Linzer Cookies

Heart shaped cookies are a Valentines must. So get these on your list for that special someone – or for yourself (because when we make cookies for someone, aren’t we making them just as much for ourselves anyway? :))

I can now finally say I’ve made Linzer cookies. It’s one of those things that, for the last 10 years, I’ve been saying I’ll soon make. Well, there’s no better time than now. These cookies have always made me think of Valentines Day. Many people make them at Christmas time and really they are perfect for any time of year, but I say they are best for Valentines Day because of their beautiful, natural red color and dainty heart shape.

linzer cookies 1

Now that I have tried these, I know I’m going to be making them much more often. These are amazing to say the least. They’re tender and perfectly crumbly (similar to shortbread cookies) and their blend of tempting flavors is simply irresistible. You get a fruity and lightly tart jam filling in a buttery cookie, that is swirled with the amazing flavor fusion of ground almonds and cinnamon. Yes, you’re going to want to try these. Enjoy!

linzer cookies 2

Yield: About 2 dozen

 Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (96g) slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 8 oz strawberry or raspberry jam, seedless if preferred (preferably freezer jam)

Directions

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder, set aside. In a food processor, pulse almonds with brown sugar until finely ground, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and powdered sugar on low speed until combined, then increase to medium-high and whip until creamy, about 1 minute. Mix in egg, then blend in vanilla and almond extract. Mix in almond mixture, then with mixer set on low speed, slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Form mixture into a ball and drop onto a sheet of plastic wrap, then flatten into a 6-inch round disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dust work surface with flour, cut disk in half and then evenly roll out each portion into 1/8 to 1/6-inch thickness. Cut into heart shapes using a cookie cutter, then using a smaller heart shape cookie cutter, cut smaller hearts into the centers of half of the hearts. Carefully transfer to Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets (you can run a sharp knife or pastry scaper under cookies to help lift them if needed. Also, chill dough that’s not currently being rolled or baked, the hearts hold their shape better when cold), spacing cookies 1-inch apart. Bake in preheated oven 10 – 12 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Spread strawberry jam over whole hearts, dust cookies with heart cut centers with powdered sugar then place those cookies over over tops. Store in an airtight container.

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