These pretty cookies are a variation of the classic linzertorte, a lattice-topped, jam-filled Austrian pastry from the town of Linz. My version is made with almond flour, which I toast in a skillet first to bring out its full flavor. The almond dough makes a very tender cookie, and consequently the process of rolling out and cutting the cookies require some patience and attention. You will need to flour your work surface and the dough to prevent it from sticking, and I suggest using a small, offset metal spatula to transfer the cut dough to the baking sheets. It’s slightly fussy work, but one bite of these beauties will convince you it was well worth the time and effort. I also make these for Valentine’s Day, cutting them into heart shapes instead of rounds.
Makes about 30 sandwich cookies
Special Equipment: One 2-inch round cookie cutter; one 3/4-inch fluted or plain round aspic cutter or pastry tip opening
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) loosely packed almond flour
- 16 tablespoons (226 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large (18 grams) egg yolk
- 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (154 grams) seedless raspberry preserves
1/3 cup (38 grams) confectioners’ sugar
Make the linzer dough:
- Place the almond flour in a skillet over medium-low heat and toast, stirring constantly, until it is lightly browned and fragrant. Cool completely.
- In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the butter at medium speed and gradually add the sugar. Continue to beat until well blended and creamy, about 1 minute more. Add the egg yolk and beat until thoroughly blended, then scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the toasted almond flour, all-purpose flour, lemon zest, vanilla extract and salt and mix on low speed just until combined. Scrape the dough onto a work surface, divide it into two equal pieces and shape each piece into a disc. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to handle, about 2 hours (or up to 3 days).
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place one of the dough discs on a lightly floured work surface (keep the other disc refrigerated) and sprinkle the dough with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/8 inch, flouring it as necessary to prevent sticking. Using a metal spatula, make sure that the dough is not sticking to the work surface. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out as many rounds from the dough as possible and carefully place them on the baking sheet (I use a small offset metal spatula to move the delicate dough rounds). Gather up the dough scraps, shape them into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill until firm enough to roll out. Bake the bottoms for 12 to 14 minutes, until just beginning to lightly brown around the edges. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet set on a wire rack.
- Repeat with the other dough disc, cutting out as many 2-inch rounds from the dough as possible. Use a ¾-inch fluted or plain cutter to cut out the centers of these rounds (these will be the tops of the cookies). Transfer to the other baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until just very lightly browned around the edges. Cool on the baking sheet set on a wire rack.
Fill and assemble the cookies:
- Spoon about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of the raspberry preserves onto each whole cookie and with a small, offset spatula, spread it to within 1/4 inch of the edge of the cookie. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a fine-mesh sieve and liberally sprinkle the surfaces of the cut-out cookies. Sandwich the cut-out tops and the bottoms together. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 4 days.