Christmas tree Linzer cookies

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Citrus, spice and everything nice is all you need at Christmas! Almond shortbread infused with orange zest and cinnamon, put together with a heavenly tart raspberry preserve and dusted with icing sugar make for a perfect combination of flavours for the Christmas edition of these Linzer cookies. These are an adaptation of Linzertorte, a traditional Austrian dessert and one of my absolute favourites. You can experiment with the flavours in the shortbread or use different fruit preserves and you’ll end up with different combinations every time. Let’s say these are my go-to batch of cookies to bake in times of need. Let the festive baking begin!

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PREPARATION TIME : 2 hours

INGREDIENTS (makes approx. 24 cookies)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup almond flour  (Note: Personally, I prefer using 1/2 cup store-bought almond flour and 1/2 cup finely ground whole almonds. This adds little flecks of brown to your cookies and also adds texture)
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon*(optional)
  • Hint of nutmeg *(optional)
  • 1/4 cup raspberry preserve, seedless 
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, for topping

You will also need : A large and small cookie cutter of your choice. Since this ones a special Christmas Edition I’ve used 3″round and smaller Christmas tree cutters for the cut-outs.

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METHOD

Start by whisking the butter and caster sugar together in a mixing bowl until it turns pale and fluffy in texture. Add in the vanilla extract, orange zest and gradually add the egg yolks one at a time while whisking.

Next, sift all the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl, plain flour, almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and the salt. Slowly mix until it just comes together forming a dough in the bowl.

Divide the dough in half, press each half into a disc shape with your hands and cover it in cling wrap. Set the discs in the fridge for about 30 minutes in order to firm up.

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) while you prepare the cookies.

Roll out one disc of dough onto a sheet of parchment paper about the size of your baking tray. Using the larger 3″ round cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and pull away all the excess dough.

Transfer the sheet onto your baking tray and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. This ensures that the cookie retains its shape while in the oven. Place the cookies in the middle of the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.

Repeat the entire process with the second disc of dough, except this time once you’ve cut out the larger shape use the smaller Christmas tree cookie cutter to cut out the insides of the shape and bake the same as the previous batch.

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When baking Linzer cookies something I love is to try and cut out a clean centre and you can bake the little cut out trees as well. They make an additional batch of a Christmassy bite sized treat!

Once out of the oven, leave the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack. Dust the batch of hollow cookies i.e. the ones with the cut out, with icing sugar and leave the solid cookies as is. Spread the raspberry preserve in the middle of the solid cookies and top them with the sugar dusted cookies. And voila! You’re done!

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PRESSURE POINTS 

If the pastry tears while rolling it out, bring together with your hands and should come together nicely.

While cutting the cookies out, it works best to roll out the pastry onto a baking sheet in order to retain the perfect shape of the cookie without having to transfer it.

Remember the simpler the better! I’ve tried these with small snowflake cut-outs and let’s say wasn’t too happy with them, didn’t look as festive to me once I was done! You could try it with stars, bigger snowflakes, trees, candy canes, gingerbread men, all work great!

Once baked be sure to place the cookies on  parchment paper in an airtight container to avoid them softening up over the next few days.

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If you give this recipe a go, I’d love to see how it turned out. Leave a comment below and share your pictures on Instagram using the tag #thecookbooklife!

Happy Christmas baking to all you lovely readers!

Nikita xx

 

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28 Comments Add yours

  1. Monsieur R. says:

    Superbe !! L’Esprit de Noël se cache sûrement dans ces biscuits …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Merci beaucoup! ❤

      Like

  2. lostunicrn says:

    These look soooo good! I’m gonna have to try them!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you loved them as much as I do! they’re my absolute favorite ❤

      Like

  3. iyiadebola says:

    Wow. I’d definitely try it

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely do, they’re so worth every bite! If you liked jam cookies as a kid, you’d love these ❤

      Like

      1. iyiadebola says:

        It was so yummy when I tried it.. Thanks a lot

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m glad you loved them! ❤

        Like

  4. Mashisha says:

    Looks great. I would like to wish for enough time to make these! Yum!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha they’re a pretty quick recipe actually, the shortbread is simple, making the cut outs and putting them together that’s a tad bit time consuming but so worth it all! 🙂

      Like

  5. emmapalova says:

    Reblogged this on emmapalova and commented:
    Traditional European cookies

    The Linzer desserts are a staple in Czech Christmas baking for its versatility and simplicity. Not only are they delicious, but you can utilize any of your preserves to “glue” them together.
    And they make the house smell beautiful because of the vanilla in them. I plan on making a lot of these using different cut out forms for fun with my girl, Josephine Marie Palova. Kids love them too.
    You can even just have them plain, and they last for a long time.
    Stay tuned for stories about Czech Christmas traditions including baking and cooking.
    I love this time of the year filled with anticipation of things to come and the new year 2017.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Cheyenne says:

    These look so delicious!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you like them! 😛

      Like

  7. thereealyou says:

    Beautifull:)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. gritswag says:

    This looks tasty

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Looks super yummy …I hope even I can prepare the same..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Of course you can, they’re relatively easy to bake! ❤

      Like

  10. These look beautiful – and delicious. And I just bought almond flour. There goes my afternoon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Haha that’s perfect! I always stock up on almond flour too, it’s heavenly. Hope you had a lovely afternoon baking! ❤

      Like

  11. These look absolutely beautiful! I just discovered your blog, and love all your photos. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂

      Like

  12. roberta m says:

    So happy to discover your blog. Looking forward to reading your past as well as future posts!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww thank you so much! Glad you love the posts, feel free to make suggestions for future posts! 😛 ❤

      Like

  13. Merry Christmas to you as well! I agree, holiday baking is what I look forward to the most this time of year. Hmm, the three that I can think of right now are Christmas cookbooks by Jamie Oliver, Nigella and Mary Berry. Maybe browse through those? 😛 ❤

    Like

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