Linzer Heart Variations and a Spelling Bee
This post starts with a spelling lesson on how to spell Linzer Hearts. It’s “Linzer Hearts”. With a z. No d, no s in Linzer. But you’ll find in my postings and recipes, I’ve used all sorts of spellings. Because I failed the Spelling Bee in the 4th grade on the word “sack.” I want to blame my 4th grade teacher (names have been omitted to protect the innocent) for not providing clear instructions. It’s not that I didn’t know how to spell “sack”, it’s that I didn’t say the word, spell the word, then say the word again. If the 4th grade teacher would have just stated “say then spell then say the word,” I’m sure I could have been the SB Champion of the USofA. As long as Linzer wasn’t one of the challenge words. And just out of spite for that teacher, I will continue to spell Lindser willy-nilly depending on my mood and/or how much wine I’ve had (Lindzzzzerrrrr, L-I-N-D-Z-S-E-R, Lindzzzzerrrrrr).
Linzer Hearts are cookies inspired by LinserTorte, an Austrian delight that someone was smart enough to turn into cookies. They involve a shortbread cookie, jam in the middle, and powdered sugar on top. Some variations include vanilla, nuts, different fillings, or a more cookie-like base. They’re an incredibly melt-in-your-mouth cookie. I have friends who request them for birthdays and they’ve won me three “Cookie Smackdown” awards at work.
The past weekend, I got inspired to branch out and try out several versions of the cookies, varying the type of flour, filling, and topping. Below are links to the successful versions (yes, there was one unsuccessful version involving cherries and whiskey that I’m still trying to work out). Here is the recipe for the original version, some more spelling mistakes, and photos of the two-day project.
Linzer Hearts: The Original Gangsters
These Linser Hearts are the traditional version with raspberry filling and a powdered sugar top. They are the originals of the versions I made (links below) and have the original flower mix (see Baking Flours 411 for substitution possibilities).
2c All-Purpose flour
1c chopped pecans or walnuts (optional, but deeeeelicious)
(I like to use Bonne Maman Raspberry Preserves, which can easily be found at Safeway)
Make the Cookies
Cream butter and sugar in mixer on high. Add in vanilla and mix until incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together flour and salt. Slowly add flour to butter mixer 1/2 cup at a time until incorporated. Then mix in your nuts until blended. Chill for 1 hour.
Roll out chilled cookie dough on floured surface to 1/8 – 1/4 inch thickness. To make layered cookies, use one large and one small heart-shaped cookie cutter (I like Williams Sonoma’s De Buyer Cookie Cutter sets). Cut one heart with a hole, one without.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until edges turn a tiny bit golden brown on a silicon baking mat. Let cookies cool while you drink wine and, if you’re anal retentive, go find all my Linszer spelling mistakes.
To assemble, cover the solid heart with the raspberry preserves. Dust the cut-out heart with powdered sugar either using a sifter or a fine-meshed sieve. Press together like a sandwhich. Except much yummier and prettier!
Ta-da! You’re done! And if you’re feeling sassy, try out some …
Other Linzer Heart variations
Raspberry Rosemary uses good old white flour
Dark Chocolate Peppermint you can substitute wheat in this one to offset some sweetness!
Fig and Toasted Walnuts with Goat Cheese Frosting I used wheat with these toasty, nutty, goat-cheesy cookies