I've had linzer cookies before, but these were the best ones I'd ever had. They were thin, crisp and light. The jam on the inside was not too cloyingly sweet. I wanted to eat my weight in them, and all I could do was rave a bout them all night.
The next time I saw Edith, she had a present for me. A linzer cookie cutter. Edith invited me over for a linzer cookie lesson. We bonded over food and baking and home made gifts. We got together in February, in time for Valentine's day. She told me how she makes thousands of Linzer cookies every Christmas and gives them to everyone she knows. That night we easily made 100 cookies.
The other trick was to use red currant jelly. I had made them once in the past with raspberry jelly and thought they were too sweet. The red currant jelly is far less sugar-y. I also love how she uses her counter top instead of a bowl to do all her mixing.
Without a doubt, this is my favorite Christmas cookie. There is nothing inherently Christmas-y about it. There's no reason I can't make them in July. But the tradition of making them at the holidays makes them special. I do want to expand my linzer cookie cutter arsenal though. Then maybe I would make them for more events through out the year.
recipe courtesy of Edith Laminger
450 g flour (glatt) ~ 2 cups
300 g butter (Edith mixes ½ veg oil spread with half butter) ~ 1 1/3 c
180 g powdered sugar ~ ¾ c
3 egg yolks
a little lemon juice
Using a clean work surface, place the flour onto the countertop.
Fold butter into flour to make crumbs. (Edith uses a technique of scraping the butter with a butter knife into the flour) Next add the sugar and mix well.
Make a well and add the mixed egg yolks and a few drops of lemon juice.
Gently fold in the yolks. If too crumbly add a touch of milk.
Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Let the dough sit for one hour in the refrigerator.
Flour the work surface and cut the dough into quadrants. Refrigerate what is not being worked with at the moment.
Roll the dough into ¼ inch squares on a well floured work surface. Dip the linzer cut out in flour, and make an equal number tops and bottoms. Use a floured spatula to remove the cutouts from the counter and place on a parchment lined tray a ¼ inch apart.
Bake at 180° C (350 F) for about 8 minutes. Remove the browned cookies and allow the others to go back in the oven until they are browned enough. (Undercooked cookies will not withstand the filling)
When the cookies have cooled, place a small amount of jam (Edith uses red currant, seedless) in the center of the cookie and spread out. Cover with the cookie piece with the eye cut out.