Here's where to find most of these Linzer beasts—in my belly.
It was a mistake to think I could make these in advance and save them for Sam, my Valentine.
To be honest, this was more a Valentine for myself, because there is nothing I love more than Linzer.
First mentioned in 1653, the sandy, nutty base and jeweled filling have become a much loved classic worldwide. And in my home. Any iteration is welcomed. Give us your modestly priced Migros version, it will be gobbled.
When it comes to homemade, for me the most important part is getting a nice crumbly, nutty dough with lots of flavour. This is achieved by using lots of ground nuts and pre-toasting them. However, it does make for a bit of a finicky dough for rolling—tips below.
This recipe is meant to be a base for making different Linzer treats. Use the dough to line tart pans or make sandwich cookies.
It makes enough dough for one rectangular tart and a menagerie of jammy beasts. Or one really big tart. Or just cookies. Or several small tarts. Whatever strikes your fancy.
200 g ground nuts, toasted and cooled
200 g flour
cinnamon and salt
200 g butter, softened
150 g sugar
the zest of one lemon
1 egg and 1 yolk
jam to fill (preferably raspberry)
In a large bowl whisk together the ground nuts, flour, cinnamon, and salt.
Beat the butter until smooth, then add the sugar and lemon zest and beat again until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg and additional yolk.
Fold in the dry ingredients.
Press the dough into two discs, then wrap in plastic.
Refrigerate for at least an hour.
When you are ready to roll and bake
Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F / gas mark 4
Roll out your dough—tips below.
Cut out desired shapes, or fit into tart forms.
For tarts: spread with jam, then arrange cut out animals on top.
For cookies: spread the base cookies with a blob of jam, then put the lid on top so the jam shows through.
Bake 12-15 minutes for cookies, 20-25 minutes for small tarts, 40-45 minutes for larger tarts. The jam should bubble and you should be able to smell the buttery nuts.
If you toast the nuts, make sure they are cooled before you use them so they don't melt the butter.
Tips for rolling:
Make sure the dough has been sufficiently cooled.
Use flour, or roll out between two sheets of parchment or wax paper.
If you are making a tart base, roll it in parts and press it into the tart form.
Dip your cookie cutters in flour before cutting out the dough.
If you don't have a small heart cutter, you can easily cut this out by hand.