Linzer Cookies

Can you believe Christmas is this week?! I’m so sad. I just don’t want it to be over! I have been baking like mad all weekend, as I typically do the week of Christmas. Joe says he feels like he is in a factory. I have been baking a bit more than I normally would because I am giving cookies as gifts to many of my friends and family. I always make about 5 or so different cookies and put a few of each in a little box with some ribbon. Who doesn’t love getting cookies? One of my favorite cookies to make during Christmas time is linzer cookies. I absolutely love these with this sugar plum jam. Fine, I love this jam because of the name. Sugar plum. I would eat anything with ‘sugar plum’ thrown in front of it! Honestly, this might be my favorite jam of all time. I eat it on an english muffin every morning during the month of December. I don’t know why. It just makes me happy. Anyway, it’s delightful in these linzer cookies and makes an awesome gift. Aside from boxes of all types of cookies, another gift I have been giving this year is just a box of these linzer cookies with a jar of the jam. Another cute way to package these is putting them in a little mason jar, tie a ribbon around the top and then give with a jar of the jam, along with a recipe for how to make the cookies. A couple of quick notes before we get to the recipe. I use almond meal for these and I usually find it in the healthy/gluten free section of my grocery store. You can also put sliced almonds in a food processor, but be careful not to overmix, otherwise it will become a paste. I just find it easier to buy the almond meal. Also, these cookies will keep for a few days at room temperature. However, if you like more crispy cookies, assemble them the day you want to serve. The cookies soften after a day which some people do like better!

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Here’s what you’ll need-

– 2 cups flour

– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– zest of one lemon

– 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1/4 cup brown sugar

– 1 teaspoon vanilla

– 2 egg yolks

– 1 cup almond meal

– powdered sugar

– about 1/2 cup of sugar plum jam (or the jam of your choice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and lemon zest in a small bowl. In a large bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and egg yolks, mix until combined. Add in the almond meal and flour mixture and stir until just combined. Divide the dough in half and form into two disks. Wrap each one tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, but you can do this up to a day in advance.
When ready to bake, take one of the disks out of the fridge but keep the other one in until ready to use. On a floured surface, roll out the dough and using a linzer cookie cutter, cut out the bottoms. Roll the dough again as needed. Place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill in the fridge 5-10 minutes. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. With the other disk of dough, cut out with the shapes inserted into the cutter (this will be the tops of the cookies). Follow the same directions for the tops. Once all the cookies are baked and cooled, dust the tops with powdered sugar. Spread a thin layer jam onto the bottoms on the cookies (the tops will face out). Place the other cookies (with the cut outs) on top on the jam covered cookies. Gently press to adhere.

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