A few weeks ago I was so happy to hear that my favorite strawberry stand would soon be open! A week later I took a short, northerly jaunt and bought a half flat of big, very red, sweet strawberries! So many possibilities...First things first, I decided to make some quick and easy freezer jam so that I could then make something that has been on my infamous "to bake" list for quite a long time...
Linzer cookies! This recipe is from Ina Garten's "the barefoot contessa cookbook" though I have replaced the raspberry jam for my strawberry. Ina points out that these are not traditional linzer cookies because they are not made with ground nuts. Rather this is a variation of a shortbread cookie, made with traditional linzer cutters.
This cookie turned out so beautiful and buttery, with the strawberry jam as the crowning touch in taste and appearance! About a dozen people tried one of these cookies(even the furnace installer) and each one had the same reaction: "Delicious!" Actually one person stated that it was "the best cookie I've ever eaten," but I think he may have just been trying to butter me up for more goodies in the future:) I will most certainly be making these cookies again, and I guess the door is still open for the traditional linzer cookie too!
Makes 14 to 16 cookies (I made 2 dozen smaller cookies)
3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup good raspberry preserves (I used my homemade strawberry jam)
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/4 inch thick and cut 2 3/4-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter. With half of the rounds, cut a circle out of the middle with a 1-inch cutter. Place all the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes.
Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature. Spread raspberry preserves on the flat side of each solid cookie. Dust the top of the cut-out cookie with confectioners' sugar and press the flat sides together, with the raspberry preserves in the middle and the confectioners' sugar on the top.
And now for the winner of the book giveaway(selected through random.org)...
I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone that participated!!! I appreciate your support and lovely comments!!! Have a great week!