I'm catching up! I waited to make the Linzer Sables because I was not enamored of the recipe calling for 1 1/2 cups of "finely ground nuts". This recipe was chosen by Noskos of Living the Life.
I looked and looked for any ground nuts, or the almond flour that he mentions but was never able to find any. I wound up grinding walnuts in my (spice) coffee grinder and it was a fine line between ground nuts and walnut butter. After I had that ingredient in hand, the recipe itself was quite easy. It mixed up extremely soft, so I understand why it was necessary to chill the dough for some time.
This is the first time that I have ever had a recipe call for rolling the dough (between wax or parchment paper) and then chilling it before cutting it (rather than chilling it then rolling and cutting it) and it worked very well. I split the recipe in half, rolled each between two sets of parchment paper and then placed the two pieces on a cookie sheet and placed the sheet outside on the balcony to chill: Berlin in December is quite chilly. It's also quite grey and rainy, so luckily I rescued the sheet just after it started drizzling and was able to shift things about in the refrigerator and fit it in there. Things got busy then and I didn't finish the cookies until two days later.
When I pulled the rolled out cookie dough out of the fridge (after pre-heating the oven to 180 celsius (once again less than the recipe), I found the dough cut and held shape extremely well. I will definitely use this technique for my sugar cookies in the future.
I cut out shapes and filled two trays with the stars. I made half of them cut out (by using the top of the tomato paste tube). While I worked on these, I rolled the scraps (already too soft to work woth) back out between parchment and refrigerated the sheet.
I found that 9 minutes was enough bake time and with the first tray I tried to skip the step of turning the cookies half through and discovered that my oven requires that step to evenly bake the cookies. For the filling I took my favorite seeded raspberry jam, boiled up a bit with a teaspoon of water in the microwave, let it cool and filled the cookies. I had rolled the dough thinner than the suggested 1/4 inch and I still found that the resulting cookie sandwich was too thick. I had 12 filled cookies and with the remaining dough I made 8 single cookies which I dusted heavily with powdered sugar.
The German liked these very much (as did his parents when I brought them over) but the children liked only the powdered sugar and I found the cookies far too heavy. I generally don't like recipes made with nuts and this recipe shows me that I don't like recipes made with ground nuts either. I won't make this recipe again, but I will make a ginger snap to see if the German just likes the cinnmon and the cloves (which I also like very much).
I haven't seen ground walnuts here, but ground almonds and hazelnuts are in the baking section of most every supermarket.
I'm not always that keen on cookies with nuts either, they're often much too rich, but the Linzer Sables are a variation of the traditional Austrian Linzertorte made with ground hazelnuts and raspberry jam.
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