Linzer Cookies (or “Petits Viennois” as my people call them) are a tradition around the holidays.  They are also addictive and delicious, and once you taste one you will certainly conjure any excuse to make them.  It’s just as well, really, because they’re dead easy.

Linzer Cookies

The key to their success, as with all things, is organization, good quality butter, and high quality jam (you could always make your own, if you’re feeling adventurous).

Now, the photo I have is of winter holiday-themed cookies, but I’m sure you’ll be able to use your imagination and find some heart or cupid cut-outs for the cookies’ centre windows.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 100g of sugar
  • 125g of butter (cold), chopped into pea-sized cubes
  • 250g of flour
  • 4 tablespoons of milk (optional)
  • rasberry or strawberry jam
  • icing sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.  Sift your flour and mix in your sugar.   Then, work in the butter cubes with your hands by rubbing it into the flour-sugar mixture.  Your goal is to incorporate the butter without overworking the dough.  If you’re finding the dough not coming together or its a little dry/crumbly, add some of that milk I mentioned above one tablespoon at a time.  Your final goal should be a uniform dough.

2.  Wrap your dough in cling film, press it down so you get a Camembert-looking shape, and let it cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3.  While your dough is cooling, set your oven to 380 Fahrenheit.  Check your email, have a glass of wine, and clear some workspace for the next step.

4.  Lightly flour your surface and roll out your dough until it’s about 1/4 of an inch thick.  It is important that the dough is uniformly that thickness.  If some areas are thinner, those cookies will bake (and potentially burn) more quickly.

5.  Once you have your dough rolled out, use a cookie cutter (or that wine class that you’ve just emptied into your belly…arherm…) and get busy cutting out your cookies.  You should have once circle for the base, and another for the top.

6.  Once you have an even number of circles, punch a hole in every other circle with a smaller cookie cutter (a thimble might do the trick) to make your jam windows.

7.  Bake your cookies for about 12 minutes until they are a light brown.  The timing will depend on your oven, so keep a close eye on  the cookies.  They burn quick, and taste horrible if they do.

8.  Once your cookies have baked to perfection, let them cool just a little on the counter as you prepare your icing sugar.  Then, using a fine meshed strainer (a tea strainer can do if you’re in a pinch), dust the tops of your cookies (i.e., the circles with the holes/jam windows in them) until they are evenly covered but not caked in icing sugar.

9.  Right, you’re almost done.  Spread some of that lovely jam on the bottom of your cookies and then cover them with your icing-covered circles.  I would recommend assembling a few warm-up cookies first to perfect the ideal amount of jam you would like to use.

That’s it.  If you’re organized and fast, the entire thing should take less than 1.5hrs.  Though this may seem like a lot, most of it is waiting around/wine drinking time.  Better yet, make it quality time for you and the one you love (and some more of that wine…) this Valentine’s Day.

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