Saturday, January 01, 2011

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Linzer Cookies with Spiced Jam

I received several foodie magazines recently with lots of holiday cookie recipes. One in particular from the December issue of Food & Wine magazine jumped out at me for Linzer cookies. I've never made or even had these cookies before but they looked and sounded wonderful so I decided to make some to bring to a New Years Eve/Birthday party. They were a huge success. Several people complemented me on them and a few asked for the recipe so I decided to post it here.

I had never even heard of Linzer cookies before so I Googled them to get more info on where they came from. They have kind of a German sounding name. Linzer is made as a torte for the holidays in Austrian, Hungarian, Swiss, German and Tirolean traditions and the cookie version is more traditionally made in North America.

I followed the recipe from the magazine for the most part. I substituted orange zest for lemon zest and used a different jam than the recipe specified. Seedless raspberry jam was the suggested preserve but I used my homemade fig jam on some as well as my mom's homemade blackberry jam for the rest. I think any jam would probably work well for these cookies.

The cookie dough was pretty tasty raw too. It reminded me a lot of a dough that was used for frangipane tart in my cooking class with Chef Robin Leventhal except we used almonds in that crust instead of hazelnuts. I might try making a tart using this cookie dough and see how that comes out. Just not sure what to fill it with yet.

Linzer CookiesIngredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp finely grated lemon (or orange) zest
1 1/4 cups hazelnuts with skin
1 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
confectioners sugar for dusting
3/4 cup jam/preserves
1/4 tsp anise seeds, ground in spice grinder
1/4 tsp ground coriander

In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the granulated sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add the egg yolks and zest and beat until smooth. In a food processor, combine the hazelnuts with the bread flour and process until the nuts are finely ground. Add the cinnamon and cloves and pulse to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and beat on low speed until smooth. Pat the dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Working in batches if necessary, roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Using a 2 inch round cutter stamp out cookies as close together as possible. Using a small decorative cookie cutter or smaller round cutter, stamp out the centers of half of the cookies. Transfer the whole cookies to 1 prepared baking sheet and the cut-out cookies to another.

Bake the cookies in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool on the baking sheets. Meanwhile, refrigerate the scraps until chilled and reroll, stamp out more cookies and bake.

Dust the tops of the cut-out cookies with confectioners sugar. In a small bowl, whisk the preserves with the ground anise seeds and coriander. Spoon the preserves onto the whole cookies, cover with sugar dusted cookies and serve.

Linzer Cookies

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