Due to time constraints I don’t often go for recipes that require a lot of resting time, etc. Also, I share this kitchen with mum and dad, and I don’t want to hog the oven if others are wanting it, so matter how delicious the prospective treat I’m making! But I couldn’t resist giving these linzer heart cookies a go! I made linzers quite a while back now, but after I stumbled on this particular recipe in the Nosh on This: Gluten-Free Baking from a Jewish-American Kitchen cookbook, I couldn’t resist doing them again for Fiesta Friday! This cookbook was a bit of a steal! I found it not too long ago, and as I flipped through it I realised it was a great source for flavoursome and unique recipes. But what worried me was the fact that it recommended it’s own particular flour blend.
I don’t dislike unique flour blends, I simply find it easier – and cheaper, to use the store bought kinds. So naturally I was a little worried that the store bought flours wouldn’t work out so well. But I worried for nothing. The dough for this recipe went together with ease. It took me less than fifteen minutes to make the dough, using two hands, a spoon, and an old pastry cutter I got for about a dollar at an op shop! It smelt divine! The rest of the recipe was fairly straight forward as well, not to mention fun! The hint of cardamon in these cookies really sets them apart, from others like this, and following the resting advice for both the dough and once the cookies are assembled yielded very positive results!
Nosh on This: Gluten-Free Baking from a Jewish-American Kitchen’s
Makes: 15-20 hearts, Prep: 25-30 mins, Chill: At least overnight, Cook: 20-25 mins
- 300g/ 2 1/3 cups g/f plain flour
- 100g/ 1/2 cup white sugar
- 30g/ 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamon
- OPTIONAL: 1/2 tsp lemon peel powder
- 1 pinch kosher salt (I used sea salt flakes)
- 180g unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1 extra large egg
- Plus 3 egg yolks, also extra large
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp raspberry liqueur/flavouring (I used strawberry flavouring, to match the strawberry jam I had on hand)
Filling and Topping Ingredients
- About 300g seedless raspberry jam (I used strawberry jam)
- 1 tbsp raspberry liqueur, or 1 tsp raspberry flavouring (I omitted this altogether)
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- In a bowl, or in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, icing sugar, cardamon, lemon peel powder – if using, and salt.
- Add in the butter, and combine – either with your hands, or a pastry cutter, until the mixture looks like coarse, uneven, sandy crumbs.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolks, almond extract, and raspberry liqueur/flavouring. Add to the flour mixture and stir/pulse until it forms a sticky, ragged dough ball.
- Place this dough ball in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least overnight. The author even recommends chilling it for up to 2 days.
- Preheat the oven to about 175C, non fan-forced. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough in half and roll out each half on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. If it’s easier, keep one half of the dough chilled while you work on the other, but I found I didn’t have any troubles with the dough becoming too soft.
- Cut out thirty or more 3½ to 4-inch heart shapes, using a cookie cutter. Cut out the centre of half of the hearts with a 2-inch heart-shaped cutter. I don’t have one, so I used an apple corer, ha-ha! You can also bake these smaller cutouts, but I worked them back into the dough. Then transfer these larger cutouts to the baking trays with an offset spatula. I used one with a thin, metal edge.
- Bake the cookies for 5 mins, remembering to rotate for even baking, and then turn the oven temperature down to about 160C, not fan-forced, and bake for a further 15-20 mins, or until the cookies have just turned a pale, golden brown colour.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 30 mins on their baking sheets, as while warm they are very delicate and will break. Once cool to the touch, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cookies cool completely, prepare the filling. Combine the jam and the liqueur/flavouring in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until the mixture reduces slightly, 5-6 mins, then allow the mixture to cool thoroughly, as it will thicken as it cools. (I was short on time, so I skipped this step and used plain jam and it worked out fine!)
- To assemble the cookies, place all the ones with cutouts together and dust their tops liberally with icing sugar. You might want to keep a sheet of baking paper under them to catch the excess icing sugar.
- Then take your filling, and spread it over the non-cut-out cookies, almost the whole way to the edge. Being careful not to disturb the icing sugar, take the cut-out cookies and place them on top, gently pushing down to press them together.
- Leave your cookies on their racks for 2-4 hours to set. Making sure that the icing sugar doesn’t fall on the jam will keep your cookies looking nice, with that stained glass window effect.