Day 3 of “12 Days of Baking”: Almond Linzer Cookies

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Raspberries and almonds are a classic combination for a reason – they just work. After two years of putting it on my list and then pushing it aside for the sake of something “easier”, I can now finally say I’ve made Linzer cookies. They’re tender and perfectly crumbly (similar to shortbread cookies) and their blend of tempting flavors is simply irresistible. Which makes me regret not doing them sooner.

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I liked these cookies the first day, fresh out of them oven, but after spending an overnight in on my counter, the flavors melded together, the cookies softened and the preserves almost sank into the almond cookies creating a unified flavor instead of an awkward sandwich, which made it a completely different experience. Needless to say, I loved them.

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They’re sweet and cute and a lot of other dainty things I can’t think of right now, and they’re perfect to put in a nice tin as a gift.

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The cookie dough for linzer cookies is going to be thick and not wet. Slightly sticky and initially it’ll be quite crumbly, yet manageable. They will take about 9-12 minutes or until they look ‘set’. Remember if the edges start to get slightly dark , they’re done. I left a batch in the oven just slightly longer and they were quite a bit crunchier around the edges. So go with whatever fancies your taste buds.

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The cookies are not overly sweet themselves, so the preserves and powdered sugar make them more sweet than savory and a delightful addition to any cookie tray!

“12 Days of Baking”
Day 1: Apple Frangipane Tart
Day 2: Rugelach

Almond Linzer Cookies
Makes 18 sandwiched cookies

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup whole almonds
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar, divided.
  • 310 grams (2 ½ cups) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 200 grams (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, for dusting
  • 1  jar seedless raspberry preserves

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven until lightly browned and fragrant, about 6-10 minutes. They will continue to cook outside of the oven so make sure to take them out as soon as you can smell them. Let cool.
  2. While your almonds cool, whisk together flour, baking power, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Process the almonds and a ¼ cup of the brown sugar in a food processor until they are finely ground. Be sure to pulse so don’t end up with almond butter.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter and remaining ¼ cup brown sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  5. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the ground almonds, then add the flour mixture in several additions. Mix until just combined.
  6. Divide the dough in half, shape into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. If you want to prepare the dough the night before, just allow the disks to warm up on the counter until they are still firm but not soft.
  7. Preheat oven to 180°C and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out using desired cookie cutter and place on prepared baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart. Using a smaller cookie cutter, cut out the centers of half of the rounds, re-rolling the scraps.
  9. Bake, one sheet at a time, until the edges begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. When the tops have partially cool, dust them generously with powdered sugar.
  11. Spread about ¾ teaspoon of preserves on each cookie without holes. Place a powdered top on each bottom and press gently to stick them together!
  12. Keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Bon Appetit 🙂

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