I’m not usually a fan cut-out cookies. First, they tend to be bland and more about the decoration than the flavor of the cookie. And, I’m not a cook who is great with fine decoration work on baked goods. I’m too impatient for it (though I love fancy pastries when someone else makes them!) But, Linzer cookies are an exception to the rule.
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I love a buttery, nutty shortbread which is at the heart of a Linzer. And the decoration is beautiful, almost like stained glass, but through the easiest means possible: a sweet layer of jam framed between two cookies.
Traditionally made with almond and raspberry, my twist on the Linzer cookie is this pistachio studded one with strawberry jam. These cookies clearly make for a perfect Valentine. And around Christmas, I think they’d be beautiful cut into tree shapes with small holes cut out of the tops so the jam resembles ruby red ornaments and a dusting of powdered sugar snow.
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This is a fairly easy recipe. The key is keeping the dough cold throughout the process, so there’s a fair bit of refrigeration along the way. This is important so the butter doesn’t melt before hitting the oven which would create a greasy cookie.
I adapted this recipe from King Arthur Baking Company, so you can check out the original almond and raspberry cookie recipe here: Linzer Cookies.
Pistachio Strawberry Linzer Cookies
- ¾ cups salted, roasted pistachio nuts unshelled
- 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 lemon zested
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- seedless strawberry jam or preserves
- powdered sugar
- Using a food processor, process the pistachios until they are a fine meal but don't over process them (or else they'll turn into nut butter!) The final consistency should be that of very coarse sand or very small pebbles. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ground pistachios, all-purpose flour, and sea salt.
- In a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Mix until well combined and the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Mix until egg is fully combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the bowl with the butter mixture. Mix until just combined. Don't over mix.
- Remove the shortbread dough from the mixing bowl to a large piece of plastic wrap. If you see streaks of flour or dry areas of the dough, lightly knead the dough together until those dry streaks are mixed in. Form the dough into a thick disk and cover with plastic wrap. Rest in the refrigerator for an hour.
- After the dough has rested, remove from the refrigerator. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/8-inch. Cut dough with cookie cutters of your choosing. Re-roll excess dough. If excess dough is too soft to roll, place it in the refrigerator for about 10-minutes to firm it up before re-rolling. Use a smaller cookie cutter or a piping tip to create a cut-out in half of the cookies (these will be the tops of the sandwich cookies.) You can bake the cut-outs if they're big enough and have baby Linzer sandwich cookies!Place cookies on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. These cookies won't spread much so you don't need to put too much room between then. I recommend putting the whole cookies on one sheet and the cookies with cut-outs on another because the cut-out cookies will bake quicker.Rest another 30 minutes in the refrigerator. While the cut cookies are chilling, preheat the oven to 350F degrees and make sure your racks are on the middle rungs of the oven.
- Bake for about 12 minutes rotating halfway through to ensure even cooking. Keep an eye on the cookies. They will be done when they are turning golden brown around the edges. I found that the cookies that had the cut outs cooked slightly quicker than the others, so you may need to pull those from the oven first.
- Let cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet. Then move to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cookies are cool, spread about 1/2-1 tsp of jam on the bottom cookies.Dust the cookie tops with powdered sugar using a fine mesh sieve. Place the sugared cookie tops on their bottoms.
Things You Might Need For This Recipe
Heart Cookie Cutters
Tree Cookie Cutters
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