Apricot linzer stars
Darcy and I made these last night for our friend Alex’s cookie exchange party — bring a dozen of one variety, take a dozen assorted. Below recipe is from this month’s Bon Appetit, with a few small changes. We swapped apricot jam for the original raspberry and skipped the step of boiling jam with water and letting cool — otherwise would have been late for the party! On that note, you can cool dough for less then two hours — an hour in freezer is plenty. Best of all, we skipped the step of rolling cutout stars back into dough. Darcy’s far better idea is to dust the little stars with powdered sugar – no jam – and serve alongside the linzer stars.
Makes 20 jam-filled cookies + bunch of tiny stars for garnish
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups slivered almonds
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
2 teaspoons dark rum
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup apricot jam
Powdered sugar (for dusting)
a 2-inch star cookie cutter; a 1/2-inch star cookie cutter
Pulse flour, almonds, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor until almonds are finely ground (no larger than poppy seeds).
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg; beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Beat in rum and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add dry ingredients. Beat dough just to blend; gently knead if necessary to form a ball.
Divide dough in half. Place each half between sheets of waxed paper. Working with 1 piece at a time, flatten dough into a disk; roll dough, occasionally lifting paper on both sides for easier rolling, until 1/8 inches thick. Chill dough in paper until very firm, at least 2 hours.
Arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper.
Working with 1 dough disk at a time, remove top sheet of paper and, using 2-inch star cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Transfer to baking sheets, placing 1/2 inch apart.
Using 1/2-inch star cookie cutter, cut out a star from the center of half the cookies. Save little cutout stars.
Working in batches, bake large stars (cutout or not) until light golden brown, dry, and just firm to the touch, about 10 minutes. (Cookies will firm up as they cool.) Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.
Now lay little stars on waxed paper-lined baking sheers and bake for about 7-8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.
Arrange whole large stars flat side up. Spoon 1 teaspoon cooled jam in the center of each, dabbing slightly to spread.
Now arrange cookies with cutouts flat side down on a sheet of waxed paper and dust with powdered sugar. Repeat with little stars.
Assemble large stars, lining up star points and allowing jam to push up slightly through center. Serve with little stars.