Thursday, February 7, 2013

LINZER HEART COOKIES.....A Recipe Just in Time for V-Day!

Who knew these cookies would be such a hit at Joyce's Blog
Luncheon the other day....I make these once in a Blue Moon
because hazelnuts are hard to come by down here in the South...
I like to make these at Christmas using a Christmas tree cookie Cutter
with little circles cut out to look like ornaments but this year....
No Hazelnuts....
Finally seeing them hidden on a low shelf in Publix they were 
even shelled....I was ecstatic....I bought two bags!
Good price too....$3.49 for about 2 1/4 cups....

A little more difficult then you would think but certainly something anyone can make....I go step by step with suggestions
to make the process as easy as can be and to give you the
"Perfect Linzer Heart"
Ladies who attended the party....Can you back me up on this one?

 Starting with my mini food processor I ground up the hazelnuts as fine as the machine would produce.....the dough is mostly nuts using 2 1/4 cups versus only 1 1/2 cups of flour...
the funny thing was I used one bag which was the exact amount
I needed.....I ground half the bag at a time....The first half of the bag came like a fine nut almost powder....The second half of the bag in the same machine did not grind up as well...go Figure...
My machine could be on the fritz.....Anyhoo.....the texture was half finely ground and half "nutty".....
I think if the nuts had been all ground up fine the dough might have been easier to handle....So grind the nuts up as fine as you can...
If you see in the above picture the dough looks very crumbly....
It was!!!
I used the big Cuisinart to mix the actual dough and that was what I got....lots of crumbs....Now it happened for two reasons...
Although I followed the directions to use "chilled butter" I think it would have formed a ball better if the butter was softer to begin with...I then could have popped it in the fridge before rolling out the dough....OR.....with the nuts not all being ground fine that could have also caused the problem....
I have been a baker since the 60's so although baking is an exact science.....every now and then you need to improvise to get
it right....
When I was faced with a losing battle to form the crumbs into a ball.....I formed a little well in the dough and added just a hint of orange juice....a little flour added to prevent it from being sticky....a bit more juice and a sprinkling of flour until I got it
into what you see above....Recipe makes two rounds this size...
You work with one.....the other one sits in the fridge until your through cutting out the first ball of dough....
Why both balls aren't refrigerated before rolling out.....
Who knows????
I Always Use Parchment Paper.....
Thanks to Joyce who keeps me in stock whenever she goes to
Costco....as I have never stepped foot in a Costco....but they sell one heck of a big box...
Great Valentines Cookie Cutters found at Michael's....
4 cutters.....a big and a small with smooth edges...
a big and a small with scalloped edges...
$4.99

They recommend rolling out the dough on a cold surface....
Remember to use a good amount of flour on the surface you are using....then just brush off the extra flour with a brush before baking.....
Also....these are very fragile to move around....I used a wide
spatula and instead of lifting the dough with the spatula from bottom to top or top to bottom.....Lift them both Before and After baking from side to side....Not Vertical but horizontal....
If you notice any breaking of the dough.....just use your fingers to
smush it together......it works!
is "smush" a real word?
 

Pre-heat the oven to 375......I always bake using my convection feature.....use it if you have it....
these bake for only 6-10 minutes.....the ones that are cut out
need less time....in my first baking I wanted to make sure I had the correct tops and bottoms...You can see five tops and five bottoms....all the way to the right are solid mini hearts that came out of the cut outs.....You'll see those better in pictures below..
You can use them as mini cookies or you can not and use that extra dough to make more cookies.....I like a few extra minis....
When I baked the second batch I baked all the solid ones first which took a few minutes longer then the cut outs...
Then baked the solid cookies....
I kept the light on and opened the oven at 6 minutes....you want them to be very light brown....
Ten minutes seemed to be the correct length of time to bake...
Moving from cookie sheet to cooling rack.....lift with the
spatula like this....it will prevent them from breaking....
Handle carefully because they will break...
I made these the day before but didn't want to assemble them until the next day so I stacked them carefully on more parchment
and covered them with parchment and a light cotton dish towel...
Powdered Sugar is involved in the assembly and sometimes it
melts away if you use it too soon...
Party Day!!
I spread them out on the parchment and powdered sugared the
Heck out of Them....Just the mini hearts and the Cut Out Cookies...No powdered sugar goes on the large cookies...
I found it easier to us an icing spatula to spread the jam onto the cookies instead of a knife...
I used Smucker's Raspberry Jam....you can use seedless or the type with seeds....I used the type with seeds...
Here is the finished product....
The recipe made 11 large 4"X3" cookies.......
again if you don't make the mini cookies you could eek out
probably 2 extra cookies...
But how cute do those little guys look standing up among the
"Big Boys"....

Here is the recipe.....
They really are worth the time and effort to make them.....
and unless my Blog peeps were just saying they were good to
Give me my "Compliment of the Day".....
These cookies could turn you into the
"Cookie Boss".....


With a food processor the dough is ready in five minutes But can also be mixed by hand.....
1 1/2 cups of sifted flour
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
Grated zest of one lemon 
10 tablespoons of chilled butter....cut into pieces
2 1/4 cups of finely ground hazelnuts
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup or more of raspberry jam
Confectioners' Sugar for dusting...

In work bowl of food processor combine the flour...sugar...cinnamon...salt and lemon zest...Process using short on/off bursts....Add butter and process until mixture resembles fine crumbs...Transfer mixture to a large bowl....add the hazelnuts and the egg yolk...stir until well blended...Turn out onto lightly floured service and knead briefly until mixture sticks together....
(this is when I had to added the orange juice for it to stick together)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees...Divide the dough in half wrapping half in plastic wrap and refrigerate. On a lightly floured surface roll out the unrefridgerated half of the dough about 1/4" thick....
Cut out the cookies using the cookie cutter....This recipe calls for a 2 1/2" cutter....I used a larger size...They just look more impressive large...
Using a smaller heart cutter...cut out the center of half of the cookies....
Place onto the parchment covered cookie sheet...
Bake cookies until lightly colored 6 to 10 minutes...Watch carefully as to not over brown...
When done transfer carefully to wire rack....
When solid hearts are cooled spread with jam stopping about a 1/8" or 1/4 " from the edge of the cookie....
Sift confectioners sugar over the heart frames and the mini cookies...Set the frames atop the the jam spread hearts....
You will tempted to press down but don't....they are fragile and can break even at this stage.....Place down and give it a slight
wiggle into the jam....
Then Serve or Give Away....
Stand back and wait for the Compliments....
You are now the "Cookie Boss"



11 comments:

Jojo said...

A most delicious cookie! Thank you. I'm on it! Here's to 5 pounds!!

Peg said...

Sue, these look wonderful. I will put hazelnuts on my shopping list and give them a try. I've always wanted to make these but never had good step by step instructions. They seem difficult so I probably won't become a Cookie Boss. That's you! I'll be the Cookie Apprentice!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I can attest to how delicious these were! Sue sent home a couple and I enjoyed them so much! Hugs, Linda

Cheri said...

I probably should have taken some home and been satisfied with that but I was thinking we don't need the added pounds and now I am thinking I need to make these. What was I thinking????

Salmagundi said...

WHAT??? - 2 processors; I don't even own one. These are way out of my league. Bet they are wonderful, though. Sally

Chatty Crone said...

I can attest to these being the best cookies ever!!! I brought some home and my husband can attest to the same thing. Good think g I am not a good cook or we would be three hundred pounds.

Thanks Sue they were great!

sandie

Peg said...

Well, I went to Publix and found the hazelnuts on the bottom shelf just like you said. But you didn't mention that they were in the shell! So tonight I will crack the nuts and tomorrow I will make your cookies. Not to put any pressure on you, but they better be good if I have to crack all these hazelnuts :-)

Pondside said...

This recipe looks so good! I have a bag of ground hazelnuts in the freezer - hazelnuts grow a plenty in the Fraser Valley and I buy them when I'm on the mainland. I also buy hazelnut brittle and the finely ground hazelnuts.

Anonymous said...

Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know
a few of the pictures aren't loading properly. I'm not sure why
but I think its a linking issue. I've tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.
My blog - jacquesschneider.webs.com

Clipped Wings said...

I actually think I'll try this recipe. Looks wonderful.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Wow, your cookies are beautiful, Sue. So happy you were able to find hazelnuts locally. Can't wait to try this. They look like they came from a very fancy French bakery.