The Naked Baker: Linzer Biscuits

With Valentine’s Day approaching, what better way to celebrate than with heart shaped biscuits? Partner not required

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As Valentine’s Day approaches, so too does that panic as you wonder what on earth you are going to buy for that one person you want to impress. Linzer cookies make the perfect treat for this. They’re heart-shaped, pink, and adorably yummy.

The Linzertorte is believed to have originated in the City of Linz, Austria in the early 1700s. Traditionally this torte consisted of a crust made with flour, ground nuts (traditionally almonds), sugar, egg yolks, spices and lemon zest, that was filled with black currant preserves and then topped with a lattice crust. Linzer cookies use the same ingredients as a Linzertorte, but they are presented in the cutest of ways.

While there are many heart-shaped cookies in the world of baking, these have a warm and sweet surprise in the middle to warm the coldest of hearts this chilly Northern February.

The baked cookies are quite crisp, (also easy to overcook), but once they are filled with jam they start to soften to be sweet, adding the perfect homemade touch to make your loved one crumble. If it doesn’t, clearly they’re just not good enough (the person, not the cookies).

The Recipe

260g plain flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
Zest of one small lemon
225g unsalted butter
150g granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
Icing Sugar
½ cup Blackcurrant Jam

Preheat oven to 180C. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the butter and 100g of sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract and egg yolks. Finally, add the two mixtures together.

For a ball with the dough, wrap, and refrigerate until firm (30-60 minutes). On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough and using a heart shaped cookie-cutter, cut out the cookies. On half of the heart-shaped cookies, cut out a little heart shape on the inside.

Place in the oven for 12 minutes until golden brown, and give time for the cookies to cool before assembling. Spread a thin layer of jam on the bottom surface of the full cookies. Place the cutout cookie on top and gently sandwich them together. Lightly dust the tops with icing sugar, and edible glitter for the girls.

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