Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine Linzer Cookies


The time has come, the Walrus said!

I know it's been about 139,476,000 days since I actually posted with some sort of schedule...and also 139,476,000 days since I claimed this was a new phase for LaraThalice. Well, my intentions were good and I was about to publish my next post back in December, when I took a step back. Things were too sporadic and I was making a lot of empty promises.

Now, just because I haven't been nerding-out my recipes via the cyber trails lately doesn't mean I haven't been cooking away like a mad woman! And, although my word has no meaning behind it anymore because you all hate me...I would like to officially announce the new LaraThalice. New look, new game plan, and a branch to the LaraThalice brand coming in 2016!!

For all of your patience during this ramp-up, I thought it appropriate that my first 2015 post bring you some lovin' in the food form.

Now, I've credited the hubster with numerous talents in assisting me with this blog: dish-washer, sous-chef, taste tester, and extra-camera-man-when-my-hands-are-covered-in-food. However, this post takes it to another level.

For this recipe, I was in a bind because I only own one heart cookie cutter. Apparently, in life, one should own several sizes of the same cookie cutter. So, we took a field trip down to "Pete's World" (aka- the basement) and started brainstorming. All of a sudden, he grabbed a beer out of some mystery crevice and said, "I bet the aluminum would be perfect."

And thus, a mini heart cookie cutter was born. It worked so well, I think I am going to keep it.

Now, go make these for someone you care about...yes, that can include yourself. No one is judging.



Valentine Linzer Cookies
(see the original recipe here: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/valentine_linzer_cookies -- side note shout-out: this is one of the first food blogs I ever experienced, which influenced my food experiments) 
makes: 12-24 cookies (my cookie cutter size made 22) prep time: 45 min | chill time: 10 min | cook time: 25 min

  • 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. sugar (scant - sometimes I even halve)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. raw almonds (or hazelnuts)
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour (or cake flour if you're fancy)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 oz raspberry preserves (or whatever kind you'd like!)
  • powdered sugar

ALMOND PREP
Preheat the oven to 250˚ F.

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil.  Add the almonds and boil for 2 minutes.  Drain and spray with cold water.

Peel the skins from the almonds.  This sounds daunting but is really easy after they have been boiled. I usually just pinch one end, which forces the almond out the other.

...Does anyone know if chickens can eat these skins??  I feel like my ladies would love these!

Place the almonds on a cookie sheet, in a single layer, and bake for 10 minutes (just enough to dry out).

Remove from heat and pour into the bowl of a food processor.  Process until finely ground.  Set aside.

COOKIE TIME

Cream the butter using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment.  (I don't have a paddle attachment so I use the basic mixer attachment that came with my stand mixer, and it works fine.  You could even use a whisk.)


Add the sugar and continue creaming.  Add the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla and mix.  Mix in the ground nuts.

Sift the dry ingredients together, in a bowl and add to mixer and blend.

Form the dough into disks and wrap until you are ready to roll them out.

Just two dough discs watchin' the storm...
SimplyRecipes suggests chilling the discs at this point but I have had better luck skipping this chilling step and only doing the freezer one below.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4 - 1/8-inch thickness. (I've done both and actually prefer the 1/4" because I like a less crisp cookie.  The key is to make sure you stick with one thickness.)

Put the rolled dough (still between the parchment paper) in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to firm up before cutting.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.

Cut out the base cookie shapes until you are left with scraps, then re-roll and repeat.  (With the last little bits, I like to roll out strips and sprinkle with a good layer of cinnamon and sugar, then roll up and cook with the cookies.)

Divide the cookies in half and cut smaller hearts out of one of the halves.  (You can cook these centers or roll up the dough for something else.)

Bake for 12 minutes or until edges turn golden.  (I needed about 15 minutes for my 1/4" thick cookies.)

Place cookies on a wire rack to cool.

Heat the preserves for about 20 seconds and spread the solid hearts with a layer of the hot preserves. 

Place the top layer cookie over the bottom, pressing down lightly. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, then fill the holes with more preserves.

Let set slightly before serving.

Happy Valentine's Week all of you food lovahs!



RECIPE QUICK VIEW