Baking is relatively new to me… I tend to let my instincts take over with cooking, but with baking, I try to stick to tried and tested recipes. But the thing is, every little thing makes a huge difference; baking is a science after all. Measurements matter, ingredients matter, even instruments, especially those. I live in a very small town where sourcing ingredients is tricky…If I need something, I usually buy it online, or visit Spencer’s…but, again, making something based on the availability of an ingredient can be frustrating.
Why am I writing so much? Well…because I had planned to do something bigger and better for Valentine’s, but health problems stood in the way and stumped me. However, I’m not one to give up, and I did some research, ultimately landing up with these deceptively simple and gorgeous Linzer Cookies.
Linzer Cookies originate from the famous Austrian Linzer Torte, consisting of a shortcrust pastry base made from flour, butter, eggs and lemon flavouring, filled with fruit jam or jelly. The torte originates from the town of Linz, in Austria, thus getting its iconic name. Linzer Cookies are smaller versions of the famous torte, called Linzer Sables, consisting of a pair of cookies; the base cookie is topped with raspberry jam, and is sandwiched with a same-sized cookie, with a doughnut-like hole in its middle.
These are the first cookies I’ve made (and the only ones so far), and I had to struggle a bit with the dough (probably too much butter), but in the end, I managed, and made 24 beautiful, soft, tender cookies that were sandwiched with raspberry jam. (Next time I’m making my own jam 😛 )
- Butter – 125 gms
- All-purpose Flour – (The recipe called for 250 gm of flour, but my dough was soft, so I added about some more, about 300 gms by measure)
- Lemon zest – 1/2 a lemon
- Baking powder – 1/2 tbsp
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Egg – 1 whole
- Powdered sugar – 3/4 cup
- Raspberry jam for filling
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Sieve the flour into a large bowl, and make a well in the center.
- Add the sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and the butter.
- The butter should be at room temp, and soft to touch.
- Rub the butter with the flour until the mixture resembles coarse sand or breadcrumbs.
- Now gently, beat the egg and add it in.
- Knead gently, pouring it on to a flour-dusted baking sheet if necessary.
- Once smooth, wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 mins.
- Take it out, and preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
- Take it off the clingfilm on to a parchment/baking sheet, and place another on top.
- Roll it out to about 1/2 cm thickness (I had to add more flour here since my dough was too soft…also, my first few cookies were slightly thicker, but were cooked through so no problem there)
- Now cut out heart or circle shapes with a cookie cutter, and make a matching heart or circle cut-out for every alternate cookie. (I don’t have small cutters, so I used a piping nozzle)
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (took me 15)
- Cool, take them off the baking tray.
- Apply raspberry jam on each whole cookie, and dust the tops of the ones with the holes with icing sugar.
- Then sandwich them, and serve 🙂