Disclosure: I am participating in the 2016 Cookie Campaign with Rodelle as part of their Brand Ambassador program. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands and companies that support Floating Kitchen!
There are so many Christmas cookie recipes on the internet right now. It’s kind of blowing my mind. And my waistline, too, if I’m being completely honest with myself.
But I’m not really complaining. Because I have a soft spot in my heart for Christmas cookies. And today, I’m even going to contribute one more recipe to the pile. Don’t be mad. We can all go back to exercising restraint (and just straight up exercising) in January.
There are some cookies that just seem destined to become Christmas cookies. One of which are Linzer cookies. They are a classic that always comes to my mind around the Holidays. There is just something really festive about their heavy dusting of powdered sugar, like a fresh morning snow fall. And that peak-a-boo window of jam in the center reminds me of the old fashioned jewel toned ornaments that used to hang heavy on my Grandmother’s Christmas tree.
Linzer cookies are most traditionally made with almond flour and filled with a raspberry jam. But went rogue and decided to switch things up a bit. I replaced the almond flour with hazelnut flour. And I made a quick and easy stovetop vanilla-scented cranberry jam for the centers. And you know what? I think I actually prefer these Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam over the more traditional version. It’s great to be able to use seasonal produce to create a homemade filling. And I think the hazelnut flour (have you tried my Chocolate Hazelnut Madeleines yet?) provides a stronger nutty flavor and aroma than the almond flour does.
It’s really important to sufficiently chill the dough before you roll it out. And then chill the cutouts before you bake them. This will make the dough easier to handle, and your cookies will bake up with cleaner edges and a more defined shape. I don’t usually have enough room in my refrigerator to fit two baking sheets, so I just place my baking sheets outside on my back patio. If the weather permits, this might be a great option for you too!
Admittedly, Linzer cookies do take a bit more time and care to prepare than some other cookies. But I love making and sharing them with my family and friends this time of year. They are worth every bit of extra effort.
As a Brand Ambassador for Rodelle, I created these Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Vanilla-Cranberry Jam for their 2016 Holiday Cookie Campaign. Make sure you check out this link to see all the recipes that the other Brand Ambassadors made. Everyone really brought their A-game this year. It’s like cookie heaven!
For the Cookies:
- 3/4 cups (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp. Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups hazelnut flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
For the Jam:
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cranberry juice (or water)
- 1 Rodelle Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean
- In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
- With your mixer on low speed, add in the flours and salt and beat until just combined. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into two portions. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap, flattening it to form a disk, and then refrigerate the disks until well chilled, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one of the dough disks to 1/4-inch thickness. The use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Using a smaller cookie cutter, make a peak-a-boo cutout in the center of half of the rounds. Transfer the cookie cut-outs to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll the scrapes and continue to cut out cookies until the dough has been used up. Place the baking sheet in your refrigerator (or outside!) for 30 minutes to chill the cookie cut-outs.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Repeat the same process with the second dough disk.
- Bake the chilled cookie cut-outs in your pre-heat oven for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies rest on the sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to continue cooling.
- While the cookies are cooling, making the filling. Add the cranberries, sugar and cranberry juice to a saucepan over medium heat. Slice the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds. Add the scraped seeds and the expended pod to the saucepan. Cook the filling, stirring frequently, until almost all of the cranberries have burst open, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Using the back of a spoon, crush any cranberries that are still intact. Allow the filling to cool to room temperature, then remove and discard the vanilla bean pod.
- Place the cookies with the peak-a-boo cutouts on a cookie sheet and dust the tops generously with powdered sugar. Place a small dollop of filling in the center of the flat side of the remaining cookies, spreading it out slightly. Top with the powdered sugar-dusted cookies. Enjoy!
- Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.