Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy (Belated) Heart Day!

I’ve retired the KitchenAid mixer since it was on overdrive in December baking goodies for book club meetings and cookie swaps. Mr. Bliss and I agreed it was time to lay off the baked goodies, with the wedding approaching and our mode of winter hibernation in full swing. But I just couldn’t resist making Valentine’s Day treats to share with coworkers and friends.

Linzer Cookie Recipe courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa

3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup good raspberry preserves
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

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 hole from the middle of each round with a heart- or spade-shaped 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 tops of the cut-out cookies with confectioners' sugar and press the flat sides together, with the raspberry preserves in the middle and the confectioners' sugar on the top.

Step 1: Bake shortbread cookies. When you are cutting out the cookies, make sure you cut out all the cookies with the same cookie cutter and then use a smaller cutter to cut the middles out of half of them.

Step 2: Pick the preserves of your choice for the filling. After the first few cookies, I found it MUCH easier to scoop the preserves into a bowl first, making the “spreading of the jam” part of the cookie production go much faster.

Step 3: Spread the preserves on the whole cookies.

Step 4: Sift powdered sugar onto the cut-out cookies and press them onto the cookies that have preserves on them.

Step 5: Eat the crispy results and pack the rest in individual bags, tie with ribbon, add Valentines with personal messages, and voila!

No comments: