Linzer Cookies...and White Christmas Recipe Challenge

I am such a procrastinator...always the last one to join an event, unless someone is pushing me to do so! I did join the Very Good Recipes, as you can see the badge on my sidebar, and I do love this group, and to think that I didn't have to do a thing, just to sign up and they do all the work for you, to feature your blog with your latest posts automatically linked into your own how hard awesome is that!? I'm also entering in this fun event with the Very Good Recipes White Christmas Challenge

Just click on, to see what the challenge is about, and check out the fabulous judges, including my dear friend Veronica, from Quay Po Cooks!

 linking to: Full Plate Thursday, 12-22-2011 @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
                  Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop 15 @ Katherines Corner

There's so many different versions of these lovely Viennese cookies that each country calls it their own, but it was actually originated during the 19th century
what was then, the famous well know Austria-Hungary empire! So, there you have the short history on these delicate buttery sandwich cookies...filled with apricot and various other fruit jams.
As a child, I have fond memories of these Linzer cookies, and I don't have my mom's or my aunt's recipes...only just remembering how it was made, so I adapted my version, from a trusted source!

Linzer Cookies

adapted from, Joy of Baking

1 cup (110 grams) blanched sliced almonds
1/4 cup (50 grams)

1 cup (227 grams)  (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
2 large egg yolks
2 cups (220grams) all purpose flour
14 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 1 lemon

Confectioners' icing sugar, for dusting
choice of jams; raspberry (seedless preferred) blackberry
I used organic apricot, and organic blueberry, but you can use
choice of your own, even Nutella, which is great for chocolate lovers,
recipe, continued...

For the almonds:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (177 degrees C) and rack in the center of the oven. Place almond on a baking sheet and bake for about 8-10 min. until light brown and fragrant. In a food processor, process with sugar, until finely ground.

For the dough:
In a separate bowl, stir your dry ingredients.

In a bowl of your electric mixer, or large bowl, with a hand mixer, beat the butter, and the 2/3 cup sugar, until creamy, and fluffy, beat in the vanilla extract, the egg yolks, and lemon zest. Add the flour mixture beating, just until incorporated. Divide the dough into two rectangular shapes, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least one hour, or overnight. Remove dough from the refrigerator, and on a lightly floured board, or surface, roll the dough, until it's about 1/4 inch (1cm) thick.

Cut our shapes with a cookie cutter; circle, heart, star, square, or any other shapes you like, making sure to cut a hole in the center (cutter not shown), to let the jam show through!

Cut the shapes, making sure that every-other is cut with a smaller cutter in the center, to make it ready to sandwich the cookies.

Slide the cookies with a spatula (very important, so they stay in shape) on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake in a 350 degrees, (177C) oven for 8-10 min. until lightly browned. Remove from the oven, to cool.

Re-roll scraps of dough to cut out more cookies, and bake to make more. When they are finished, and cooled on a rack, on the bottom half, spread a small amount of jam, and place cookie with hole, which you already have sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, lightly place on top.
(do not put too much jam on the bottom of the cookies, or it will ooze out when you sandwich it)

Now, I have to run to make Latkes, with my daughter Lora, (Cake Duchess) for Hanukkah...which begins at sundown tonight!
Happy, Hanukkah, to all my Jewish friends, non Jewish friends, as well... and those who celebrate this festive event with extended families, and friends!
Big hugs!

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