Love is in the air in the month of February, and you can see valentine gifts everywhere in all shops. I usually make sure to bake some cookies and cakes for Valentine; this month too I planned a few recipes, and d as always I was not able to finish in time. I choose Linzer cookies for this month Baking Partners Challenge. I was not intending to select recipe for this month. However the person I asked to share the recipe was not able to share one with step by step pictures as I wanted. So in the last minute I tried this Linzer cookies and Heart shaped crunchy seed cookies.
These Linzer Cookies are actually a modification of the famous Linzer Torte, which is named for the city of Linz, Austria and is the oldest-known torte in the world. The recipe was found in 1653 in the archive of the Admont Abbey in Austria. The Linzer Torte has a lattice design on top of the pastry and the dough is made with ground nuts, usually hazelnuts, sometimes almonds or walnuts and is filled with black or red currant preserves.
Linzer cookies use the same recipe as the Linzertorte for the dough, which is then cut into cookies. In the Linzer cookies, two cookies sandwich the preserves. Also the top of the cookie has a small cutout in its center (known as Linzer eyes), thus exposing the underlying jam and adding to the visual appeal. While the traditional cutout is circular, all sorts of shapes, such as hearts, are also popular. Since it is Valentine month I used heart shaped cut out to make Linzer eyes.
I didn’t have hazelnuts in my hand so used blanched almonds. This recipe is a modified from Adapted from Alice Medrich, Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy. I changed it slightly as I am skeptical about pulsing the all nuts, flour and spices together. I first made almond meal and then incorporated with flour, butter, spices. Best thing is it has both lemon/lime zest and orange zest, it imparts huge flavor along with almond extract. I made the cookies first day and refrigerate the dough overnight and then made cookies next day. As Alice said, I sandwiched cookies only when I was ready to serve. I bought Wilton Linzer cookie cutter for this bought from bed and bath beyond.
Only thing you need to make sure while cutting is that lightly flour the surface to prevent from sticking. This recipe is eggless you can also make it gluten and vegan free. Here comes the recipe.
Please stick around to take a look at other baking partner’s creations too. If you want to bake with us shoot me a mail. We will happy to have you with us next month.
Serves: Forty 2 inch cookies
- 1 cups+ 2 tablespoon (5.06 ounces)/145g unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (2.5 ounces) 63g ground almonds and/or hazelnuts
- ¼ cup (1.75 ounces)/50g granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 8 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- ⅛ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest or ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest or ¼ teaspoon orange extract
- Strained or pureed good quality preserves or fruit spread
- 1 teaspoon + extra Powdered sugar for dusting
- Blanch almond and make powder with 1 teaspoon of powdered sugar like this.
- In a bowl of kitchen aid stand mixer combine the flour, ground nuts, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves , almond extract and the lemon and orange zests or extracts . Then add the butter (cut into several pieces if firm) mix well until mixture looks damp and crumbly. Continue mixing until all the dough comes together. Remove the dough, press it into a ball, and knead it a few times to be sure all of the dry ingredients are blended into the dough.
- Form the dough into 1 flat patty. Wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight or up to 3 days. The dough may be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- To Roll and Cut Cookies:
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature until supple enough to roll but still quite firm. It will continue to soften as you work. Roll the dough to a thickness of ⅛ inch between sheets of wax paper or between heavy plastic sheets cut from a plastic bag. Turn the dough over once or twice while you are rolling it out to check for deep wrinkles; if necessary, peel off and smooth the paper or plastic over the dough before continuing to roll it. When the dough is thin enough, peel off the top sheet of paper or plastic and keep it in front of you. Invert the dough onto that sheet and peel off the second sheet. Cut as many large shapes as possible. Dip the edges of the cookie cutters in flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Cut a smaller shape from the center of half of the large shapes. Use the point of a paring knife to lift and remove scraps as you transfer the cookies to the lined or ungreased pans. Place large cookies at least 1½ inches apart on the cookie sheets. If the dough gets too soft at any time-while rolling, cutting, removing scraps between cookies, or transferring cookies-slide a cookie sheet underneath the paper or plastic and refrigerate the dough for a few minutes, until firm. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Gently press all of the dough scraps together (don't overwork them with too much kneading) and reroll.
- Bake for 15 to 25 minutes , or until the cookies are just beginning to color at the edges. Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. (The small shapes may be baked for 8 to 10 minutes on a separate cookie sheet to make miniature cookies, or the dough may be combined with other dough scraps to be rerolled and cut.)
- Let the cookies firm up on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. For lined pans, set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool; for unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks. Cool the cookies completely before stacking or storing. The cookies are delicious fresh but even better the next day. May be kept in an airtight container for a month or more.
- To assemble, shortly before serving, spread each solid cookie with a thin layer of preserves. Sift powdered sugar over the cookies with cutouts. Place a sugared cutout cookie on top of each preserve-covered cookie. Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container, but the moisture from the preserves will soften them
Copyright ©2014 Zesty South Indian Kitchen by Swathi( Ambujom Saraswathy) All Rights Reserved