16.2.14

Linzer Cookies # Baking Partner's Feb '14 Challenge

Linzer Torte is an Austrian torte named after the city of its origin,  Linz in Austria. It is believed to be one of the oldest cakes in the world and is regarded as a holiday classic in several parts of Europe. In North America, it is often made like small tarts or cookies and are called the Linzer Cookies. In imitation of the lattice design that is signature of Linzer torte, the cookie versions are made by sandwiching a layer of jam between two almond flavored cookies, one of which has a peekaboo- circle, heart or flower-cutout in the center..


With Valentine's day in mind, this month Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen challenged the baking partners to bake either Linzer Cookies or Heart Shaped Crunchy Seed Cookies. She had tried and tested the recipes for both the cookies from the book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich and provided us with step-wise instructions for both. The Linzer Cookies  had been in my to-do list for a long time, so I chose to bake them for Valentine's day.

They were a big hit. On returning from work, husband was happy to be greeted with a plate of bright red cookies and the toddler, who had been helping me cut the cookies, felt both happy and proud for being part of the project...


Initially we did not think much of these cookies. But the more we ate the more we wanted.. The flavors are subtle and addictive and they go very well with both tea and coffee. I made only a few for V day and froze the remaining dough.. but it seems like I'll have to unfreeze the dough soon and bake the full batch on demand...

Linzer Cookies

Prep time: min 2 hours 45 minutes                                                             Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Total time: min 3 hours 5 mins                                                                     Yield: 40 2 inch cookies



Ingredients
  • 1 cup 2 tbsps all purpose flour
  • ½ cup ground almond (I used almond meal)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground clove
  • 8 tbsps unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • ⅛ tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp cold milk (in case you are making the cookies dough by hand)
  • Strained or pureed, good quality fruit preserve( I used strawberry jam)
  • powdered sugar for dusting
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine all the dry ingredients for the dough.
  2. Add the almond extract and pieces of butter to it and mix well until the dough becomes crumbly.
  3. If using the food processor, mix some more until the dough comes together. If mixing my hand, add the cold milk and mix some more till the dough comes together and forms a smooth ball.
  4. Wrap the ball of dough in a plastic cling wrap and chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight or up to 3 days. The dough can be frozen up to 3 months.
  5. When ready to bake, take out the chilled dough and let it sit on the kitchen counter till it is just soft enough to roll. The dough should still be firm.
  6. Meanwhile position the rack to the upper and lower third of the oven, preheat to 325°F and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  7. Placing the cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it into a ⅛ inch thick sheet.
  8. Using a cookie cutter, cut out even number of cookies from the dough. Using a smaller cookie cutter, cut out hearts, circles, flowers etc from half of cut out cookies. ( For cutting these cookies,a Linzer cookie cutter is handy. You can however use one 3 inch and another slightly smaller cookie cutter for the job.) 
  9. In case the dough becomes very soft at this point, chill the cookie cutouts before lifting them with a spatula and placing them in the prepared baking trays.
  10. Place all the cutout cookies 1 ½ inch apart in the prepared baking trays and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cookies begin to brown at the edges. For even baking, rotate the baking trays and shuffle them between the racks, once in between. (The smaller cutout pieces get baked in 8-10 minutes.)
  11. Once baked, let the cookies firm up in the baking tray for a couple of minutes. 
  12. Allow them to cool completely, then put the strained jam on the bottom halves, sift powdered sugar over the cookie tops and sandwich both halves together. It is advisable to spread the jam just before serving, as the moisture from it tends to soften the cookies.

Thanks to Swathi for this lovely challenge. Visit her page to see what the other baking partners thought about these cookies.



And in case you are interested here is the Amazon link of the book from which this recipe was adapted...


I shall be sharing it at the following parties...


8 comments:

  1. Such a lovely yummyyy cookies :) wonderful looks :)

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  2. wow fantatsic linzer cookies :) so perfectly made, they looks fabulous dear , awesome clicks !!

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  3. Beautifully baked,looks wonderful

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  4. These are so beautiful! And perfectly crisp and golden... I've always wanted to try baking these myself and yours look perfect!

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  5. Beautiful cookies! I can just imagine how wonderful they taste. Thanks for joining us at Foodie Friday. Enjoy your weekend.

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  6. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe with us at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy!
    You are one of our featured guests this week - both my husband and I loved what you shared! :-)

    Have an inspired week!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's nice to meet you through Inspire Me Monday. What lovely cookies! Pepperridge Farms puts Linzer cookies out at Christmas. Last year, I think was the first time I had ever seen them. We decided to try them and liked them very much. It's nice to see someone taking the initiative to share this recipe with fellow bloggers. Thanks! Now GFC following...;)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by. It was nice having you here. Have a good day.

Take care and come back soon.
Best, Tanusree

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