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Monday, December 21, 2015

Linzer Tart Cookies


Wonderfully nutty and crunchy, with a spread of your favouite jam, these Linzer Tart Cookies make a handsome and toothsome addition to your entertaining dessert menu. 

A Merry Christmas to you all.  Hope you are all surviving the pre-Christmas day rush.  I've been so terribly busy practicing and preparing for our church Christmas program that I haven't been posting but I have been doing a little baking.  Thankfully, all prepartions and practices have paid off and the program was delivered in grand style, although I had doubts about my ability to sing my solo because of a throat infection or something like it.  The throat's still a bit wonky but I did get through the solo and even had a few compliments thrown my way.  (I do have my small, but faithful, fan club.)

One of my new favourite cookies are these Linzer Tart Cookies from Gretchen's Bakery.  Gretchen has gone through a certain amount of upheavel with her blog and YouTube channel in the last year or so but she's back on track now.  This is one of her recipes but she hasn't had time to repost it yet.  I'm so glad I kept a copy of the recipe because the cookies are absolutely scrummy!  Gretchen has given me permission to share this recipe on my blog so my family and friends can make them any time they want. Thanks Gretchen!

I made these cookies a couple of weeks ago and I've been jealously guarding them for my own eating pleasure.  Well, I have shared a few with friends who have dropped by but they didn't go to the church Christmas program--no way!  They're mine, mine, all mine.   

Gretchen's original recipe uses raspberry jam but I've taken the liberty to use abricot jam as well and I think any favourite jam would be just as marvelous in these nutty jam sandwich cookies.  (I suspect a chocolate filling would be wonderful as well.)


Linzer Tart Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup hazelnuts (filberts), ground fine
2 ¾ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder 
½ teaspoon salt (my addition)
Raspberry or apricot jam as needed for filling cookies
Icing sugar for topping cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper for easy clean up.

Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and beat until fluffy.  Mix dry ingredients with the ground nuts.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture until combined.  Chill dough for at least 2 hours. If you chill longer than 2 hours you may have to let it warm up a little so it will roll easily.  

Roll dough out to about ⅛-inch thick and cut out with 2½-3-inch round cookie cutter.  I like to use my fancy scalloped cutter. Cut middle out of half the cookie circles.  Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan to cooling rack and let cool.

To assemble cookies sprinkle icing sugar over the cookies with middles cut out.  Spread jam over the whole cookies and top with sugared cookies.  

Makes about  2 ½ dozen sandwiched cookies.


I use a food processor to grind the nuts.  I like to leave a few larger chunks.

Awful photo of the egg!!!  But, that being said, cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the egg and beat until fluffy.

Mix the dry ingredients together with the ground nuts.  Add to the creamed mixture until combined.  Do not overmix or the cookies will be tough.

 Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refigerate at least 2 hours.
When the dough has chilled roll out and cut with a round cookie cutter.  I like to use my scalloped cutter just to make them fancier looking.  Use a small round cutter for the middles.  I don't have a cookie cutter that small so I improvise with a citrus juicer.   A small pill container or frosting decorator tip will work as well.

Place the cut out cookies on a cookie sheet.  I bake half full cookies and half with the middles cut out.
 
 One pan baked and another awaiting the oven.

 Bake until the edges are a golden brown.

When the cookies have cooled down, sprinkle the hole-in-the-middle cookies with icing sugar.   Spread jam on the full cookies.  You can see I made half with raspberry jam and half with apricot jam.

When both sides of the cookies have been prepared sandwich them together for the full deal.
 
So good I don't think Santa will even get one of these! But don't they look pretty?  They'll look so nice on a mixed plate of Christmas cookies.

  Yummy, scrummy Linzer Tart Cookies. 

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