Linzer Cookies - The Belle of the Ball of All Christmas Cookies
Maike and I have been friends since high school, when she was an exchange student. We happened to be neighbors to boot. It's been a handful or so years since that year, and she's brought back a new friend almost every time she has come to visit. This time she brought her best friend, Nadia. And Nadia, who had caught word of my passion for cookies, brought her mother's Christmas cookie recipes. (Commence Snoopy dance now.) She brought nine recipes in fact. Nadia became a life long friend immediately.
Presenting the odd ingredient: hard boiled egg yolk. When Nadia told me to start boiling some eggs, I thought she was hinting that it was lunch time. Nope. I was dumbfounded. I don't know what the purpose is. Texture? Flavor? (But you can't taste them in the cookie.) I'm so confused and in awe at the same time.
See them in there, beside the raw egg, butter, sugar, and almond meal. Crumbled, hard-boiled egg yolks. I'm still in amazement.
This is a double layer cookie, so roll the chilled dough out thinly - less than 1/4 of an inch. I cannot emphasize enough, chill the dough! Chill it, roll it out, then chill it again. Put it in the freezer if you have to. The dough is very delicate and tears/warps easily.
We used a large round cookie cutter for the base and a small heart cutter for the top layer. (You'll see.) Take your time on this, they'll only turn out better. I might add that it is wise to bake the top cookies separately from the bottom cookies because they cook at slightly different times. The "holey" cookies cook quicker. So keep an eye on them while they bake.
Here, Maike is slathering the bottom layer with warm jelly. We've loosened up the jelly in a small pan on the stove top, so that it's nice and runny. No lumps for these beauties.
The top layer gets a heavy coat of powdered sugar. Do this before putting them on the bottom cookie. We don't want to hide the jelly.
Now, play the match game. Find a top cookie that fits it's appropriate bottom cookie. Theoretically, they will all fit together perfectly, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. Dough stretches, cookies warp in the oven, stuff happens. It's best not to worry about it.
Last, fill the holes to the brim with more jelly. They look rather nice like this. An impressive cookie for very much loved, appreciative cookie eaters.
I hope you give this cookie a try. They are truly a triumph and induce "Ooos" and "Ahhs".
Note: Germans measure all of their ingredients by weight. It's actually way more accurate than our cup system. If you don't have a scale, just go to any store where kitchen supplies are sold and pick one up. They aren't very expensive, and it's a nice tool to have around the kitchen.
250g. ground almonds
250g. softened butter
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
2 hard boiled egg yolks crumbled
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground clove.
Mix all ingredients together until just combined, and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thick. Cut with circular cookie cutter. Using a small cookie cutter (about 1 inch wide.) cut out the centers of half of the cookies. Bake on a greased sheet for 10 minutes. Let cool. Heat jelly until warm and runny. Pour and brush on a small amount of jelly to the whole circle cookies. Sprinkle the cookies (ones with the hole in the center) with powdered sugar. Place the powdered sugar cookies on top of the jelly covered cookies. Fill the hole with jelly and let the jelly set up. Share and enjoy!
Happy Holidays from Sarah and Karli of The Hot Cookie.