In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I have combined a classic Linzer cookie recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan and added a touch of lemon zest to awaken your senses.
These delectable sandwich cookies pair perfectly with raspberry, blueberry, or sweet strawberry jams. Use a peek-a-boo heart cutout for an adorable complement to a delicious cookie with a festive Valentine's Day twist!
Lemon Scented Linzer Cookies
1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cloves
1 large egg
2 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick, 8 tablespoons, unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
Grated zest of one lemon
Whisk together the ground nuts, flour, cinnamon, salt, and cloves.
Using a fork, stir the egg, water, and vanilla together in a small bowl.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon together at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed; add the egg mixture and beat for 1 minute more.
Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough. Don't work the dough too much once the flour is incorporated. If the dough comes together, but some dry crumbs remain in the bottom of the bowl, stop the mixer and finish blending the ingredients with a rubber spatula or your hands.
Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, put the dough between two large sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap. Using your hands, flatten the dough into a disk, then grab a rolling pin and roll out the dough, turning it over frequently so that the paper doesn't cut into it, until it is about 1/4-inch thick.
Leave the dough in the paper and repeat with the second piece of dough. Transfer the wrapped dough to a baking sheet or cutting board (to keep it flat) and refrigerate or freeze it until it is very firm, about 2 hours in the refrigerator or 45 minutes in the freezer. The rolled-out dough can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or the freezer for up to 2 months. Just thaw the dough enough to cut and go from there.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Peel off the top sheet of waxed paper from one piece of dough and, using a 2-inch round cookie cutter—a scalloped cutter is nice for these—cut out as many cookies as you can. If you want to have a peek-a-boo cutout you can use that.
Transfer the rounds to the baking sheets, leaving a little space between the cookies. Set the scraps aside—you can combine them with the scraps of the second disk and roll out and cut more cookies.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden, dry, and just firm to the touch. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the second disk of dough, making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches. Gather the scraps of dough together, press them into a disk, roll them between sheets of waxed paper and refrigerate until firm, then cut and bake.
Place the jam in a small saucepan or in a microwaveable bowl and stir in the 1 teaspoon water; bring to a boil over low heat or in the microwave. Let the jam cool slightly, then turn half of the cookies flat side up and place about 1/2 teaspoon jam in the center of each cookie; sandwich with the remaining cookies.