Mini Linzer Cookies

Thursday, November 24, 2016

This week we welcome guest blogger, Christina Lane. Christina is the founder of the popular blog DessertForTwo.com. Her food writing and photography have been featured on popular websites including The Kitchn, Tasty Kitchen, Babble, Fine Cooking, Serious Eats, and the Huffington Post. A Texan by birth, Lane’s desserts are a unique blend of Southern, Californian and Midwestern influences. She bakes and eats dessert daily.

I probably shouldn’t admit that the real reason I look forward to the Thanksgiving holiday is because the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, is officially the start of cookie baking season! I’m actually declaring it a national holiday as we speak, and you should join in with me!

While everyone was going around the table saying what they were thankful for at Thanksgiving dinner, I was mentally making a list of all the cookies I want to bake on Friday. I’m very thankful for cookies.

I think the simplest cookies are the best. The first cookie I make every year is a roll-out sugar cookie dough. It’s actually one of the few cookie recipes that I do not scale down into smaller portions, because I love having a bag in the freezer. I divide the dough up into 4 portions and freeze it. I just have to pull it out the night before if I think my daughter and I are going to want a cookie baking session after naptime.

I wanted to make Linzer cookies with my daughter because I knew she would like the fun shapes and the peek-a-boo jam center. When I’m making these cookies for adults, I thin the jam out with a little booze to match the fruit (amaretto for peach jam; Chamboard for blackberry jam; Bourbon for apple jelly). When my daughter will be eating some of the cookies, I thin the jam with warm water. Please don’t serve boozy jam cookies to kids, ok?

I used a 2” biscuit cutter to make the small circle cookies, and the tiny heart cutter is actually for venting pies. Use your favorite seasonal cutters. I happen to think hearts are for year ‘round love, but that’s just me. These would be really cute with snowflakes, mittens, or star shapes.

Mini Linzer Cookies (1)

Mini Linzer Cookies
Ingredients:

1 brick Kerrygold Salted Butter (8 ounces), softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanila extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 cup blackberry jam
1 tablespoon Chamboard (or substitute water)
powdered sugar, for serving

Directions:

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat the butter until it breaks down and starts to get creamy, about 1 minute. Slowly stream in the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, while constantly beating. Beat for another minute. It should be light, fluffy, and a pale yellow.
Add the egg and vanilla, and beat to combine.
Sprinkle the baking powder, salt and flour evenly over the dough. Beat to combine.
Flour a work surface very well, and bring out 1/4 of the dough. Roll it out to 1/4” thick, and then use cookie cutters to cut out one shape. On half of the cookies, use the second, smaller cookie cutter to cut out a shape in the center. Return the extra dough to the bowl.
Move the shapes to the baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining dough.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Refrigerate each baking sheet for 30 minutes before baking.

Bake the cookies for 8-12 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie cutter. They should just barely start to turn golden brown on the edges.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.
Whisk together the jam and Chamboard (or water) until smooth.
When the cookies are cool, dust with powdered sugar.
Dollop a small amount of jam on the larger cookie, and top with the cut-out cookie. Serve.