Linzer Cookies Recipe

Linzer Cookies Recipe
In her grade school days, my younger sister had to do a geography project & was given the country of Austria. India would have been way too easy, right? So to represent the food of Austria, she chose to bake their world famous Linzer Cookies. These are basically delicious sandwich cookies filled traditionally with strawberry or raspberry jam. Well, what can I say? Just one little bite and we were all absolutely hooked!

So over the years, we have all tweaked and fiddled with the original recipe to create our own versions of Linzer Cookies. My “Indianized” version, made using pistachios & guava jam, was a hands down winner at our last family get together ☺. I hope you & your family enjoys them as much as we did.

If you are unable to find guava jam, just use your favorite variety of jams or preserves such as mango, pineapple, black cherry, peach, blackberry, apricot, boysenberry, orange marmalade, nutella….


LINZER COOKIES, Indian style!

Ingredients:

1½ cups toasted pistachios
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar, to taste
1 egg yolk
1 tsp finely grated orange zest (or lemon zest)
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
1 cup all purpose flour (maida), sifted
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
¼ cup guava jam
confectioners' sugar for dusting

METHOD:

To toast the pistachios:

In a large dry skillet on medium high heat, add the pistachios. Gently toast them until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the pan every so often so the toast evenly. Remove quickly from the pan and allow to cool slightly. Then using a food processor, finely grind the pistachios into a fine powder using short pulses. Set aside until needed.

With an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until fluffy & pale yellow in color. Next, add in the sugar & continue beating until well combined. Then reduce the speed to low & add in the egg yolk along with the orange zest, vanilla and almond extract. Beat together until blended.

Now in a large mixing bowl, combine the sifted flour together with the ground cinnamon, ground allspice, freshly grated nutmeg & the salt. Next, add in the finely ground pistachios & mix well to blend. Then slowly add this flour/pistachio mixture to the butter mixture, beat on low speed until well combined. The cookie dough should be soft & pliable. Transfer the cookie dough to work surface & divide it into 4 equal portions. Then individually wrap each portion in plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least 1 hour (longer is better).

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then lightly grease two baking trays or simple line them with parchment paper.

Then remove 1 portion of the dough and place it between two sheets of wax paper. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out the dough to about ¼” thickness. Then using a 2” size cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. An upside glass also works well for this task.

Next, using a 1 size cookie cutter, cut a star shape (or flower or heart shape) in the center of only half the cookies. Then repeat the process with the rest of the dough. You can combine all the remaining dough scraps together to roll out more cookies. If the dough becomes too sticky, simply wrap it again in plastic wrap & freeze for about 10 minutes before rolling it out again.

Use a thin spatula to carefully transfer the cookies to the lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until the cookies are firm to the touch & lightly browned. Then carefully transfer the cookies to wire racks until fully cooled.

To assemble the cookies: simply spread all of the solid cookies with a tsp of guava jam forming a thin layer. Then lightly dust the cut-out cookies with the confectioners' sugar and place on top of a solid cookie layered with the guava jam. Serve with tea & enjoy!


VARIATIONS:

Instead of pistachios, you can use almonds or even hazelnuts or pecans. Substitute rose water or orange blossom water for the vanilla or almond extracts.

You could also use melted chocolate, white chocolate or even nutella as a filling in place of jam.

For a healthier version, try making these cookies using whole wheat, oat bran or multi grain flour. You can add a little into the all purpose flour as well.


 photo Linzer Cookies.jpg

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This content was written by Sadhana Ginde. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Sadhana Ginde for details.