A Linzertorte is a tart made of a rich buttery dough accentuated by almonds, lemon zest, and cinnamon. Linzertortes are a traditional European Christmas and Holiday pastry. The tart is traditionally filled with black currant preserves and topped with a lattice crust. In America, raspberry has replaced black currant as the jam of choice. However I prefer the apricot jam because it has a unique - little sour little sweet flavour. Linzer cookies has the same recipe as the Linzertorte but instead the dough is cut into cookies and two of them form a sandwich around the preserves. Moreover, the top cookie has a small cutout in its center (known as Linzer eyes), thus exposing the underlying jam and adding to the visual appeal. While the traditional cutout is circular, all sorts of shapes, such as hearts, stars, pine, bell are also popular.
Jam and preserves are both cooked mixtures of fruit, sugar and sometimes pectin. The difference is preserves contain chunks of fruit where in a jam the fruit is purreed. Jelly, is an uncooked mixture of fruit juice, sugar and sometimes pectin. Jam is the best choice to be used to make your Linzer cookies.
Making the linzer dough here I used only egg white because it ensures the crispy and light pastry. Egg yolk makes the dough elastic and chewy, so don't add them. Use room temperature, tepid butter and sieve the flour and icing sugar getting an equable soft dough. The linzer dough is not workable if it hardens up completely. It should be firm but not hard, enough to refrigerate up to 1 hour and no more.
Since these cookies are stable (if packaged correctly) and the flavor and texture improves over time, these are excellent shipping cookies and give as a gift. Garnish with icing sugar or toasted and grated almonds or nuts. Package them in a box or tin with parchment between the layers of cookies, and wrap the whole thing in parchment. Either add some sort of bubble wrap or just make sure that the box/tin is small enough that the cookies and parchment packet fit snuggly but aren’t crammed. It can be stored over a week or more.
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