Valentine Linzer Cookies

I have always wanted to make Linzer Cookies. The idea of these delicate confections with a candy-like view of the raspberry jam peeking through the cutout opening and dusted with a light sprinkle of powdered sugar just oozes romance, love and sweetness! What a perfect cookie choice then for Valentine’s Day, especially with some heart shaped Linzer cutters I found at the craft store.
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The Linzer cookie origin stems from the Linzertorte – an Austrian dessert from the city of Linz made with a crust including ground nuts of some variety (mostly almonds), filled with black currant preserves, and then topped with an intricate lattice crust. It is most often served at Christmastime. The Linzer cookie is just a smaller version of the torte with two cookies sandwiched together by jam or preserves. If you cut the hole in the cookie round, they are known as Linzer Eyes (Linzer Augen). And you can really use any cutters you have on hand – you just need a larger one for the base and a small one to cut out the jam peekaboo part. At Christmas time, stars can be particularly pretty, but oftentimes simple fluted round cutters are used. I also prefer to use raspberry jam over black currant but you could experiment, just make sure it’s good quality. And the powdered sugar dusting makes them almost too pretty to eat! …nah 🙂
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Let’s get started!

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup finely ground almonds (I used Bob’s Red Mill almond flour)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
confectioner’s sugar

DIRECTIONS
In a small bowl, mix the flour, almonds, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix well. Add flour mixture only until incorporated.
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Divide dough into 2 pieces, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove one piece of dough from refrigerator and roll out to 1/8inch thickness. Cut half cookies with the insert in the cutter and the other half without. Transfer to cookie sheet. Scraps can be refrigerated and re-rolled.
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Bake 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Cool in pan for 2 minutes and then transfer to racks to cool completely.

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Invert bottom cookies, spread with a tsp of raspberry jam. Dust the top cookies with confectioner’s sugar; gently sandwich the cookies together. Makes about 30 cookies.
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And now it’s time to share with friends or family and enjoy a beautiful treat for Valentine’s Day!
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