Whenever I want to feel inspired, I head over to the Iron Whisk blog.
Filled with drool-worthy desserts, I always spend way too much time daydreaming about making the treats that Ilan does and wistfully wishing that I could have been even half as talented when I was 17! Seriously - 17! I don't remember what I was doing at 17, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't baking up professional-looking desserts and blogging about them. I'm currently, um....many years past 17 and still can't accomplish half the baking Ilan does.
Anyhow, Ilan is definitely one talented teenager who is definitely going to make his mark, no matter what he ends up doing!
p.s. Ilan - if I ever meet you in person, I'm giving you cookie cutters. Really.
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I love cookies. I don't have cookie cutters. I was still able to come up with this. If you have cookie cutters, you have no excuse not to make these!
The traditional linzer cookie is made with black currant jam sandwiched between two almond cookies. Over the years most people have moved to raspberry jam because it’s easier to find and has a brighter colour that is much more appealing to the eye. Any jam can work though, really. It’s best to use a jam that’s acidic though to balance the sweetness of the cookie. If you use a sweet jam, like strawberry, mix in some lemon juice. I was considering using kiwi jam but I ran out of kiwis. That would’ve been super cool though. Green cookies. You could also use lemon curd or lime curd if you don’t like jam or are looking for a new flavour combination.
pecan linzer cookies
For the cookies:
1/2 cup (60g) whole pecans
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 cup (25g) white sugar
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (70g) brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
2 egg yolks, room temperature
2 cups (250 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Your favourite jam
Prepare the cookie dough:
Preheat your oven to 350°F and spread the almonds and pecans on a baking sheet. Bake for eight minutes and then cool to room temperature. Process the nuts in a food processor with the cornstarch and white sugar until finely ground. Beat the butter together with the brown sugar until light and fluffy on the lowest speed on your mixer, or by hand, for about three minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract, almond extract, and the egg yolks. Mix in the ground nuts and then sift in the flour, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest. Mix until well combined. Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap, and let chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Cut out the cookies:
You can either roll out the dough on a well floured surface and cut out all the cookies at once (but it will be sticky) or you can squish a bit of the dough on a piece of parchment paper, cut out each cookie individually, and transfer each cookie individually to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Using a cookie cutter (round, fluted, heart shaped, etc.) cut out as many cookies as possible. In half the cookies use a cookie cutter to cut out the center. Use this dough to make more cookies and cut out the centers in half of them. Chill the cookies in the fridge for half an hour while preheating your oven to 350°F. Bake the cookies for about eleven minutes, or until the edges have lightly browned. Let the cookies cool to room temperature.
Assemble the cookies:
Spread about a teaspoon of jam on each cookie that isn’t missing a center. Dust icing sugar over the cookies that have cut out centers. Sandwich the two cookies together.