Saturday, February 13, 2016

Linzer Cookies

I LOVE Valentine's Day and these Linzer Cookies are a perfect treat.  They require just a few ingredients and it's a great project to do with your kids.  They are egg free and can easily be made vegan by replacing the butter with Earth Balance Vegan Sticks.  If you are using butter I recommend using a European style of butter which contains more butterfat.  I used the Barefoot Contessa's recipe.  I love this women.  She has inspired so many of my recipes.  Because I have watched a countless amount of her shows and made a ton of her recipes, she really gave me the courage to start gluten free cooking and baking.  I hope I can meet her one day.  It would be a dream come true.  Anyways, it's a super simple recipe and I think it makes a fantastic Valentine's dessert.  Both my kids claimed to not like raspberry preserves but gobbled them up after they were made.  If your kids really don't like preserves, you can use Nutella or chocolate.  You can use a heart shaped cookie cutter or a round cookie cutter.  If you don't have either, you can use a drinking glass as a round cookie cutter.  I cut the small heart in the center free hand just using a paring knife.  I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day filled with love and enjoy these cookies! 

As always with gluten free dough, make sure it's really cold and I use a spatula to help pick up the shapes after they are cut.  

You can use any shape you like.  I personally like the heart shape with the fluted edges.

La Recette:

-3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature (substitute Earth Balance for vegan version)
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-3 1/2 cups gluten free baking mix (if you don't need gf sub AP* flour)
-1/4 salt
-3/4 cup raspberry preserves (I really like Bonne Maman)
-Confectioners' sugar for dusting

-Electric mixer or large bowl with mixing spoons
-Medium sized bowl
-Measuring spoons and cups
-Rolling pin
-Parchment paper
-Plastic wrap
-Baking sheets
-Cookie cutter of your choosing
-Paring knife
-Small fine mesh strainer for dusting

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
-In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar until just combined.
-Next, add in the vanilla.
-In a medium bowl, mix the gluten free baking mix and salt together.  Then add the mix to the butter and sugar mixture.
-Mix on low until the dough starts to come together.
-Spread two pieces of plastic wrap onto the counter.  Dump the dough onto the plastic wrap and divide equally.   Shape both into a flat disks.  Cover the dough with the plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.  
-When you are ready to roll the dough, place parchment paper on the counter.  Unwrap the dough disks and put onto the parchment.  Roll one disk out at a time.  Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough.  Let the dough sit for 5 minutes at room temp.  Gluten free dough is very delicate.  It will look like it's cracking at the edges but roll it out slowly and you'll get to the desired thickness.  You'll roll out the dough between to two pieces of paper - much easier with gluten free.
-Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick.  Using the cookie cutter, cut out the shapes and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.   Space them about 2 inches apart.  On half of the cookies cut out a smaller heart shape. 
-Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes.  
-Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cookies brown slightly.
-Cool to room temperature and spread raspberry preserves on the flat side of each solid cookie.
-Dust the top of the cut out cookie with confectioners' sugar.  
-Press the cookies together so the preserves are in the middle and the confectioners' sugar is on top.

*All purpose
**It depends on your cookie cutter size, but my medium (2-2.5 inch diameter) heart cutter makes 20-24 cookies. 
***Once you cut out the cookie shapes, you can gather the dough scraps and re-roll the dough.  Only do this once and it may need to be refrigerated again before rolling.  

-If you need some Valentine song suggestions, try adding these to your playlist.  Some of my favorites and fun to listen to while you're baking ;)

1.  Sugar, Maroon 5
2.  Juntos, Juanes
3.  Chet Baker, Vanessa Paradis
4.  My Funny Valentine, Chaka Khan
5.  I Walk the Line, Johnny Cash

One of my funny Valentines...

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