It would not be Christmas in our house without raspberry linzer cookies. Seth got excited when he saw me making these. Oh Mommy, “I LOVE THOSE COOKIES” he said, “I can’t wait until you are done”. This is most certainly an ambitious cookie, but the results are worth it. People go ga ga over these cookies. You can feel the love in each bite of these beauties. Over the years I have used many types of raspberry jam and I feel the best is Smuckers seedless raspberry jam. To save time in toasting and chopping hazelnuts you can also purchase coarsely ground hazelnuts from King Arthur Flour company.
Raspberry Linzer Cookies
(recipe adapted from Fine Cooking)
Yield: about 32 sandwich cookies
2 1/2 oz. (1/2 Cup) toasted sliced almonds (Trader Joes has a version that are already toasted)
2 1/2 oz. (1/2 Cup) coarsely chopped roasted hazelnuts
9 1/2 oz. (2 Cups + 1 Tbsp.) all-purpose flour; more for rolling
3/4 Cup sugar
2 tsp. lemon zest (about 1 medium lemon)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
7 oz. (14 Tbsp.) chilled unsalted butter
1 lg. egg
1 Tbsp. cold water
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam (stir the jam vigorously to smooth out jam and remove lumps)
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
1. In a food processor, grind the almonds and hazelnuts with 1/2 cup of the flour until finely textured but not powdered. Add the remaining flour, granulated sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Pulse to combine. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add to the flour mixture; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Don’t over process. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Whisk the egg and water; sprinkle over the flour mixture and toss gently to combine. The dough should hold together when pinched. (If it seems dry, sprinkle on a bit more water.) Gather the dough into 3 balls and knead briefly just to blend. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, 2-3 hours.
1. Heat the oven to 325° degrees. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper. Generously flour a work surface. Roll one ball of the dough 1/8 inch thick. Keep the rest of the dough in the refrigerator, and if the dough becomes warm return it to chill until workable. Cut out desired shapes with a 2 1/2 inch cutter (I like square). Reroll scraps of dough to use up all the dough; the dough is very forgiving and rolls out nicely.
2. Arrange the cookies on the cookie sheets about 3/4 inch apart. Cut out your window or hole after the cookies are on the cookie sheets to make an equal amount of “windows” and solid shapes. I like to bake all of one type at a time as they bake more evenly if you bake either all windows or solid at one time. Bake until the edges are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets.
To assemble: spread about a heaping 1/2 tsp. of jam on one solid cookie. Dust the windows with confectioners sugar and top each cookie with a window. Store the cookies in an airtight container and they are better the following day as the cookies will soften after they have spent time with the jam; and also they will hold together better after one day sitting idle.