|image from Pink of Perfection|
I make linzer cookies just once a year (if that) -- the roasting and processing hazelnuts deters me from pulling out my cutters more often. It is not a difficult recipe, though, and the hearts look oh-so-cute. It is a perfect Valentine's Day cookie and if you haven't tried baking your own, you should! Wilton has a traditional set of cutters that would make an adorable bridal shower gift, perhaps with this apron. And R&M makes a version with doggie shapes!
Here is how Martha Stewart makes hers:
o 1 1/4 cups whole hazelnuts
o 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
o 2/3 cup granulated sugar
o 2 large eggs
o 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
o 2 cups all-purpose flour
o 1 teaspoon baking powder
o 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
o 1/4 teaspoon salt
o 1 teaspoon lemon zest
o Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
o 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Toast hazelnuts until skins darken and begin to split, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a clean dish towel, and rub vigorously to remove skins; discard skins. Place nuts in a food processor; pulse until medium fine.
2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs; beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, hazelnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and zest. Add to butter mixture; beat to combine, about 1 minute. Place in freezer until very firm, about 30 minutes.
4. Liberally dust a clean surface with flour, and roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out seventy-two hearts. To make top halves of cookies, use a 1-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out centers from thirty-six of the hearts.
5. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, and bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.
6. Lightly sift confectioners' sugar over cookie tops. Spread about 1 teaspoon jam on each of the bottom halves, and sandwich both halves together. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.