Christmas Linzer Cookies
In my last post, I briefly mentioned that I just got home from visiting the Christmas markets in Munich. If, for some unknown reason, you’re imagining the Christmas markets of Munich to be like the shabby little 6 or 7 huts in your local town, think again. During our mere four days in Munich, we visited at least eight different main markets located all over the city, as well all the little Christmassy huts strategically placed along the main streets. It. Was. Awesome. Everywhere you looked there was Christmas galore – wooden decorations, decorations for your tree, pottery, toys, big woolly jumpers, handmade jewelry, and every possible German baked good you can think of. There was even a medieval market that sold things like furs, knives, & big goblets. Oh, & it was snowing. I mean, could Munich be more perfect?
I am completely smitten with Munich. Last year when The Boyf & I went inter-railing, Munich was the one city that we really loved the atmosphere of. It just feels nice there. & it certainly did not disappoint this time round. But of course, there was one thing that pushed the Christmas market experience over the top for me. There were whole huts at the markets dedicated to cookie cutters. Cookie cutters! I was in heaven. I tried to resist the urge for as long as I could, but as you probably guessed, that didn’t last very long. So on our second night in Munich I bought a mini Christmas tree cookie cutter. I was so excited about my little tree that I made up a song about it. . & talked about it non-stop for the rest of the night. . & took it out of my bag at any possible opportunity to exclaim over its littleness. I blame the Glühwein.
Ever since I
sobered up bought the cookie cutter I have been determined to make Linzer cookies, hence the cookies you see on screen right now. Aren’t they just adorable? I am in love with my little cookie cutter – look how cute those little tiny Christmas trees are, they’re just so perfect! At first I was just going to use the little tree cookie cutter inside the standard circular biscuit cookie cutter, but then I remembered that we have a big Christmas tree cookie cutter & the thoughts of a little Christmas tree inside a big Christmas tree was just too much for my little heart to handle & I had to do it.
I think I may have a slight cookie cutter problem.
So here I present to you: Christmas Linzer Cookies (made using my new super awesome cookie cutter). Now time for a little back story. Linzer cookies originate from a place in Austria named Linz, & they are distinctive because of the little “window” cut into the top cookie (so beautifully demonstrated by my beautiful new cookie cutter) that allows you to see what filling is in the centre. Traditionally, the filling for Linzer cookies is usually raspberry jam. However, I have a feeling that I know my family a little bit better than the people of Linz do, so I filled most of my Linzer cookies with either caramel or Nutella, choosing to only fill four or five cookies with jam.
Basically, what we have here is a damn good cookie. They’re seriously tasty. There’s ground pecans & a whole bunch of spices that make you feel warm & fuzzy on the inside. They’re buttery & slightly crumbly. They’re stuffed with whatever fillings your heart desires (my heart totally wants more caramel filled Linzer cookies right now). & they’re over the top cute. Imagine how impressed all those last minute Christmas visitors will be when they pop round for five seconds & you have these just sitting out on the table. You know, the usual. I also think these would make a great gift for that someone you’re not quite sure what to get (hello, Kris Kindle!). Did I mention how cute they are?
Makes about 20 cookies (Adapted from My Baking Addiction)
- 2 cups of plain flour, & more for rolling out the dough
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 cup of pecans
- 2 tablespoons of icing sugar, & more for sprinkling
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of mixed spice
- a small grating of fresh nutmeg
- 113g of cold butter, cut into small pieces
- ¼ of caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon of almond essence
- 1 egg
- Nutella, caramel, & jam
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour & baking powder. Set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse together the pecans, icing sugar, salt, & all of the spices until finely ground. Make sure that the mix does not become wet with the oils being released from the pecans.
- Place the finely ground pecan mix into a large bowl & add in the butter & sugar. Using an electric whisk, beat the mix together until light & fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract, almond essence, & the egg & continue to mix until combined. Finally, add the flour mixture to the bowl in three stages, mixing until combined.
- Using your hands, divide the dough mixture into two & shape into disks. Wraps both of the disks in cling film & refrigerate until firm, roughly an hour & a half.
- Preheat the oven to 165 degrees C & line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Removing one disk from the fridge at a time, quickly roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, about a ¼-inch thick. Using a 2 ½-inch fluted cookie cutter (or any size/shape cookie cutter you want), cut out an even number of circles. Using a much smaller cookie cutter, cut out the centre of half of your shapes. Reroll the scraps & repeat until all of the dough is used up. Place onto the parchment lined baking sheets & transfer to the fridge for a further 15-20 minutes.
- Ensure that the cookies are spaced roughly 1-inch apart & that they are firm & cold to touch before putting them into the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until pale golden in colour. The cookies harden up as they cool, so if they’re still slightly squishy, don’t worry about it. More the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
- When cooled, sprinkle the tops of the cutout cookies with icing sugar & spread your filling onto the uncut cookies. Sandwich both cookies together & enjoy!