For all my friends in the midst of celebrating a joyous week of Hanukkah – Happy Hanukkah!
This elegant little cookie my Hungarian cousin, Judith, taught me to make earlier this year on Homemaker2words.com. is a play on the classic Linzer Cookie recipe and has become one of my all time favorites – my go-to cookie recipe – that suits pretty much any special occasion; happy or solemn. This cookie, rich in heritage dating back to the 17th century, is in essence a butter cookie glued together with an apricot , strawberry, or raspberry jam. Depending on the shape or motif you stamp, it changes attitude like a true chameleon.
Earlier this week, as I was out and about, I came upon this small cookie cutter with a simple little star of David forged in the center. “How perfect” I thought; perfect (and not too late) for a beautiful batch of Hanukkah cookies.
Judith’s Linzer Cookies
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 lemon, juiced
Apricot, Strawberry, or Raspberry jam
1. Cut in butter and egg yolks into mixing bowl, and beat at medium speed until well blended.
2. Add confectioner’s sugar and continue to beat until the mixture turns much lighter in color.
3. Add teaspoon of baking powder to the flour, and add flour mixture to the batter. On low, beat in the lemon juice. Continue to beat at low speed until well incorporated.
4. Remove from mixer, and with a sturdy spatula, fold dough together. Sprinkle with a little flour to make it less sticky.
5. Form into a ball, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
6. Remove from fridge, and knead dough on a well-floured surface.
7. Roll out to 1/8-inch thickness.
8. If you are using a cookie cutter with a cut-out center or “eye”, be sure to cut out every other one with “the eye”. If you’re using a solid shape, cut as many as you can from each roll-out.
9. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat, and bake for 10 minutes in a 3oo degree oven. (Every oven fluctuates in heat – if at 10 minutes you see that it’s not fully baked, keep checking every 2 minutes.) The cookie should be creamy in color, with just a tinge of golden color at the edges. When done, place cookies on a rack to cool.
10. When completely cooled, place all the cookie tops (the ones with the cut-out “eyes”) on another cookie sheet and dust well with confectioner’s sugar.
11. Take the “bottom” cookie and with its good side up, spread a little dollop of jam.
12. Take powdered cookie top and marry it to a jammed bottom. You can add a tiny touch of jam to the finished “eye” of the cookie if you’ ld like.
Serve right away, or refrigerate in an airtight container (can last a few weeks).
Enjoy and Shalom!