A protracted spell of a very poor work/cooking (er work/life) balance has left it far too long since the last time I posted. Never fear! Snow, work winding down for the holidays, Christmas, my transportation being out of action, have fortuitously combined together to allow lots of baking, and even some blogging.
I do confess, cooking and baking has been going on since October…but concoctions still un-written up. Consequenctly I seem to have many photos of food but no recollection how I made them (the perils of recipe-less baking). I may have to do a make-it-up yourself photo montage sometime .
But onto the linzer sablés. These are Austrian Christmas cookies, related to the traditional lizertorte, delicately spiced with cinnamon and clove, baked, and then sandiwched around jam – traditionally either blackcurrant or apricot. I did some with strawberry jam, and some with apricot. Finally, they are dusted off with icing sugar. The sad thing about them is that for all the rolling, cutting and baking, they disappear at lightspeed…
Taken from www.chow.com
Instructions (Makes about 16)
You will need 1 2-2 1/4 inch cookie cutter, fluted, and another tiny cutter (about the size of a polo). I couldn’t find a cutter and used the lid of my vanilla essence bottle (any very small lid will work)
- 3/4 cup ground almonds
- 3/4 cup plain flour
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice (or 1/4 tsp ground cloves)
- 1/2 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoons water
- 60g salted butter
- 1/2 cup castor sugar
- Jam (any, apricot / blackcurrant is good. I used apricot and strawberry)
- Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to Gas 5/ 190 oC / 375 oF. Put all the flours, nuts and spices in a large bowl. In another bowl beat together the butter and sugar until golden and well-mixed, then add the egg and mix again. Still beating slowly, add the flour mixture gradually until just combined and not dusty anymore. Don’t overbeat. Then shape the dough into 2 balls. Doing one at a time, place the dough ball between two sheets of greaseproof baking paper and flatten with your hands.
With a rolling pin, roll the dough still between the sheets of paper, turning over occasionally so the dough doesn’t stick to just one. Roll until about 1/8 inch thick. Place the dough (still in the paper) in the freezer for about 40 mins (or fridge for 1.5-2hrs) Repeat for the other ball. This firms up the dough and makes cutting the shapes easier.
When ready, take out the dough sheets and remove the top paper. Using the cutters, cut into 32 ish rounds, and place on a baking sheet (lined with the paper). You’ll need an even number regardless of how many you do. To half of the shapes, take the tiny cutter/bottle cap and punch out a hole in the centre, to make the tops of the cookies.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until just firm and a little golden. Don’t overbake or they’ll be dry and brittle. Remove to a wire cooling rack until cool, after which you can dust all the cookie tops (the ones that look like flowers) with icing sugar. Assemble by inverting each cookie base and placing 1/2 tsp or so jam on top, then on top of this the upper cookie part. Press down gently. Marvel at the professional look of your cookies, and punch anyone who refers to them in any way as glorified jammy dodgers.