Sunday, January 23, 2011
On Wednesday night I decided it was high-time to go back to baking cookies. While flipping through Martha Stewart's Cookie book for ideas I stumbled across the Linzer cookie. I knew I found the cookie of the evening - no questions asked. Stewart's Pecan Linzer Cookies with Cherry Filling (I opted for strawberry) called out to me. I've always wanted to try my hand at Linzer cookies. They appeared like a good midnight challenge... but they're really quite simple. Well, with a good baking book's directions, that is...
On page 137 of her Cookie book, Stewart says:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon pecan halves
2 tablespoons confectioners sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup cherry jam, strained
1. Sift flour and baking powder together into a bowl. Place pecans, confectioners sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor until finely ground (* I did it the old-fashioned way with a knife... by the way, finely grinding whole pecans by hand takes a looooong time). Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
2. Add butter and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and egg. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, mix until combined. Halve dough; shape into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic, refrigerate until firm - at least two hours.
3. Preheat oven to 375* F. Working with one disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate 20 minutes (* It was getting late... no extra fridge time for me!). Cut out centers of half the squares with a 1/2 inch fluted heart cutter. Space 2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake squares and hearts until pale golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.
4. Meanwhile, heat jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced and thickened, about 7 minutes. Let cool.
5. Sprinkle cutout cookies with confectioners' sugar. Spread jam onto uncut squares, top with cutout ones. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.
I want to be able to tell you how yummy these cookies are after they've been jammed, sugared, and assembled... but sadly, I still haven't tried one (it's late Wednesday night as I type this). The individual pieces taste really good, so I can only imagine it all together!