As you're getting ready for desserts and treats this holiday season, Elinor Klivans has a recipe for linzer cookies that don't need to be kneaded.
Linzer Cookie Sandwiches
These cookies use a simple, clever way to produce a heart cutout on a cookie. After the dough is sliced, use a small heart cookie cutter to cut out a heart shape from half of the cookies. After baking, the whole cookies are spread with red raspberry jam (strawberry works well too).
The cookies with the cutouts are dusted with powdered sugar and placed on the top of jam. Voila! You have gorgeous cookie sandwich sweethearts.
And, there is the bonus of 22 small cookie hearts that bake along with the other cookies.
Makes 22 cookie sandwiches and 22 little heart cookies
Measuring and mixing time 15 minutes
Baking 325 degrees F/165 degrees C/gas 3 for about 15 minutes
2 cups/255 g unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup/225 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup/70 g powdered sugar
1 cup/115 g toasted almonds, ground
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
powdered sugar for dusting
3/4 cup/240 g seedless raspberry jam
Make the cookies. Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
Put the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until smoothly blended and the color lightens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the ground almonds, vanilla, and almond extract until blended, 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour mixture, just to incorporate it.
Divide the dough into two equal parts and on a large piece of plastic wrap, form each into a log about 5 1/2 in/14 cm long and 1 3/4 in/4.5 cm in diameter. Roll each back and forth to form a smooth cylinder and wrap in the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and roll each again to form a more uniformly shaped cylinder. Refrigerate for at least 2 1/2 hours or overnight until firm, or wrap aluminum foil over the plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months.
This frozen dough would be difficult to cut and should be defrosted in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight before it is sliced.
When ready to bake the cookies, position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F/165 degrees C/gas 3. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Or, once a baking sheet is cool, it can be lined with parchment paper and filled with cookies again.
Use a large sharp knife to cut each cold log into 22 slices, about 1/4
in/6 mm thick. Place the cookies 1 in/2.5 cm apart on the baking sheets.
Use a small, 1 in (2.5cm) long heart shaped cutter to cut out hearts from the center of half of the cookies. Slide a thin metal spatula under the dough to loosen it from the paper and remove the hearts. Place all of the cookies 3/4 in/2 cm apart on the baking sheets. The cookies do not spread much.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the edges begin to brown but the centers remain pale, about 15 minutes.
Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Assemble the cookie sandwiches. Turn the large plain cookies bottom side up. Spread about 2 tsp of raspberry jam over each. Dust the tops of the large cookies with the cutouts lightly with powdered sugar and place them sugared side up on the jam. Dust the small hearts with powdered sugar. Serve at room temperature. The sandwich cookies can be stored between layers of wax paper in a tightly covered container for up to 3 days. The small hearts can be stored separately in a tightly covered container for up to 3 days.
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