Valentine’s Day is this week which means it’s time for pink and red heart shaped goodies for the ones you love. It’s time to make something sweet for your sweetie and these Linzer cookies are really something special.
Linzer cookies are a traditional Austrian cookie (originating from an Austrian torte) made of two delicate nutty cookies sandwiched with raspberry jam. Traditionally they are made with almonds, or even hazelnuts. I decided to change it up by making them with white macadamia nuts. The actual cookies are delicate and not so sweet. The sweet raspberry jam and dusting of powdered sugar give these sandwich cookies a delicate balance which makes them a perfect pairing with tea or a delicious after-dinner dessert.
The rich, smooth, buttery texture of the macadamia nuts makes for a beautiful modern twist on this traditional treat.
You start by toasting the macadamia nuts and pulsing them in the food processor until ultra fine. Mixed in with the flour, it gives the cookie a little texture and a great nutty flavor.
The dough resembles a sugar cookie dough but with a little more grain to it (from the nuts) and not nearly as sweet. Not to worry, the jam and powdered sugar make up for the lack of sweetness in the cookie wafers.
Heart shaped cookie cutters make the cutest valentine cookies. Make sure you stamp out a center hole in one half of the cut cookies—this will show the raspberry jam filling once two are sandwiched together.
It’s important not to over bake these delicate wafer-like cookies. They tend to be very thin and do not take long to bake. You want to take them out when they just BEGIN to brown.
Now for the best part! Spread each bottom cookie with raspberry jam and dust each top cookie with powdered sugar. And then … ready? Sandwich them together! Beautiful!
These cookies look really special, are incredibly delicate and are a perfect Valentine’s Day treat.
Wrap them individually in cellophane bags with pink bows and hand them out to your Valentines. They’ll think you’re so sweet. Because you are.
White Macadamia Nut Linzer Cookies
1 cup unblanched white macadamia nuts
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon table salt
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
2/3 cup raspberry or cherry jam
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place white macadamia nuts on a baking sheet, and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and aside until completely cool. Place nuts in a food processor, and process until finely ground. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla and almond extract.
Whisk together reserved white macadamia nuts, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to butter mixture; beat on low until combined, about 2 minutes. Form dough into two flattened disks, wrap each with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have ready two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Also have ready one 2 1/2-inch round fluted cookie cutter and one 3/4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out half the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using the 3-inch fluted cutter, cut out cookies. With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheets. Using the smaller cutter, cut the centers out of half of the cookies. Repeat rolling and cutting with the other half of the dough.
Bake until the edges are golden, 12 to 16 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove from oven; place on wire racks until completely cool.
Lightly sift confectioners’ sugar over the decorative tops; set aside. Spread about a tablespoon of jam on the bottoms of each cookie, and sandwich with the sugar-dusted tops.
You also might like:
Julia Child’s Hungarian Shortbread (stylingmyeveryday.com)
Chocolate Eclairs (stylingmyeveryday.com)
French Macaroons (stylingmyeveryday.com)
If Teacups Could Talk: A Tea Party (stylingmyeveryday.com)