Sunday, December 20, 2009
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I love Linzertorte when it's made by someone other than myself. It's a lot of work to assemble and I have trouble with the lattice that typically covers it. I make up for it's absence on our dessert table by making Linzer cookies for the holiday. The cookies are very easy to do and the ingredients used to make them are the same as those used in the torte. While the cookies are far simpler to assemble than the torte, they need to be chilled before being rolled. That means you'll need to build wait time into your plans should you decide to make these luscious morsels. These are basically a butter rich sandwich cookie. It can be a trick to get the top and bottom layers to line up with so soft a dough. I recently read the problem can be overcome by rolling the cookies on parchment paper and transferring the paper to a cookie sheet, rather than attempting to move the cookies. Makes sense. I still haven't tried it, but I've put it on my must try list for the coming year. Linzer cookies are traditionally filled with black currant jam. That can be hard to come by, so feel free to use whatever jam you have available. Raspberry and apricot are always safe alternatives. If the dough becomes too soft as you are working with it, return it to the refrigerator to chill again. All scraps can be saved and reused if they are chilled before an attempt is made to roll them. If you keep the dough cold and use a cookie cutter no more than 2 inches in diameter, you'll have no problem making this classic cookie. Here's the recipe.
Linzer Cookies...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup ( 2 sticks) sliced butter at room temperature
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg, separated
2/3 cup finely chopped almonds, divided use
1/3 to 1/2 cup good jam or jelly
1) Combine flour, butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk and 1/3 cup almonds in bowl of a food processor. Blend until a smooth dough is formed. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. I chill my dough for 3 to 4 hours before rolling.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
3) Roll dough on a well-floured board until it is 1/8-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter or thimble to cut centers from half of cookies. Brush cookies with centers removed with egg white. Sprinkle with reserved 1/3 cup almonds and 3 tablespoons sugar. Plain rounds should be left without topping. Transfer cookies to prepared cookie sheets.
4) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until edges just begin to brown and center of cookie is set. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
5) Top each plain cookie with 1/2 teaspoon jam. Cover with a cut out cookie making sure to keep almond-sugar side up. Yield: about 50 sandwich cookies.