Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pecan Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Filling

Mai had asked a few of us to bake a few items for her wedding reception.  My intial reaction was "Pink! Hearts! Gliltter! More hearts!" and I scoured the web for anything and everything heart shaped, glittery, and edible.  I had a feeling Martha Stewart's website might have something appropriate.  About 45 minutes of drooling through all kinds of heart-shaped treats, I found some cookies that seemed perfect! Well, by some I mean pretty much every v-day cookie recipe.  Okay but I had to narrow it down and I liked these ones best. Especially because I had just picked up some fresh jam from the farmer's market!

The recipe seemed easy enough - but you know when that happens - there is always a catch! I made my dough as the recipe read.  However, something happened to my dough.  It was too crumbly.  Gretchen suggested that it was lacking moisture, so she added a bit of ice water to it.  

Gretchen saved the day! 

Rolling out the dough


The cookies cooling

Eeeee hearts! With raspberry filling!

So many hearts! And with some powdered sugar on top!

Pecan Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Filling, recipe adapted from Martha

Her recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies, mine made about 40 small cookies because I used a smaller cookie cutter

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted
  • 2 tbsp. confectioner's sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam, strained
Special Tools
  • 2-inch heart shaped cookie cutter*
  • 1/2 inch heart shaped cookie cutter*
*Note: Martha's original recipe called for a 2-inch fluted square cookie cutter and a 1/2 inch heart cookie cutter.  Never mind an infuriating search at Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma (No, really, WHY don't kitchen stores in NYC carry EVERY SINGLE COOKIE CUTTER KNOWN TO HUMAN KIND? The AUDACITY. Really.) for said fluted square cookie cutter, I settled on a 2-inch heart cookie cutter, and we found a circle shaped cutter to make a little circle inside the heart.  Innovation! 

Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl, set aside.  Pulse pecans, confectioners' sugar, salt and cinnamon in a food processor until finely ground (but not wet); transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. I don't have one, yet...so I just used a regular mixer. 

Add butter and granulated sugar; mix on medium speed until fluffy.  Mix in vanilla and egg.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture and mix until combined.  Split the dough in half and shape into disks.  Wrap the discs in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.  

Once your dough is ready to go, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8-inch thick and then refrigerate for 20 minutes. [Note that I had some trays in the freezer, and some in the refrigerator, as I was sharing oven space for Dessert Fest 2011 and needed to wait for the oven to get to 375.  I baked the ones in the fridge right away, and then while those baked, I moved the ones from the freezer into the fridge to "thaw".]

Cut out the "larger" shape with your bigger cookie cutter (whether it is a fluted square, a circle, or a heart).  Cut out the centers of half of the big shapes with the smaller heart.  You can re-roll your scraps.  

Space 2 inches apart on parchment (or silpat) lined baking sheets.  Bake until pale golden, about 8 - 10 minutes.  Transfer to racks to cool. 

Heat the jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced and thickened, about 7 minutes.  Let the jam cool down.  

Sprinkle the cut out cookies with confectioners' sugar.  Spread jam onto the uncut squares (or hearts, whatever your shape might be), top with the cut out ones.

You can store these in an airtight container for up to 2 days.  Though, let's be honest, they won't make it past day 1 anyways! 

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