Linzer sandwich cookies transformed into raspberry filled thumbprints
Do you know that before last Thursday I baked nary a Christmas cookie? I was sort of sad about it, and disappointed in myself that I should have the gall to lack such holiday cheer. Christmas baked goods were always such a HUGE thing in my house growing up, but truth be told that as the years have gone on, our party has gotten smaller, and despite all efforts, our waistlines bigger and as such holiday baking has sort of gone by the wayside.
Then about two (three?) years ago I became famous (relative famous…like, in my office famous) for my Linzer sandwich cookies because they got me on the Today Show. It’s been hard to live those down, but if I’m being honest, they are quite tiresome to make, despite being bloody delicious.
Pleas to make them for the cookie swap at work did not go unheeded, but I improvised a bit, and made those Linzers some thumbprints thanks to some inspiration from Good Housekeeping combined with my own ingenuity to make the job go a little easier.
Fill with jam, and let the fridge dictate what you use. I didn’t originally opt for seeded jam, but the other day while waiting for the train, having just purchased a brand shiny new jar of seedless jam, my brown bag broke, and my jam fell and shattered all over the Grand red line platform, making me the recipient of a lot of stares and collective sighs and looks of pity. It was no doubt a sad sight as I tried to balance a bag of flour in one hand and my work bag over my shoulder, all while scooping up as much jam as I could with the shattered glass, careful to not get any on my gloves. After some reflection, it turns out that the seeds make these cookies look sort of like flowers, so we’re going with that. Moral of the story: go with whatever flavor jam is your jam.
These come together rather quickly, giving you enough time to finish buying gifts, and wrapping presents because oh my Jeeves there are just not enough hours in the day.
- 1 cup ground almond meal, plus 1/3 cup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature, cut into 1" cubes
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup raspberry jam
- powdered sugar, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the almond meal and sugar, and pulse to combine well. Add the butter, salt and vanilla and pulse consistently until well combined. Add the lemon zest and flour and pulse until the dough comes together. It will be crumbly. Add a bit of milk if it's unmanageably-crumbly.
- On a parchment or floured clean surface, place the dough and bring together with your hands. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a shallow dish or plate, add the remaining 1/3 cup ground almonds. Form the dough into 1" balls and roll in the almonds. Place on a cookie sheet and, using your thumb, create a divot. Add 1/4 tsp jam to the hole. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Bake 20-25 minutes until cookies are light brown around the edges. Let cook and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
Written after the kitchen was cleaned, and the presents were wrapped while drinking egg nog.