Linzer Christmas Cookies
Do you know the famous cake from the city Linz in Austria? The Linzer Torte. Did you ever imagine that you can make Linzer Christmas Cookies? The pastry is made with an essential part of hazelnuts, and it’s topped with raspberry jam. It’s the best to do a Linzer Torte a few days in advance, as the taste starts to get better from day to day. After about one week, you can enjoy its full flavour. Therefore, this cake is a perfect basis for Christmas Cookies, as you often want to do them in advance and eat during the whole pre-Christmas season. Is there anything better than baking Christmas Cookies once and eat them during the entire December while they are getting better from day to day? I can not imagine.
The recipe for this Linzer Christmas Cookies is almost the same than for the Linzer Torte. But instead of doing it in a tart form, you make a few cookies which you can cut, after baking, into small bite-sized pieces. The procedure is similar than for the Spitzbuben (see my last Christmas Cookies recipe), although the ingredients of the pastry are different.
Linzer Christmas Cookies | ~ 60 small Cookies or 6-8 large Cookies
Total 2.5 hrs
Prep Time 60 mins - Dough Refrigerate Time 30-60 mins - Baking Time 20 mins
- 150g butter, room temperature
- 150g granulated sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 1 lemon, only zest
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 0.5 tsp clove powder
- 1 vanilla bean, only mark
- 150g hazelnuts
- 200g all-purpose flour (Type 405)
- 200g raspberry jam
- Roast the hazelnuts in a large pan over high heat until they turn golden. Place them in a food processor and cut them very small. If you don’t have a food processor at home, use instead of whole hazelnuts the ground hazelnuts and roast them as well in a large pan until they start to get brown -> just take care, you do not want to burn your hazelnuts, which can happen quite fast.
- Beat butter, confectioners sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl until well combined using an electric mixer.
- Add one egg and beat until pale and fluffy.
- Stir in the zest of one lemon, cinnamon powder, clove powder and the mark of one vanilla bean.
- Add the roasted hazelnuts and all-purpose flour and stir until everything is well combined.
- Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. The dough should be cold. Otherwise, it’s difficult to process with it.
- Meanwhile, prepare everything else. Line one baking sheet with baking paper. Clean your working surface very well and flour it well with all-purpose flour (don't be sparing, the more flour, the less your cookies will stick on your working surface). Preheat your oven to 180° C / 350° F (conventional).
- Place 2/3 of your dough on the well-floured working surface and roll out to 5mm thick, it should be as straight-edged as possible. Put the other third of the dough back into the fridge.
- Trim off the irregular ends and leave them aside, so that you have four straight ends. Then cut into 4, 6 or 8 pieces and place them carefully on your lined baking sheet. I did six pieces out of my dough, but it depends on how large you want to have your cookies and how many different ones you want to create.
- Place the jam in a small bowl and stir it well with a fork or spoon to loosen it a bit. Spread it even on your cookies.
- Now, knead the trimmed parts of your dough together with the last third part in your fridge and roll out to 5mm thick on a well-floured working surface.
- The fun part starts now: You are going to do the decoration for your cookies. You can either cut into long & thin strips and place them on the cookies. Or you can cut out stars, hearts, whatever shape you love with cookie cutters and carefully place them on your cookies. Just make sure that you do not cover the whole jam. If you run out of rolled out dough, knead the dough trimmings again together and roll out until all remaining dough is used.
- If you have the possibility, let them chill for 15 minutes in a cool place. I use my balcony for that, as my fridge is not that big that the baking sheet with the cookies fits inside.
- Bake your cookies for about 20 minutes in the oven.
- Place them on a rack and let them cool down.
- When your cookies are cooled down, you can cut them into small pieces. Or you can leave them as a whole if you did a beautiful decoration. Sprinkle them with confectioner's sugar if you want.
Aline’s Suggestion: If you don’t have a feeling for how much is 2/3 of your dough, you can weight the whole dough, calculate in your head (or with your smartphone - for the lazy ones of us) how much 2/3 is and cut away the rest. You can make this with every dough or if you make bread and want to have two similar parts, always use a kitchen scale, makes baking life much easier.