Linzer Cookies

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Linzer Cookies

The Linzer torte is a traditional Austrian pastry, a form of shortcake topped with fruit preserves and sliced nuts with a lattice design on top. It is named after the city of Linz, Austria.
Linzer torte is a very short, crumbly pastry made of flour, unsalted butter, egg yolks, lemon zest, cinnamon and lemon juice, and ground nuts, usually hazelnuts, but even walnuts or almonds are used, covered with a filling of redcurrant, raspberry, or apricot preserves. Unlike most tortes, it is typically single layered like a pie or tart. It is covered by a lattice of thin dough strips placed atop the fruit. The pastry is brushed with lightly beaten egg whites, baked, and garnished with nuts.
Linzer torte is a holiday treat in the Austrian, Hungarian, Swiss, German, and Tirolean traditions, often eaten at Christmas. Some North American bakeries offer Linzer torte as small tarts or as cookies.
Linzer cookies or Linzer tarts are a sandwich cookie version, topped with a layer of dough with a characteristic circle shaped cut-out exposing the fruit preserves, and dusted with confectioner's sugar.
Way back in 1653, this recipe (originally a tart) was discovered in the cookery manuscript of Countess Anna Margarita Sagramosa In Austria. The tart was baked like a pie with a delicious buttery almond crust, filled with black currant preserves and topped with a latticework crust. The recipe was developed using a crust made of nuts since they were easier to come by at times than wheat for flour. While a yummy black currant tart is a perfect way to end a meal, bakers came up with a cookie version they could stock in their shops, and it became a holiday tradition to see these lovely treats in the frosty windows.
When Austrian and German immigrants traveled to America they brought the recipe and the tradition of Linzer cookies with them. One fellow, Franz Holzlhuber, immigrated to America as a musician, artist, and poet. He ended up in Wisconsin in the late 1850s.
When his funds ran low, he baked and sold Linzertortes to raise money. He claimed he was the one who introduced the pastry to America, so today we acknowledge his contribution to our holiday traditions.
A hundred years after Holzlhuber shared his dessert secrets with the citizens of Milwaukee, another musical family, the Von Trapps came to Stowe, Vermont bearing their holiday heritage and Linzertorte recipes. You’ll remember them from the movie, The Sound of Music.
The Linzer torte is said to be the oldest cake ever to be named after a place. Linz is the third largest city in Austria. Beautifully bifurcated by the Danube River, Linz was originally founded by the Romans. Later it served as a provincial city of the Holy Roman Emperor. With a current population of nearly 200,000, Linz is diametrically known for its steel and chemical industry as well as its endorsement of music and art. It is also the home of the beloved PEZ candy. Originally marketed in Vienna in 1927, PEZ candy and the even more famous PEZ dispensers are popular worldwide. Indeed, the dispensers have become a notable collector’s item.
Nowadays Linzer are popular around the world and a lot of people make Linzer cookies around Christmas time.
PREP TIME 2 hrs
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine European
Servings 15
Calories 240 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 300 g flour
  • 90 g almond flour
  • 230 g butter
  • 120 g powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs yolks
  • 35 ml lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 300 g jam of your choice

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl mix butter on medium speed until creamy for about 1-2 minutes. Add sugar and mix to combine. Add the egg yolks and lemon juice until combined. Add salt, cinnamon,  vanilla and mix just until incorporated. Stir in flour and almond flour and mix until combined. Divide the dough into two and form into 2-3 cm thick discs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.
  • Roll out the dough discs on a floured surface into a 0.5 cm thickness. Cut out cookies with a cookie cutter of your choice and place on the prepared baking sheets with about 3-5 cm space in-between.
  • Bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes until they look dry on the surface. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. 
  • Fill cooled cookies with jam by spreading jam on the bottom of one cookie and place another on top. You can sprinkle some powdered sugar if you want.

Notes

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