Linzer cookies, a European specialty, are really beautiful, besides being delicious. The Linzer cookies’ scalloped edges made by round, fluted cookie cutters give them an elegant look, and the preserves glisten like little jewels in the center of the sandwich, making them hard to resist.
Preparation time: 3 1/4 hours, including chilling
Baking time: 10 minutes
Yield: 3 1/2 dozen
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1 1/2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups finely ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups apricot or raspberry preserves
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Using a mixer, beat the butter in a large mixing bowl, about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar and mix together until smooth.
Add the almonds, cinnamon, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs lightly.
Add the eggs to the butter mixture and blend well.
Add the flour and salt in three stages.
Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Mix to a smooth dough, about 2 minutes.
Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 3 hours, until firm enough to roll out.
You can hold the dough in the refrigerator for 3 days, or you can freeze it. If frozen, defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to about 1/4-inch thick.
Cut out circles by using a 3-inch round fluted-edge cutter.
Take half the circles and cut out their centers by using a 1-inch round fluted-edge cutter.
Gather together the scraps and center cutouts.
Repeat Steps 12 through 14 with the gathered dough.
Place the circles on the cookie sheet, leaving 1 inch between them.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden and set.
Remove the cookie sheet from the oven.
Transfer the cookies from the parchment paper to the cooling racks.
When the cookies are cool, place a teaspoon of preserves on the solid cookies.
Heavily dust the cookies that have the center holes with confectioners' sugar.
Place these cookies on top of the cookies with the preserves, forming sandwiches.
Store in a single layer in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Per serving: Calories 349 (From fat 64); Fat 7g (Saturated 3g); Cholesterol 20mg; Sodium 11mg; Carbohydrate 71g (Dietary fiber 1g); Protein 3g.