These Strawberry Lemonade Linzer Cookies are classy, elegant, and will have you dreaming of summer. The perfect treat for your Valentine!
Was anyone else super happy to see the clock strike February this past weekend? January always seems to be a hard month around these parts. There’s the inevitable post-holiday schlump which makes returning to a full work week schedule seem utterly impossible. Pair that with gray days, piles of
snow charcoal mush, and the fact that I’m supposed to be eating kale when it’s 10 degrees outside and January is all around not.my.favorite.
I am more than thrilled to slip into my February sweater (which unfortunately looks a lot like my January sweater), and start looking forward to spring. I have some really fun stuff planned for you all this month, including the launch of a new series, a super special blogger event, and plenty of pink, chocolate, and sprinkle-full recipes to brighten your days.
Think of these Strawberry Lemonade Linzer Cookies as using every force I have available to will spring into existence. Or, at the very least, my attempt to keep my sanity by baking something colorful and bright. I laugh in the face of winter! Muah…ah…ah. Okay I’m done.
Truth be told, I actually made these beauties before Christmas when my momma and I got together to do our annual pre-holiday baking extravaganza. We turned down our usual cut out sugar cooking decorating marathon in favor of these classy and elegant Linzers, and I am so glad we did.
We made two different recipes for the linzer, one gluten free and one gluten-full, and it turns out the gluten free version was the uncontested favorite! The cookies themselves are thin and buttery, with just the right amount of richness from the brown sugar. The bits of almond add a nice dimension of flavor and texture. I added lemon extract to brighten the flavor and give it a hint of spring’s lightness.
We sandwiched the cookies with a variety of fruit jams, but my favorite was definitely the strawberry. The combination of lemony cookie and sweet strawberry jam reminded me of sipping on Strawberry Lemonade…which reminded me of summer…and sunshine…and green grass…and bare feet…and….yeah, they were darn good cookies.
The hint to keeping these delicate cookies from spreading too much while baking is to freeze the rolled out dough for 10 minutes before cutting them out. This makes the whole process a breeze! From there, it’s simply cutting, baking, jamming, and sugaring.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what to do with the tiny cookie you cut out of the top cookie? Well, there are a few options. You could simply pile them all together into a big ball, re-roll and make more big cookies. Orrrrrrrrr you could do what I do, which is bake them up with all the other cookies then snack on them while I jam and sugar the rest. Consider it the bonus of being the baker.
You can use any cookie cutters to do this, but you’ll need one big one and one small enough to fit inside it with at least a 1/2 inch rim. You don’t have to have matching shapes either. You can do a big circle with a little heart in the middle, a big star with a little circle…whatever suits your fancy!
Make these for a neighbor, a friend, a sweetheart, or just for yourself and make sure to sprinkle a ton of
powdered sugar love on top! Your friends will feel like you gave them the gift of summer. And right now, that’s one of the best gifts I can think of.
- 5 ounces whole roasted unsalted almonds (or about 1 cup roughly chopped almonds)
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2½ cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used Cup 4 Cup)
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (only if your flour blend doesn't include it)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 16 Tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Strawberry jam
- Powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Place the whole almonds in a food processor and pulse until they're reduced to very fine crumbs. Add the brown sugar and pulse again until well combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together flour, xanthan gum (if needed), baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the ground almond and brown sugar mixture and stir to combine. Add the butter, egg, zest, and extracts, beating on medium low speed after each addition to combine. The mixture should form a smooth, soft, and thick dough.
- Divide the dough into two pieces. Wrap half the dough in plastic wrap and set aside. Place the other half of the dough in between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll the dough out into a thin rectangle (1/8-1/4 inch thick). Place the dough on a baking sheet or other flat surface and freeze for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove the dough and use cookie cutters to cut the dough into your desired shapes. Remember, for each cookie you'll need two large cookie cut outs. The first will be left whole, and the second will have a smaller cookie cut out of the center. You can either bake the smaller cookies as a special baker's treat (my preferred method!), or combine them into a ball, reroll, and use them to make more big cookies.
- Place the cut out cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are just barely golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until firm enough to be transferred to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat the process with the remaining dough. We were able to get two trays of cookies going at once so we would roll out two rectangles, freeze, cut out, then bake. While that batch was baking, we would roll out two more rectangles and get them in the freezer for the next round.
- Once the cookies are cooled place the tops (the ones with the smaller cookie cut out of the middle) on a piece of parchment paper or newspaper. Use a sifter to dust the tops with powdered sugar.
- Spread a semi-thick layer of raspberry jam on the bottom halves of the cookies, leaving about ½ inch around the edges. Place the powdered sugar halves on top of the jam and press gently to seal. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to a week. Cookies will soften as they set.
- Note: If you'd like to do this ahead of time, you can make the dough and freeze or refrigerate until ready to use. Or, you can cut out and bake the cookies then store them for several days before filling.
Recipe adapted from Gluten Free On A Shoe String
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