First off, SEEING MY SISTER IS THE BEST! Lots of pictures and stories to come, but for now… a recipe. It’s almost February, dear reader! Do you have your Valentine’s plans all sorted out yet? We’re getting started on our 14 Dates of Valentines and it’s turned out to be a great project!
I thought that Valentine’s is the perfect time to make linzer cookies. They’re so beautiful, and I think that heart-shaped linzer cookies are the prettiest.
They’re just SO pretty. Sigh. Even when they’re not perfect (you can see that mine are definitely not perfect).
I’d never made shortbread cookies before, so I have a few tips, based on my experience. When I first tried rolling out the dough, it was REALLY crumbly and falling apart. I thought it was ruined and there was no way they could possibly turn out. I let the dough sit for a few minutes more, and it softened enough that I was able to patch together the dough and roll it out completely smoothly.
As you can see, my cookies were not perfect. If you want yours to look better than mine, you can really shape the window cookies before baking them. When you cut out the centers on the baking sheet instead of the counter, they tend to hold their shape better (at least they did in my experience)
Feel free to use any flavor jam or nuts you fancy. I bet these would be great with pecans and blueberry jam, almonds and cherry jam, or walnuts and blackberry jam.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well incorporated.
Pulse hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground. (If you don’t have a food processor, mince the nuts as finely as you can). Add flour, nuts, baking powder, and salt to the creamed mixture and stir until the dough comes together. (Mine was very crumbly and dry) Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 1 hour, up to a day.
When ready to bake the cookies, unwrap dough and place on a floured countertop for 10-15 minutes, or until it’s a bit more flexible. Roll dough out to about 1/4″ thickness. Cut desired shape out of the dough and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. If you’d like a window in the cookies, cut a smaller shape out of the middle of half of the cookies. (This is easier on the baking sheet.
Bake cookies at 350 degrees about 8-10 minutes, or till pale golden. (You may need more or less time depending on the size of your cookies).
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. If desired, sprinkle the window cookies (the ones with cutouts) with powdered sugar. Spread the solid cookies with jam and top with a window cookie.