I think I need to invest in daintier cookie cutters- these ended up nearly the size of my hand.
|Not that I'm complaining.|
The proper name for these are 'Linzer Biscuits' or 'Linzer Cookies', and are essentially biscuits sandwiched with jam, with the iconic cut-out hole in the centre of the top layer. You'll find them in the supermarket as jam rings, or commercially Jammy Dodgers, but I can assure you that these almond-scented buttery creations are much, much better.
Ingredients for Cookie:
- 6oz unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 10oz plain flour
- 4oz caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 1tsp almond extract
Ingredients for Filling/ Decoration:
- 4tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting*
- A few drops of water
- A jar of the jam or curd of your choice (I used raspberry)
You'll Also Need:
- 1 Bigger cookie cutter
- 1 Smaller cookie cutter
1) Don't preheat the oven just yet (surprise!). You'll need to chill your cookie dough in the fridge for a while before you roll it out.
2) Put the cubed butter, sugar and flour into a big bowl and rub them together with your fingertips until it all forms a breadcrumb-like texture.
3) Mix in the egg and extracts, kneading until you have a soft, sticky and smooth dough.
4) Turn the dough out onto a sheet of cling film, wrap it up and chill it in the fridge for about an hour to firm it up.
5) Once the dough is chilled and ready, take it out of the fridge and *now* you can preheat the oven- turn it up to 180 degrees C, and line a couple of baking trays with baking parchment (grease these, too).
6) Flour your (clean!) work surface so that your dough won't stick. Roll the dough out until it's about the thickness of a £1 coin. (A little tip- keep turning the dough disc every few rolls to make sure it's not sticking).
7) Using your bigger cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can, and arrange on your baking trays (they won't spread much in the oven, so you don't have to leave huge gaps. My large cutter made 12 hearts, and therefore 6 assembled cookies. Keep kneading together and rolling out the dough until it's all used up.
8) Put the trays in the fridge for about 10mins to re-firm up the dough- this will make the next step much easier.
9) Take the trays out of the fridge, and using the smaller cookie cutter, cut holes in the middle of half of your cookies. Place these on a separate baking sheet to bake as nibbles.
10) Bake your cookies for 10-15mins, until lightly browned. Let them cool for a minute or so on the trays, and then transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool fully.
11) For the icing 'glue', mix together the icing sugar and water to form a thick icing that runs off the spoon very slowly. add the water BIT BY BIT- icing sugar can be very frustrating: a tiny bit too much, and the icing becomes watery.
12) Dust the
13) Now the fun part: assembly! Take an
14) Most definitely enjoy with a cup of tea.
*Update: 9th March '13
Seeing as it's Mother's Day tomorrow and my mum loves these, I re-made them. This time I made them smaller, and also made butterflies with lemon curd filling, and instead of using a water icing I used royal icing (using a fluffily beaten egg white and roughly 1 cup of icing sugar) to glue and ice the biscuits. Piping the icing took FOREVER but I did it! Also, royal icing dries rock-hard, making it better than water icing in terms of gluing the biscuits together- the only downside is it is a tiny bit more effort.