October 26, 2010

Linzer Cookies

This is week two of 10 weeks of Christmas cookies.  I’ve gotta say this is a wonderful way for me to justify a lot of Christmas baking!  I’m allowing myself to start thinking about it and am really enjoying putting so much thought behind it.  I saw these cookies on an awesome new (to me) blog called Eat Live Run.  The author makes everything she posts so much fun to read.  Her pictures though are what made me add these to the list and while mine aren’t near as pretty they’ll do.
Every time I see the name Linzer I think about how much I’d love to be in Austria for Christmas.  It’s even on my life list, yes I do have one, it’s two pages long and makes me so happy to read.  It’s full of wonderful things that appeal specifically to me.  One day I might show it to you.  I’ve done four of the things on it already, made my own yogurt (LOVE), got married (also LOVE), drove down the west coast (a good chunk of it), and learned to scuba dive (well I tried it and I’ll never be able to actually do it).
These cookies are nutty and buttery and down right delectable.  Something my grandmother would have made me.  They’ve got texture from the nuts, I can never get my hazelnuts finely ground enough, but that’s probably just my problem and I think it makes them interesting.  They soften with jam in them overnight so that they’re chewy in your mouth and the raspberry jam (homemade of course) is just a perfect compliment to the hazelnut (I made hazelnut pancakes with raspberry syrup twice in the last month, so they’re a winning combo for us.)
Next time I make these, for the boxes, I’ll make them much smaller and remember that re-rolled scraps will shrink so don’t use them.

Linzer Cookies from Eat Live Run

Mine made 16 big cookies (note to self need new cookie cutters)
240g (2 c) flour
200 g (1 c sugar)
5 oz (1 c) toasted and ground hazelnuts
1 egg
8 oz (1 c) butter 
1/2 t vanilla
1.5 t cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 t salt
Cream together butter and sugar until creamy and light.  Add egg and vanilla while mixing until well combined.  
Mix together dry ingredients in medium sized bowl.  Add to butter sugar mixture until just combined.  Pat dough into two disks, wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 2+ hours (otherwise it’s all sticky).
Preheat the oven to 350 and flour a surface and rolling pin liberally.  Working quickly roll the dough onto counter, don’t make them to thin, about 1/2 a cm will do.  Punch out with cookie cutter and place in oven for 12 minutes until edges start to brown.  Once the cookies are transfered to a cooling rack, roll out the other half of the dough this time cutting out the center of the cookies for the top layer. 
When the cookies are all done and cooled, sprinkle icing sugar on the top layer cookies and spread jam on the bottom layer cookies.  Sandwich together and enjoy!

As the recipe points out these cookies can be made in advance and frozen before topping with jam and sugar.

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