For once, I’m too lazy to talk about cookies but I’m going to try. I’ve realised being in Goa slows my brain down and I’m quite ok with it honestly. Nice to just stare at the ocean not looking particularly intelligent. We’re eating lots, lazying lots and sitting in the sand lots. It’s all very perfect but I promised you linzer cookies and linzer cookies you shall have.
Linzer cookies are typically made with almonds or hazelnuts and filled with a fruit jam of some sort. Win win. Plus, you get to cut them into hearts and cringe at being enthusiastic about Valentine’s Day but really, you know you want to.
The dough for these cookies is usually made with an egg to help bind it. I did see recipes without it, but some people reported having dry, crumbly cookies. Then I saw this recipe on The Whole Bite which also used an egg, but since I was halving it for a smaller batch, I didn’t want to bother with halving an egg. So, I used milk instead to make sure the dough stayed tender and bingo. The only thing is, it makes the dough much softer and harder to roll so it needs some patience. I also found that in my warm kitchen, I had to cut out the cookies one at a time, transfer each to a baking tray, then cut out the next instead of being able to do them all at once. It’s worth the trouble though. You can also reduce the milk from 1/3 cup to 1/4 cup for a more manageable dough, but I liked the softness it has.
The cookies are buttery, tender, nutty and go so so well with the strawberry jam-compote-thing which is basically the same one I used for these bundts. The tops tend to brown faster than the bottoms because once you cut out the centers, there’s not a lot of baking time required. I will note this in the recipe below. Dusting with powdered sugar is optional, but adds a pretty little touch and covers up any accidental brown bits 😀
The shapes are entirely up to you, use whatever cookie cutters you like, or even just a small round bowl to make basic cookies. I got 12 cookies off this dough, but it will vary depending on the size and shape of your cutters. Have some fun with it!
Feel free to swap the strawberry filling with your favourite jam, homemade or readymade. You can’t go very wrong because a cookie sandwich can never be wrong! Let’s bake 🙂
Strawberry filling here.
- ⅓ cup whole almonds
- 1 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt if using unsalted butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder, optional
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature (115 gms)
- ¼ cup brown sugar*
- ¼ cup milk*
- 1 tbsp honey
- In a pan on low heat, toast the almonds for a few minutes until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Pulse the almonds in a blender or food processor until finely ground, but not long enough that you get almond butter!
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in the almonds, then add the milk and honey. Beat the whole mixture well.
- Fold in the flour mixture until just combined. The dough will be soft.
- Turn the dough out onto a large piece of clingfilm, pat it down into a disc as best as you can, then wrap tightly and freeze for 1 hour or refrigerate for 2 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 175 C.
- Generously flour your kitchen counter, then unwrap the cold dough and begin to flatten it with your palm. Roll out into a roughly ¼ to ½ inch thick disc. Since this dough does not have any eggs to make it firmer, it's better to roll it on the thicker side so that it's easier to cut. It does not affect the flavour or texture.
- Use your favourite cookie cutter and cut out 6 shapes, one at a time. These will be your cookie bottoms. Transfer them with a thin metal spatula to a baking tray preferably lined with a silicone mat or lightly greased.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
- With the remaining dough, re-roll it if needed and cut out 6 more cookies. These will be your cookie tops. Transfer them to the baking tray, then cut out their centers using a smaller cookie cutter. I prefer doing this part on the tray because it's easier than lifting up a hollowed out cookie from a sticky kitchen counter. You can bake the centers too if you like! You have more or less dough depending on how big your cookie cutters are.
- Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until lightly browned. I found the cookie tops needed lesser baking time because there are no centers, so they brown faster. Set aside to cool.
- Once the cookies have cooled completely, spread a teaspoon of your favourite jam on the bottoms, taking care not to over-stuff them so that there are no spills. Cover with the cookie tops and serve! I found that they stayed well at room temperature for a day, but tasted great when chilled. Happy baking!
*I used ⅓ cup milk originally, but the dough was super soft, so its better to start off with ¼ cup and add more if needed.
*Prep-time does not include chilling time.