Linzer Cookies (Czech Republic)
A Czech Christmas tradition is to fill a platter with a wide variety of cookies, which are traditionally served on Christmas Eve. The assortment varies, but often include: Vanilla Crescent Cookies (Vanilkove Rohlicky), Bear Paws (Medvedi Tlapicky), Rum Balls (Rumove Kulicky), and Czech Beehive Cookies (Vceli Uly). Make these delicious cookies and bring the taste of a Czech Christmas into your home this holiday season!
Linzer (Linecké Cukroví) is one of the most popular cookies during the holiday season.
12 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
grated rind (zest) of 1 lemon
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
raspberry jam or apricot jam
confectioners' sugar for dusting
To make the dough: Beat the butter, sugar, and zest until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes. Add the yolk and vanilla and beat until combined.
Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, almond flour, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until just combined. Don't over-beat.
Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
To assemble: On a lightly floured surface, roll one disc of dough out about 1/4"-thick. Using a 2 1/2" round, heart, star or scallop edged round cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Transfer rounds to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gather the scrap dough, roll, and repeat. Place the cut cookies (you should have 12 cookies) in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
While the first half of cookies is chilling, cut 12 rounds from the remaining dough. Once you've transferred these cookies to a baking sheet, use your smallest cookie cutter or the end of a round piping tip to make a peekaboo cutout in the center of each. Place cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.
To bake: Bake all of the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn brown. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
To fill the cookies: Place the cookies with the holes in them on a cookie sheet and sift confectioners' sugar over the top. Turn the remaining cookies flat side up and spoon 1/2 teaspoon of jam into the center, spreading it slightly. Top with the sugar-dusted cookies.