Chocolate Linzer Cookies
We made these linzer cookies for valentines day (can you tell from the heart shapes?) We made linzer torte this summer, but Tucker hasn't made linzer cookies since the time he made a big basket of cookies to bring to class to try and impress me (before we were dating). I remember very clearly eating several of those delicious cookies, but unfortunately, I didn't pay attention to who had brought them (and slaved over them). Anyhow, I decided it was time to make them again!
Inspired by The Chocolate Bible, adapted from Cooks Illustrated and Epicurious
3 oz chocolate, grated
1 1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups raspberry preserves (approximately)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Toast nuts on rimmed baking sheet, stirring once, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Cool nuts to room temperature
- In food processor, pulse nuts, sugar, and salt until very finely ground, about eighteen 1-second pulses. Add orange zest; pulse to combine. Add flour, chocolate, cinnamon, and allspice; pulse to combine. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture and pulse until butter lumps are no larger than peppercorns and mixture resembles coarse meal, twelve to fifteen 1-second pulses. In small bowl, use fork to combine egg and vanilla. With machine running, pour in egg mixture through feed tube; process until dough forms large ball, about 10 seconds.
- Turn dough out onto work surface; press together to form cohesive mound. Divide dough into 2 pieces, one piece slightly larger than other (larger piece should weigh about 15 ounces, smaller piece about 13 ounces). With floured hands, form dough into 2 balls and flatten each into a 5-inch disk. Chill disks, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 2 hours.
- Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out 1 disk of dough into an 11-inch round (1/8 inch thick) between 2 sheets of wax paper (keep remaining dough chilled). If dough becomes too soft to roll out, rewrap in plastic and chill until firm.
- Cut out as many cookies as possible from dough with larger cookie cutter and transfer to 2 ungreased large baking sheets, arranging about 1 inch apart. Using smaller cutters, cut out centers from half of the cookies, reserving centers and rerolling along with scraps.
- Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are golden, 10 to 15 minutes total, then transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely. Make more cookies from second disk.
- While the cookies are baking, put jam and lemon juice in small pot and cook down until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Remove cookies from the oven and let cool.
- Spread about 1 teaspoon jam on flat side of 1 solid cookie and sandwich jam with flat side of 1 windowed cookie. Sandwich remaining cookies in same manner.
- Dust with confectioners sugar if desired.