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My recipe for Mother’s Linzer Cookies makes me think of my mother, and my childhood. My mother would have me baking from early December right through the holidays, and this cookie is one of my favorite. I hope you, and yours, enjoy it, too.
Makes: 3 dozen cookies
Prep time: 3 hours
Total time: 4 hours
½ pound whole shelled hazelnuts
1 cup cake flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature if using a hand mixer
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 cup raspberry jam
Powdered sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them at 350° until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Empty them into a folded kitchen towel, enclosing them between the folds, and rub them to remove their skins. Discard skins. Transfer the nuts to a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade. Add the flours. Process until the nuts are finely ground.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl with a hand-held electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and lemon zest, and continue mixing for 1 minute. Reduce the speed to low, and gradually add the nut-flour mixture. Mix just until the mixture comes together into a smooth dough. Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and gently press it into a flat disc, about 2 inches thick. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours, or preferably overnight.
4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and divide it into quarters. Place 1 piece between two sheets of lightly dusted parchment paper, and roll out to an even half-inch thickness. Repeat with the other pieces of dough. Place dough in the freezer 15 minutes or until chilled.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°.
6. Place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the freezer, 1 sheet at a time. Carefully peel the top piece of parchment off the dough, and, using a round 2-inch fluted or straight-edged cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough. With a ½-inch-diameter circular cookie cutter, cut out holes from the centers of half of the larger circles, giving them shapes resembling rings (the holes will make nice mini cookies).
7. Carefully transfer the cookies to the baking sheets, about ½ inch apart. If the dough is too soft to transfer easily, return it to the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes. If you need to bake the cookies in batches, make sure you let the baking sheets cool before baking each batch. Bake the cookies at 350° until golden brown, 10 to 14 minutes. Slide the parchment onto cooling racks, and wait 10 minutes; then carefully transfer
the cookies to the racks to cool completely.
8. Return the cookies to your work surface. Place a scant teaspoon of jam on each cookie without the holes, and spread in an even layer.
9. Generously dust the cookies with the holes with powdered sugar, either from a sugar sifter or from a
fine mesh sieve held over the cookies and tapped with your hand, and neatly place them on top of the jam so that the jam pokes out the center.
What do you bake to make the holidays special? Thinking of adding this recipe to your repertoire? Tell us in the comments below. Check out more of Wolfgang Puck’s wonderful recipes on HSN!