in ounces and grams so this morning I converted it to better adapt the home kitchen. I’ll leave the original measurements at the bottom though so if you have a scale and want to try the original version, you can!
Ready? Here’s what you need for success:
Never tried a hazelnut? Now’s the time!
Hazelnuts remind me of Europe for some reason. I like to throw ’em in my granola and make trail mix with them. Most of all though, I like to consume them in their purest, most natural form.
But, for our purposes today, we shall be grinding them up…into a “meal”, if you will.
This is pretty easy if you have a VitaMix or food processor. If you don’t have either of those two things though, I’d suggest trying a blender. Or you could go totally old school and put your nuts in a large plastic bag, zip it up and whack the bag with a meat mallet.
Whatever gets the job done.
You’re going to use the standard “creaming method” for this cookie. That just means you cream your butter and sugar together first, add your egg and vanilla and then add the dry ingredients last.
That was easy. The hard part is having the patience to let the dough chill out in the fridge for an hour or so.
People like me don’t like to wait for things. We like instant gratification and fast baking cookies.
This type of cookie is very good for people like me.
Yoga is also good for people like me.
Take half of the dough out from the fridge and roll out. Now because these are traditional linzer cookies, you’ll need the proper gear. And by gear I mean cookie cutters. Linzer cookies are known for having a little hole in the center of each, displaying the pretty raspberry jam. Back when I was in Texas last month, I stopped at the cutest little kitchen shop in Fredricksburg and actually found some fall themed linzer cookie cutters with fun shapes like maple leaves, squirrels and crescent moons.
Aren’t they adorable?!
You can find linzer cookie cutters at any big kitchen shop (William Sonoma, Sur la Table or even Amazon). You could also probably use a sewing thimble as a makeshift mini cookie cutter as well. Just a thought.
So, roll out the first batch of cookies with no holes in the middle and then punch holes in the second. That way you’ll be able to keep things straight.
Bake each batch at 350 for twelve minutes. The edges should start to turn brown when they’re done.
Wait until they cool, then spread a thin smear of raspberry jam on the bottoms…
And dust the tops (the cut out cookies) with powdered sugar. Sandwich the two cookies together and you’re done!
Nothing too terribly difficult, right? Like I said, the hardest part is waiting for the dough to chill.
Here’s the recipe!
Classic Linzer Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies
10 oz flour (2 cups)
6 oz sugar (1 cup)
5 oz ground hazelnuts (1 cup)
1.6 oz egg (1 egg)
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1.5 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Cream together the softened butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla while mixing on low and continue to mix until everything is well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add these to the butter and sugar mixture and blend on low until just combined. Roll dough in a log form and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least an hour (preferably two or three).
Preheat the oven to 350 and take out half of the linzer dough from the fridge. Working quickly (this dough gets soft reallyyyy fast), roll out the dough and punch out fluted circles with a linzer cookie cutter. Bake these circles for about twelve minutes, or until the edges start to brown.
As the first batch cools, take out the dough for the second batch, roll it out and punch with cutters. This time, punching a small hole in the center of each cookie. Bake for twelve minutes.
When cookies are cool, dust powered sugar on the halves with holes in the middle. Smear a thin layer of raspberry jam on the other cookie and then sandwich cookies together. Voila!
**These cookies (without jam and powered sugar) freeze exceptionally well. When you’re ready to serve them, just take them out of the freezer, assemble and eat!