I remember vividly tasting those jam filled cookies in one of the Christmas German Markets, many many years ago. Amongst all the trinkets, German sausages, Merry wheels, Christmas stolens and palmistry huts, those snow dusted cookies stood out of the crowd, in that carnival. That was a good 12 years ago, or perhaps more. I did not know what they are called back then, neither did I dissect the taste of what went in the cookies so-I-could-recreate-it-at-home habit unlike nowadays. But what happened next was, I would eagerly wait for the troop to come back, year after year, so I could immerse in those ‘carnival’ cookies again.
A German medical student did her attachment in my unit, and after much mentoring and the new-found friendship, she also came to know about my passion for baking. Before she left, she gave me a handmade booklet of German recipes as a thank-you note, and the booklet remains one of the most treasured gift I ever received thus far. Of course by this point, I already knew those jam-filled cookies are called Linzer cookies but thanks to Anke, I finally managed to get my hands on an authentic homemade Linzer recipe, just like how her 90-year-old Grandma would make at home, Christmas after Christmas, without fail.
I am not one to wait for festive season just to have cookies, and judging by the love for Cookies that my daughter demonstrates so far, those Linzer were made in haste and the only slight adaptation I made to Anke’s original recipe was to use whole wheat flour. You’d think it was my deliberate healthier route, but no, truth is, surprise surprise, I just ran out plain flour! With the mixing already running with butter and brown sugar, and eggs all set on the counter, I decided against yet another trip to the grocery store! It was really a blessing in disguise, as the cookies turned out gorgeously delicious and next time, I sure will use more whole wheat for my bakes.
1. Cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy and almost pale.
2. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract.
3. Gradually add in the combined almond and whole wheat flours, cinnamon,allspice powder,and salt.
4. Remove from mixer and using clean hands, forma dough. If the dough is too soft to be rolled, keep in the fridge for interim 30 minutes.
5. Roll the dough onto 1/6 thickness circle. Cut out the cookie using Linzer cookie cutter ( where there is a premade cut-out shapes in the middle). Otherwise cut out the middle using a smaller cookie cutter of various shape. The idea is to sandwich both cookies together and the ‘window’ would allow jam in the middle to be visible.
6. Bake in preheated oven of 175C for 13-15 minutes or until the cookies are almost golden.
7. Cool the cookies on the rack.
8.Assemble the cookies just prior to serving. Sandwich 2 cookies with small amount of jam filling and dust the cookies with some powdered sugar.