As part of the Baking Partners, this month we were asked to bake some cookies. We had two choices the Linzer Cookies and Crunchy Seed Cookies. The Linzer cookies have been on my mind for quite some time. So I decided to go with these. The cookies were melt in the mouth, with a burst of flavours from Cinnamon, orange zest. I made just a couple of changes, that too because of the lack of ingredients. I replaced the Almond essence with Vanilla, and skipped the lemon zest because I didn’t have fresh lemons at hand. Instead I increased the quantity of orange zest. That’s about it. So here is the recipe:
Adapted from here
Makes about 40 2 inch cookies
What you’ll need
- All Purpose Flour/Maida – 1 cup + 2 tbsp
- Ground Almonds – ½ cup
- Sugar – ¼ cup
- Salt – 1/8 tsp
- Ground Cloves – 1/8 tsp
- Ground Cinnamon – 1 ¼ tsp
- Unsalted Butter – 8 tbsp, Softened at room temperature
- Orange Zest – 2 tsp
- Vanilla Essence – ½ tsp
- Strawberry Jam or any other fruit preserve as required
- Powdered Sugar – 1 tsp + extra for dusting
- Blanch almond and make powder with 1 teaspoon of powdered sugar.
- In a bowl combine the flour, ground nuts, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves , Vanilla extract and the orange zest.
- Then add the butter mix well until mixture looks damp and crumbly. Continue mixing until all the dough comes together.
- Remove the dough, press it into a ball, and knead it a few times to be sure all of the dry ingredients are blended into the dough.
- Form the dough into 1 flat patty. Wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight or up to 3 days. The dough may be frozen for up to 3 months.
- When you are ready to bake. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
To Roll and Cut Cookies:
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature until supple enough to roll but still quite firm. It will continue to soften as you work.
- Roll the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch between sheets of wax paper or between heavy plastic sheets cut from a plastic bag.
- Turn the dough over once or twice while you are rolling it out to check for deep wrinkles; if necessary, peel off and smooth the paper or plastic over the dough before continuing to roll it.
- When the dough is thin enough, peel off the top sheet of paper or plastic and keep it in front of you. Invert the dough onto that sheet and peel off the second sheet.
- Cut as many large shapes as possible. Dip the edges of the cookie cutters in flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Cut a smaller shape from the centre of half of the large shapes.
- Use the point of a paring knife to lift and remove scraps as you transfer the cookies to the lined or ungreased pans.
- Place large cookies at least 1 1/2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. If the dough gets too soft at any time-while rolling, cutting, removing scraps between cookies, or transferring cookies-slide a cookie sheet underneath the paper or plastic and refrigerate the dough for a few minutes, until firm.
- Repeat with the second piece of dough. Gently press all of the dough scraps together (don't overwork them with too much kneading) and reroll.
- Bake for 15 to 25 minutes , or until the cookies are just beginning to color at the edges.
- Rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. (The small shapes may be baked for 8 to 10 minutes on a separate cookie sheet to make miniature cookies, or the dough may be combined with other dough scraps to be rerolled and cut.)
- Let the cookies firm up on the pan for 1 to 2 minutes. For lined pans, set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool; for unlined pans, use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to racks. Cool the cookies completely before stacking or storing. May be kept in an airtight container for a month or more.
- To assemble, shortly before serving, spread each solid cookie with a thin layer of preserves. Sift powdered sugar over the cookies with cutouts. Place a sugared cutout cookie on top of each preserve-covered cookie. Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container, but the moisture from the preserves will soften them