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Food & Entertaining

Linzer Cookies

Author: Sydney Dye
Issue: December, 2013, Page 96



Makes about 2 dozen cookies


2/3 cup raw, unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
21/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
Zest from one lemon
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 12-ounce jar raspberry jam
2-inch and 1/2-inch round cookie cutters

Photo by Garrett Cook

Linzer cookies are an easy variation of the elegant, rich tart from Linz, Austria. Ground almonds, butter, grated lemon rind and cinnamon combine for a delicate and flavorful cookie. While raspberry is the traditional jam filling, use whatever preserve you have on hand.
 
PULSE nuts and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a food processor until nuts are finely ground; set aside.

WHISK flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl.

BEAT butter, lemon zest and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and creamy (about 3 minutes).

ADD nut mixture and beat about 1 minute. Add egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, blending until just combined.

FORM dough into 2 balls using floured hands, and flatten each into a 5-inch disk. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and chill until firm (at least 2 hours).

PUT oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350°.

ROLL out one disk of dough into an 11-inch round (1/8-inch thick) between 2 sheets of wax paper. Keep remaining dough chilled. If dough becomes too soft to roll out, rewrap in plastic and chill until firm.

CUT out as many cookies as possible from dough with 2-inch cookie cutter and transfer to two parchment-lined baking sheets, arranging them about 1 inch apart. To make the top halves of cookies, use a 1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut out centers from half of the cookies. Reserve centers. Reroll any scraps (reroll only once). Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through, until edges are golden (about 8-10 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled. Repeat, with remaining dough.

SPREAD about 1 teaspoon of jam on flat side of bottom halves, and sandwich both halves together. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.


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