Thursday, December 07, 2006
Cookie Exchange - Raspberry Linzer Bars
Every year my friend throws a cookie exchange party. It is the most fun ever. She makes a yummy lunch, I'm partial to the punch and salad she makes, and we visit and eat. Everyone brings a few dozen cookies and we take one of two of each cookie. I leave with a beautiful platter of cookies. She also makes a recipe book with all the cookie recipes in it to give to each guest. I'm so sad I can't go this year (Josh and I are going to Greenwich for our anniversary), but asked her if I could send some cookies so I could get some cookies!
I decided to make these this year. I haven't had time to try this version so I hope they turn out ok. The recipe intrigues me because: 1. It's an Austrian pastry and apparently they use hard boiled egg yolks in their pastries 2. I imagine the addition of lemon and orange zest makes them so flavorful 3. The ground up almonds, hummm 4. They are so pretty.
Raspberry Linzer Bars
makes 4 1/2 dozen
4 oz. whole almonds (3/4 cup), with skins
2 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. ground cloves
2 sticks butter, slightly softened
1/2 t. freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 t. freshly grated orange zest
1/3 c. sugar
4 hard boiled egg yolks, finely sieved
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. raspberry preserves (with seeds makes the prettiest, but seedless can be used)
1. Pulse almonds and 1/4 c. flour in food processor with steel blade until mixture is fine meal. Add remaining flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and cloves and pulse.
2. Cream butter and zests until smooth. Add sugar, blend in the sieved yolks and vanilla, mixing just until blended.
3. Add 1 c. flour mixture. Using wooden spoon, work in the remaining flour 1/3 at a time. Divide dough into thirds and wrap each piece in plastic, chill for 30 minutes.
4. Heat oven to 325. Lightly butter cookie sheets.
5. Divide dough into six pieces. Combine flour and powdered sugar and stir to blend. Roll pasty back and forth until it forms a cylinder 10 " long and 3/4 " wide. Repeat with remaining pieces.
6. Place each cylinder on a cookie sheet and flatten with the heel of your hand until it is approximately 1 1/4" wide. Depress the center of the strip with the rounded handle of a kitchen knife or wooden spoon to form a trough running the entire length of the cylinder. Do not make the trough too deep. Hold the sides of the roll as you press to keep it from spreading too much. Each roll should measure 10" by 1 1/4".
7. Prick the inside of the trough with a fork. Using a dough scraper or thin-bladed knife, partially cut each strip on a slight angle, dividing it into eight 1-inch wide pieces. Do not cut all the way through.
8. Bake the strips for 10 min. Remove from oven, depress the centers gently with the handle of a wooden spoon, and fill with about 2 T. raspberry preserves, dropping the jam from the tip of a teaspoon. Do not overfill. Continue baking for 8-10 minutes longer, or until the preserves start to bubble and the bars are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Cut through each bar where there is an indentation. When cool enough to handle, transfer the cookies to cooling racks.