Sweets for your sweetie.
Don’t you just love Valentine’s Day. For some it is a good excuse to go out to dinner or to give someone special a gift, some red roses, or box of candy. For me it is a challenge to cook a new recipe and come up with a very nice dessert.
Back in the day when schools allowed parties for all occasions plus birthday parties, there were room moms just waiting to sign up to bring homemade treats. Valentine’s Day was my favorite holiday when I was a kid and when I volunteered as a room mom for my kids.
In our younger years we (seem to always refer to myself as “we” since I have a twin sister) made valentine boxes to put our valentines in that we would be getting from fellow classmates. I particularly remember one year my mother helping me make ruffles of pink and red crepe paper to glue to my shoe box with a hole cut in the top. I’m sure for the party we had red punch, lots of candy and there were always cupcakes and more than likely we were all wired from all the sugar before we got home; but guess what, we survived.
Of course, theses parties were before the gluten-free, sugar/fat-free, low carb, artificial color-free, nut free and taste-free treats that are now served if served at all. But, you know what, after all that sugar and artificial ingredients I still have all my teeth, ha and have not had a cavity since I was 18 years old. I didn’t know my husband in grade school but by high school I was getting heart shaped boxes of candy from him.
The Linzer cookie is a offspring of Linzertorte born in Linz, Austria. The torte is what it sounds like a tart/torte with a buttery almond crust with black currant jam/preservers and topped with a lattice top. The cookie is a two layer cookie with a hole cut in the top cookie and is sandwiched around some good (red) raspberry jam. I don’t use seedless jam because it is not as red as the seeded variety and has a more brownish red color. So if you can’t eat seeds, I would still buy the seeded and maybe strain out the seeds through a sieve. For some of these cookies I’m spreading some melted chocolate chips on the bottom cookie before adding the raspberry preserves.
Note: I could not find the linzer cookie recipe I use to make. I can picture the recipe in my head but just not the book it came from so I am making the recipe from Food Reference. Maybe one day I will sit and go through all my books and find the recipe I originally did so many years ago but for now I don’t have time.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Covered Strawberries would be another great treat for Valentine’s Day.
All the ingredients except the chocolate chips and cute little Oliver (now 6) watching Gran in the background.
Grind the almonds into a fine powder.
Measure the flour and dry ingredients together and whisk in the ground almonds.
Separate the eggs, save the whites for another recipe and zest your lemon.
Cream the butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes then add in the yolks one at a time.
Add in the flour mixture a third at a time creaming until well blended. When it is a smooth ball, divide in half and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
You can use a round cutter or heart shape cookie cutter, any size. Cut the large cutter first and then cut a “mate” for it and use the smaller cutter to cut out shape in the middle of one of the cookies. Each cookie will have two parts.
Put on cookie sheet covered with silpat or parchment paper and bake until lightly brown.
I did these cookies two ways, some I put a thin layer of melted chocolate chips (then refrigerated until a little firm, about 4-5 minutes) and some I just covered the bottom cookie with raspberry preserves.
These I topped with a little raspberry preserves and spread it out to cover the chocolate.
When you powdered the tops, put the open heart on a separate piece of waxed paper, put some powdered sugar into a sieve and using a knife handle, tap the powdered sugar to cover the cookie. Then place the powdered sugar top cookie over the raspberry covered cookie.
These were delicious. All my craft circle friends loved them.
- 8 oz. (two sticks) butter
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups cake flour
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup ground almonds (or hazelnuts if you prefer)
- Raspberry jam, as needed
- Powdered sugar, for dusting, as needed
- In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, one at a time, then the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt together and then mix with the ground almonds. Gradually add the combined dry ingredients to the wet ones in the mixer until fully combined. Divide the dough into two balls, wrap with plastic and rest in the refrigerator for one hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out the balls of dough on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness, (depending on the size of your board you may need to divide the balls in half again and do four batches). Next, cut out 2-inch diameter rounds with a cookie cutter. With a smaller cutter, in the shape you desire, cut out the centers of half the cookies. These will be the tops. If you wish you can combine all the scraps and re-roll for a few extra cookies. Place the cookies on greased or parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Keep a close eye on them to prevent them from overcooking. Ovens vary and 12 minutes is a guideline. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool. Spread some of the jam on each solid cookie. Top each cookie with the halves with the cut-out center. Dollop a little more jam into the hole. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
- I added the chocolate to Food Reference's recipe. I love chocolate and raspberry together.