linzer cookies

Each month we hold a mega morning tea at work where every-one brings along something to share. Some-one brings dip, another person brings potato chips, someone else will bring fruit and I usually bake something. This month our morning tea had a Valentine's Day theme where we had to bring along something pink, red or heart shaped. 

I haven't been well the past week so I spent most of Valentine's Day in bed feeling sad and a bit sorry for myself. Thankfully I found enough energy to pull these together. I thought I had all the ingredients in the flat but discovered I'd run out of butter requiring a trip up to the Junction. I always have a few blocks of butter lurking in the fridge so I don't know where it went to. 

I've not made Linzer cookies before but they've been on my Christmas cookie list for quite some time. I adapted a Martha Stewart recipe which you can find hereNow great minds think alike 'cos look what I found on Deb's blog, Smitten Kitchen.

I already had hazelnut meal in the cupboard so I toasted the meal and used it in the cookies. I whizzed the whole mixture in the food processor and honestly it took about 2 minutes to make the dough from woe to go.

Here's the recipe for you.

Linzer Cookies
70 g (2½ oz) hazelnut meal
110 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
¼ cup caster sugar
1 egg yolk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour, plus more for work surface
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
icing sugar, for dusting
¼ cup raspberry or berry jam

Place the hazelnut meal in a small frypan and lightly toast over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and place the meal into a small bowl. Leave to one side until cool.

In a food processor, combine the hazelnut meal, the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whiz for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter mixture and whiz until the mixture forms breadcrumbs. Add the vanilla to the lightly beaten egg and add to the mixture. Process until a soft ball forms around the blade. Remove the dough from the blade and form into a flattened disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. On a lightly floured work surface, thinly roll out half the dough. Using a medium size fluted cutter, cut out cookies. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking tray. Using a small cutter, cut the centres out of half the cookies. Combine the scraps, reroll and cut. Be careful not to incorporate too much flour or the pastry will be too crumbly to roll. You may need to add a few drops of water to the cookie dough.

Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden, 8-9 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through the cooking time. Remove the tray from the oven; allow the cookies to cool a little before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Lightly sift the icing sugar over the decorative tops; set aside. Place a teaspoon of jam on the bottom of each cookie, and sandwich with the sugar-dusted tops. Makes about 20 sandwich cookies.

Now these were so popular they disappeared before I had a chance to try one. I froze some of the dough so when I have time I'll bake a few for my cookie jar.

I hope you all had lovely weekends. 

See you all again soon,


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