the BIG cookies project: Linzer cookies

Here we come... end of January and real winter hit Prague like a lightning. Now is the time to say "big" thank you to the Russian winds that invaded the country :D What is a better time to cuddle home with a batch of freshly baked cookies with jam. 

What could be said about the Linzer cookies - typically Austrian (although Czech people pay quite some respect to them too), typical Christmas... I don't care honestly, I would be preparing them all winter long :)

Linzer Cookies

(makes about 40-50 double cookies)

300g all purpose sifted flour
100g almond flour (finely ground almonds)
250g butter (soft and cut into cubes)
150g powder sugar + more for sprinkling
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
1 pack (20g) vanilla sugar
the peel of one lemon and 
... the juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of salt
1 jar dark forest fruits jam

Preparing the dough takes its time. Like with the vanilla crescent rolls after being prepared the dough needs to be chilled in a fridge for a while. But let's start preparing it first - the finely shredded almonds and half of the sugar are mixed in a small bowl. In another bowl the other half of the sugar is beaten with a mixer in a cream mixture. To make it even smoother the eggs, lemon peel, vanilla sugar and the lemon juice are added. In a big bowl we mix the flour with a pinch of salt, the almond/sugar mixture and the butter cream. We can mix by hand and form a steady ball. The dough we divide into two parts, pack in kitchen foil and refrigerate for an hour.

After that it is rolled on a flour surface and here creativity starts... you can use the forms you like with the sizes you enjoy most (generally round cookies are the most successful, although I had flower ones too and they were mega cute, the stars however do not bake evenly in a gas oven :D). We have to have equal amount of bases and covers with a hole in a small form. We line the cut cookies on baking trays covered with baking paper and bake on medium heat until they start to get pink and blushy (you know my gas oven situation - however this si the last recipe without degrees :)

After baking we leave them to cool down and then start putting the cookies together. Jam is evenly spread on a basis cookie, covered with a "roof" cookie with a hole and put aside. Jam will settle in around 6 hours, so it will not be a big mess even if you keep them in a box together.

What is left?! ... to enjoy these amazingly tasting sweeties and if you can resist them, you can keep them up to 2-3 weeks in an air-tight container in a cool place :)