Specifically Heart Cookies for Valentines Day!!!
What if I tell you that I love these cookies so much that I tried making them quite a few times and never got good satisfying results? Yes, That’s true.
You might have known and seen all types of Linzer Cookies. But if you are one of my few friends who would ask ‘What the heck is Linzer Cookies?’ – Here’s the answer. The dough is cut in cookies, baked and the jam or fruit preserves is sandwiched between them. Moreover the top cookie has small cut in any shape like round, heart, squares, drop etc thus exposing the jam/preserves for visual effects. Furthermore, the top cookie is dusted with powdered sugar to give that snowy, mellowly, melty look and feel.
The Linzer cookies are first introduced to US of A in 1856 from Austrian Baker Franz Holzlhuber. While the traditional linzer cookies have Black currant preserves, they are conveniently replaced by raspberries in US. The cookies are more popularly enjoyed for Christmas and winter seasons.
Also, traditional Linzer cookies have Almond flour in it thus making it more European in my opinion. I want to replicate the style of cookies with regular short bread cookie dough instead of almond flour mix-in. That and also there is a pretty good chance I am hauling them to kids school Valentines Day party and making sure no nuts are involved in the process.
Coming to my trails, as I said, I tried making the cookie without the almonds and trying only with shortbread cookie dough. The first few attempts are kind of fail even though I tried them with known recipe. Then came Ina Garten, the Champion of foolproof recipes for anything and everything. I followed her recipe except to make few tweaks here and there to make it my own.
This recipe doesn’t use any eggs, can be made vegan (just replace vegan butter instead of regular one) and can be completed in 1 to 1.5 hr depending on how much fun you are having with the cutouts and styles. I am one of those nerds who like to see if I can multi purpose a dough into more than 1 style of cookie. These 1 dough – 6 varieties is the first proof.
So, even these Linzer cookie dough can be used in 3 different ways to please your Valentines day crowd.
Few tips & tricks along the way:
- Make sure butter is at room temperature and unsalted before mixing the dough.
- Once the flour is added and mixed, it looks like crumbles. If the dough doesn’t come together after all ingredients are mixed, you can add 1 tbsp of milk of your choice to get the dough ball.
- Once the ingredients are mixed, make sure you chill it for 30 mins. The dough spreads beautifully and holds shape of the cookies….Yes, its one of those beautiful dough recipe.
- Vanilla extract can be replaced with almond extract if you like the taste. Personal Choice.
- Jam/Preserves – anything you like. I used Mixed fruit Jam from Indian store Or if you want to make them even more indulgent, Go Nutella !!
- If you don’t have any cutouts to make in the middle, use stainless steel or glass straw to cutout in the middle. You can even use any piping tips you have around. I used petal piping tip to make the hearts in the middle.
- When making the cutouts in the middle, dip the tip or straw or whatever you use in the flour, so that it doesn’t stick and makes a clean cut.
- Try to roll them all in ¼ inch thick. If you roll it thin, they might burn out faster.
- Dust the cut-out cookies before pressing them into jam. The other way around will cloud the jams and will be messy.
These heart shaped Linzer Cookies are perfect addition as part of your Valentines day party spread or to send as special valentines day cookie treats to your kids school like me.
There is no end to the number of ways we can enjoy and celebrate these delicacies. And there is no end to the number of ways these can be made for your next sweet occasion.
Lets jump into recipe now. Shall we?
Shortbread Cookies to Linzer Valentines day Heart Cookies
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter (2 sticks) – room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup jam or preserves of your choice
- ¼ cup or more Confectioners sugar for dusting.
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper of silpat and keep them ready.
- In a bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment, add butter, Vanilla and sugar and mix them well.
- Add salt and flour and let it combine well. The dough should resemble crumbles. If the dough doesn’t come together after all ingredients are mixed, you can add 1-3 tbsp of milk of your choice to get the dough ball. Wrap it in saran wrap and chill for 30 mins.
- Take dough out of fridge, divide in half. Roll first half into 1.4 inch sheet and use your heart cookie cutter. Carefully lift and place them into the cookie sheet. Repeat the same until all the dough is finished.
- Repeat the same with second half, except make another heart or round cutout in the middle. Chill the cut cookies in the fridge for 7-10 mins before baking.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 mins in the oven. Take them out and allow them to cool to room temperature.
- Spread Jam/preserves on the flat side of each solid cookie. Dust the top of the cut-out cookies with confectioners’ sugar and press the flat sides together, with the jam in the middle and the confectioners sugar on the top. Enjoy!!!
Have you made this recipe? If so, please share your comments at #smithasbakelove or in the comment section.
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