I guess there’s propably nobody who hasn’t heard about linzer cookies. It’s one of the oldest pastries known all around the world. In view of the ingredients the ancient Romans already baked something similar, but the first Linzer Torte was made in the 17th century and was named after the city of Linz, Austria.
In Hungary linzer cookies made from the famous torte’s dough became more popular. It was Lénárd Richter, the sometime owner of the noted Ruszwurm confectionery who thought up the linzer cookies in honour of his friend, Rudolf Linzer, a freedom fighter lieutenant. These cookies are made with two cookie rounds – one of which has a cut-out in the middle – sandwiching a jam filling.
Linzer is a shortcrust pastry generally made from 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter and 1 part sugar. The dough can be savoured with vanilla, lemon or orange zest, cinnamon and clove. In case of the filling the only limit is your imagination. Any of the fruit jams are perfect, but you can also try citrus curd or chocolate cream. Don’t worry if you don’t have a linzer cookie set. All you need are two cookie cutters, they don’t even have to be the same shape and size – unleash your creativity!
Ingredients (makes 20 pieces):
For the dough:
- 250 g (~2 cups) flour
- 200 g (~7 oz) cold butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 80 g (~1/2 cup) sugar
- pinch of salt
- zest of 1 lemon
For the topping:
- 1 egg
- 10 g (~1,5 tbsp) walnut
- 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
For the filling:
- fruit jam
Sift the flour in a bowl. Add the other ingredients: egg yolks, salt, sugar, lemon zest and the butter cut into cubes. Quickly combine them into a smooth dough – I make it with my hand but you can certainly use a food processor for this. Form a ball, cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Chop walnut coarsely and mix with a half tablespoon of powdered sugar. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356°F.
On a floured surface roll out the dough to a thickness of 5 mm. Using a flower-shaped linzer cookie cutter, cut small rounds. You have to have equal number of tops (with cut-out) and bottoms (no cut-outs). Put the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with slightly beaten egg and sprinkle walnut over them. Bake for about 12-13 minutes. Place them on a wire rack and cool completely.
Sandwich each two cookies with a little jam. If you can refrain :), let them rest for a few hours, so the cookies can soften.