By sugarspiceandbacon on December 18, 2012
Isn't Christmas season the best? You get to wear cozy (and sometimes sparkly!) clothes, drink cozy (and usually spiked!) drinks, and eat some delicious, decadent food without feeling the least bit guilty about it. It's the holidays! Right??? ;)
These festive cookies are sure to put you in the holiday spirit and will bring a smile to anyone who sees them. That smile will then turn into a WOW! as soon as they take a bite. Trust me, I've been there.
The batter for these buttery, almond-y cookies comes together in a snap. But I won't lie to ya, the entire process is a bit labor intensive. But don't worry! Grab a friend, a bottle or two of wine, and throw on some Christmas tunes and you have got a super fun evening ahead of you.
Even if you kitchen is covered in flour and powdered sugar after it all ;)
The best way to deal with this dough is to keep it very, very, VERY cold. The cookies cut out easily and stick-free rolling is simple...as long as you keep the dough cold. If you don't keep it cold...well, let's not even go there, just keep it cold, OK?
You'll need two different sizes of the same shape of cookie cutter. It doesn't have to be a star...but stars sure turn out pretty, huh?!?! Just don't do what I did and make an entire batch of big stars and and entire batch of small stars. Whoops! You need to make all the stars the same size then cut small stars out of half of them. Duh, Tara!
The raspberry jam filling is amazing, and so easy! I think it helps if you have homemade raspberry jam from your mom like I did, but store bought will work just fine too.
I have to say, a little powdered sugar goes a long way. The dusting of powdered sugar on the cut outs makes these cookies look so fancy and elegant. If you want some major "ooh's and ahhh's" at your Christmas party or cookie exchange, these are the cookies to make. Or, just make a batch to leave out for Santa, I know he'll appreciate them!
These delicious cookies are definitely worth the little bit of work they take to put together. Give them a try and you'll see!
Recipe: Linzer Stars
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cups slivered almonds
- 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
- Powdered sugar (for dusting)
- Special equipment
- A 2-inch star cookie cutter; a 1/2-inch star cookie cutter
- Pulse flour, almonds, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor until almonds are finely ground.
- Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg; beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add dry ingredients. Beat dough just to blend; gently knead if necessary to form a ball.
- Divide dough in half. Place each half between sheets of parchment or waxed paper. Working with 1 piece at a time, flatten dough into a disk; roll dough, occasionally lifting paper on both sides for easier rolling, until 1/8 inches thick. Chill dough in paper until very firm, at least 2 hours.
- Arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Working with 1 dough disk at a time, remove top sheet of paper and, using 2-inch star cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Transfer to baking sheets, placing 1/2 inch apart; chill. Repeat with remaining dough. Gather scraps; repeat rolling, chilling, and cutting until dough is used. Be sure to keep the dough chilled!
- Using 1/2-inch star cookie cutter, cut out a star from the center of half the cookies. Working in batches, bake cookies until light golden brown, dry, and just firm to the touch, 11-13 minutes. (Cookies will firm up as they cool.) Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.
- Bring jam and 2 teaspoons water to a boil in a small saucepan; let cool slightly.
- Arrange whole cookies flat side up. Spoon 1 teaspoon cooled jam in the center of each, dabbing slightly to spread. Arrange cookies with cutouts flat side down on a wire rack; dust with powdered sugar. Set atop whole cookies, lining up star points and allowing jam to push up slightly through center.
Recipe adapted very slightly from Bon Appetit
On another note: My heart is still breaking for all the families involved in the Newton school shooting. I feel helpless, but I'm not. I can do this...and I'm going to. Maybe you can too??! xoxo, t