Happy Halloween everyone! I'm in the middle of watching 'Hocus Pocus' so I'm going to make this a quickie post. Well, I decided to bake the weekly poll's winner for Halloween night. Instead of the traditional round or heart-shaped linzer cookies, I made little pumpkins. Well ... they're not so little, but you get my point. Besides, these are so yummy, you wouldn't want them to be little anyway. The recipe is from Pierre Hermé, meaning it tastes fabulous! Rating: 4 out of 5.
Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Jam: Pierre Hermé - Desserts
- 2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons (10 ½ ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon finely ground blanched almonds (2 ½ ounces)
- 3 hard-boiled egg yolks, cooled to room temperature and pressed through a fine strainer
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- Pinch of double-acting baking powder
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- Raspberry jam, store-bought or home-made
- Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until creamy. With the mixer on medium-low speed, blend in the confectionar's sugar, almonds, egg yolks, cinnamon, and salt. Continue to mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary; mix in the rum. Whisk the baking powder into the flour and gradually add the dry ingredients to the bowl, mixing until the flour is incorporated. The dough will feel soft and look like the dough you'd use to make peanut-butter cookies.
- Gather the dough into a ball and divide it into thirds. Gently press each piece into a disk, and wrap the disks in plastic. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or for up to 2 days before rolling and baking.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and keep them close at hand. Have ready two cookie or biscuit cutters, one a fluted round cutter about 2 ¼ inches across, and the other a straight-sided round cutter with a 1 ¼-inch diameter. (You can use other size cutters, just try to find one cutter that's about half the size of the other). Work with a third of the dough at a time. Since this dough softens so quickly at room temperature, make sure you keep whatever dough you're not working with in the refrigerator.
- Dust a work surface with flour, dust the top of a piece of dough with flour, and roll the dough to a thickness of about ⅛ inch. Using the larger cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can; gather the scraps and chill them - they'll be fine for more cookies. Using an offset spatula, lift the cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pop the sheet into the refrigerator while you roll out and cut the remaining dough.
- Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Brush half the cookies with cold water. Now, using the smaller cookie cutter, cut out the centers of the other (not-moistened) cookies. (Gather the cut-out centers and add them to your scrap dough. When the scraps are well chilled, roll them out to make more cookies.) Lift the cut-out rings onto the full cookies and brush all of the sandwiches with a little egg wash. Bake the cookies for 15 to 18 minutes, or until they're golden and firm to the touch, rotating the pans top to bottom midway through the baking period. (The centers of my cookies started puffing up, so midway through baking I flattened them with the back of a small glass, a port or shot glass for instance.) Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer them carefully to cool.
- When the cookies are absolutely cool, fill their centers with raspberry jam. You can spoon the jam into the centers or pipe it through a pastry bag; either way, it's nice to give the jam a slightly domed top. If your jam is too runny, you can either boil it for a few minutes over direct heat or pour as much as you need into a large microwave-safe container - a Pyrex measuring cup is perfect for this job - and boil the jam in the microwave oven until it thickens sufficiently.
for the dough! And dark rum! Apparently Austrian pastry chefs use
hard-boiled egg yolks in their pastries.