When I was a child I was not a big fan of jam (nor honey for that matter)… in the same way, anything with jam in it would always go to the bottom of my “I want to eat that” list. It was just too sweet for me. I used to always choose chocolate or fruit based desserts. Well, with age comes a change in taste. I find myself enjoying flavours that I did not like before… and jam is definitely one of these. I especially like jam filled cookies, like the ones I am sharing with you today. I think they also look beautiful and would make a great appearance at a classy tea party. Besides, they are made with almond meal and flour, and this gives them an extra crunch and a nicer flavour and texture than regular cookies. Linzer cookies are derived from a traditional Austrian torte, the Linzer Torte of which they are a “smaller” version. Though the name suggests that they were invented in the Austrian town of Linz, they are found in all the areas that were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, including parts of Northern Italy. My little ones LOVED them and so did I! Enjoy!
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, almond meal and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the egg, lemon zest and vanilla and mix well.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing well.
- Roll the dough into a 5 mm – ⅛” thick sheet. Put it in the fridge for a couple of hours (or in the freezer for a few minutes).
- When the dough is firm enough to cut out, make your shape. Make half a batch whole and half a batch with a hole in the middle. I used a specific cookie cutter for this, but you can make it by hand as well.
- Transfer the cut outs to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Put them in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up again (this will ensure that the cookies retain their shape when baked).
- Bake them at 175°C - 350°F for about 12 minutes. They have to remain whitish, so do not overcook them! Let them cool on the baking tray for five minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- When ready to fill, invert a bottom cookie (the one without a hole so you have a nice flat base) and spread about ½ - 1 tsp of jam on it. Dust the top of a cookie (the one with a hole in it) with icing sugar, then gently place it on the top of the bottom cookie with the jam on top, making a sandwich cookie.
- Store for up to one week, flat and in one layer, in an airtight container.