Dress to Impress
Need a cookie platter to bring to your holiday gathering? This cookie is sure to impress! My grandmother gave me her linzer cookie cutters a week ago so I decided to give them a try! I used Alex Guarnaschelli’s recipe for these linzer cookies. Even though they are a little involved and fussy they are well worth the effort!
Linzer Heart Sandwich Cookies
Yields 2 dozen sandwich cookies
2 1/2 sticks butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for rolling the cookies
1/2 cup slivered almonds, ground
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup seedless raspberry jam (I also used apricot)
Powdered sugar, optional
2 cookie cutters with cut out
Waxed paper (or parchment)
3 baking sheets
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and continue mixing until the mixture becomes light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. In another bowl, combine and mix the flour, almonds, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Note: because this dough has a good amount of butter, it needs “resting” time and needs to be rolled fairly quickly. Lay 3 large pieces of waxed paper in a single layer on a flat surface. Sprinkle each with a light coating of flour. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, blend the flour mixture in with the butter. When the ingredients are fully integrated, place 1/3 of the batter on each piece of waxed paper. Coat dough with a light layer of flour, and top with another piece of waxed paper of the same length to make 3 batter ”sandwiches”. Place 2 of them in the refrigerator and work with 1 at a time.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll the first batch into as neat a shape as possible. What matters most is avoiding creases or cracks and getting it to about 1/8-inch in thickness. When the first is rolled, refrigerate it and repeat the same process for the other 2 pieces of dough.
Make the cookie bottoms: Remove the first rolled sheet from the refrigerator and cut as many 1 1/2-inch hearts (or rounds). Reserve the scraps in the refrigerator. Arrange them neatly in a single layer on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the other two sheets, reserving any scraps.
Make the cookie tops: Cut a heart, with the smaller cutter, out of the center of half of all the cookies to create a heart outline. Roll the scraps in between 2 pieces of waxed paper and cut additional hearts, if desired.
Bake the cookies until they are lightly brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the trays from the oven and allow them to cool slightly for a few minutes before gently transferring them to a flat surface. In a small pot, pour in the raspberry jam and bring it to a light simmer. Remove from the heat to cool slightly as well.
Spoon about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon raspberry jam on each bottom and place a “top” heart on each. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
I placed these cookies in cookie tins lined with colored tissue paper to give as gifts. If you want to make them ahead of time you can. They freeze well. I just dusted them in more powdered sugar before packaging/serving.
Sources: "Linzer Heart Sandwich Cookies." Recipe : Alexandra Guarnaschelli : Recipes : Food Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Dec. 2012.