christmas cookies: linzer tarts

growing up, i always made sugar cookies for christmas. my mom would put different colored sugar in salt shakers and i’d sprinkle it all over the sugary dough. i loved making them as a kid, but hated eating them. i just don’t like sugar cookies. yuck. now that i’m an adult (i guess i am, anyway. i’m married, own a house and am having a baby??), i can make the christmas cookies of my choosing — and here they are.

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these linzers are so cute and taste AMAZING. almond shortbread cookie sandwiches with the jam filling of your choice (though, clearly, raspberry is the best). i’m not going to tell you how many i ate at one time, but if i would have eaten before i got out the camera, we would have had a big problem.

they’re easy to make and even easier to devour.

here’s what you’ll need:

2 ¼ c. cake flour
1 ½ c. finely ground almonds
¾ c. butter (that’s a stick and a half)
½ c. sugar
1 egg
½ tsp. lemon zest
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. vanilla
6ish oz. raspberry jam
+ powdered sugar for garnish

here we go. this looks like a lot of steps, but it’s not difficult — just broken down to make it easier to tackle. you’ll thank me! ; )

1. cream the butter with the paddle attachment of your mixer.
2. add sugar and continue creaming.
3. add egg, lemon and vanilla and mix.
4. add grated nuts and mix.
5. sift dry ingredients and add to the mix.
6. pull dough from mixer and form into two disks. wrap and refrigerate for 30+ minutes. this is super important, cooling the dough makes it so much easier to roll out and cut. otherwise, your dough will be sticky and more likely to fall apart.
7. preheat oven to 350.
8. flour your surface and rolling pin, and roll out dough to as close to 1/8 inch as you can and cut into circles. cut a hole out of the center of half of the cookies, so you can see that delicious jam (fyi: this dough is very soft, you may find it easier to use a very thin spatula to scoop the cut cookies up).
9. bake for 12 minutes or until edges are golden; cool on wire rack.
10. while cookies cool, heat jam in a saucepan. you want it to bubble a little, but not out of control.
11. sift powdered sugar over the top cookie. spread jam on bottom cookie and place the top cookie. the jam is like glue at this point, holding those tops on.
12. let the tarts set slightly before digging in – if you can!

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