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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Linzer Tart Cookies

The Altitude Adjustment Section
I love Linzer tarts and Linzer tart cookies, and am also totally in awe of Nancy Silverton's cookbooks. So when I came across her recipe for Linzer tart cookies that use hard-boiled egg yolk in the dough, I knew I had to try it.

1/4 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup whole, unblanched almonds
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups, plus 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 extra-large eggs, hard-boiled
2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon almond extract
confectioners sugar for dusting
1 cup good raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 325 and place rack in center of oven. Toast almonds and hazelnuts separately in oven, about 10-12 minutes each. Put hazelnuts in a clean tea towel and rub together to remove skins. Next, process almonds, hazelnuts, 1/4 cup sugar, and cinnamon in food processor, until the consistency of fine meal. Add flour and pulse a few times to mix. Separate the hard-boiled egg yolks from the whites, and discard the whites (or eat them). Push the yolks through a fine mesh sieve. Add to the nut/flour mixture in the food processor, and pulse a few times to mix.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and lemon zest on low speed for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the remaining sugar and mix on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add almond extract. Turn mixer off, and add nut mixture. Mix on low until incorporated. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and form into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to make cookies, divide dough in half and keep half in the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out rounds and place 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheets. Repeat with other half of the dough. Chill cut-out cookies again until firm, about 30-45 minutes before baking. I like to make the bottom cookies solid rounds, and the top ones with holes, so you can see the filling. You can also make heart shapes. Once all the cookies are cut out and well-chilled, bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until firm to the touch and browned around the edges. If you made ones with holes, they will bake faster, so keep a close watch. Let cool, then dust the "holey" ones with powdered sugar. Spread jam on the solid bottom cookies, then top with the sugar-dusted ones. Voila! This recipe makes about four dozen 2-inch cookies.