Linzer Cookies

Total Time:
2 hr 18 min
Prep:
35 min
Inactive:
1 hr 20 min
Cook:
23 min

Yield:
40 sandwich cookies
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups whole almonds
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup seedless raspberry preserves
Directions

Position racks in the lower and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Place the almonds and pecans on a baking sheet; toast on the upper oven rack until lightly browned and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let cool, then pulse in a food processor with 1/4 cup granulated sugar until finely ground. (Don't overprocess or the mixture will turn into a paste.) Turn off the oven.

Whisk the flour, cinnamon, cardamom and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer, beat the butter and the remaining 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract, egg yolks, and the lemon and orange zest; add the ground nuts. Add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated (do not overmix). Divide the dough into 2 pieces; place 1 piece between 2 lightly floured sheets of parchment paper and roll into a 14-inch square, about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Refrigerate both rectangles, covered with the parchment sheets, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the dough into hearts with a 2 1/4- to 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. Using a smaller heart-shaped cutter (about 1 1/2 inches), cut out the centers from half of the cookies (you can reroll the centers and scraps). Place the cookies, about 1 inch apart, on baking sheets and bake 2 sheets at a time until the edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. Cool on wire racks.

Sift confectioners' sugar over the cookies. Spread 1 teaspoon raspberry preserves evenly over each whole heart cookie, leaving a slight border around the edge; top with the cut-out heart cookies.

Photograph by Allan Penn


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