Linzer cookies are similar to thumbprint cookies. A beautiful shortbread is filled with cream cheese filling and apricot jam, then lightly dusted with powdered sugar for a sweet treat.
Cream together 1/4 cup butter with 1/2 cup Crisco shortening and 1/2 cup sugar for about 2 minutes with a mixer.
Add 1/4 cup of sour cream, 1 egg yolks, 1 egg, and the baking soda+vinegar mixture and mix until combined.
Now add 1 cups sifted flour and mix until it comes together. Once the flour is mixed in, add 3/4 cup almond flour and mix it in by hand. If the dough still sticks to your hands mix in up to 1/4 cup more of all-purpose flour. Split the dough into 4 equal pieces and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling.
The dough is somewhat hard to roll out in a traditional way, so we will need to use special techniques to keep the cookies from sticking to the rolling pin, falling apart, or losing shape as you transfer them from the rolling surface to the baking sheet.
To roll the dough out use two large pieces of parchment paper. Now put them inside your jelly roll baking sheet and bend the sides. This will mark how far you need to roll out the dough.
Remove the sheets and place the dough in the middle of the first sheet. Flatten it into a disk. Top it with the second piece of parchment paper and roll the dough to about 3/8" thickness (3/8" is a bit thinner then 1/4") making it the shape of the inside of the baking sheet and trying to stay within the marked lines. The parchment paper keeps the rolling pin from sticking to the dough.
Use a 2 inch round scalloped cookie cutter to cut out round cookie shapes spacing the cutouts about 1/4" of an inch between each cookie. The cookies don't expand much, so they will be ok. Now carefully remove the dough excess around the cutouts. Transfer the parchment with the cutouts to the baking sheet.
To make holes in the top cookies, use a smaller round object to cut out the hole in the middle of each cookie. As you bake, make sure you get equal quantities of both the bases and the tops with the holes in the middle.
Bake in the middle rack for about 7 minutes, or until barely golden in color, watch them closely as they burn very quickly. Setting a timer is the best way to keep them consistent color and not burn them.
Remove from the oven, peel cookies off the parchment paper and allow to cool. Use the parchment paper again to roll out the remaining dough and bake the rest of the cookies.
Whip 1 stick butter and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract for about 5 minutes or until very white/pale in color and increased in volume.
With a pastry bag: Fill two pastry bags with a 1/4 inch round tip each. Fill one bag with cream cheese buttercream and the other one with apricot jam.
Make a thick ring with the buttercream on the solid half of the cookie, leaving space in the middle for the apricot jam. Top with the other half of the cookie that has a hole in the middle. Now carefully pipe some apricot jam in the middle of the hole.
With a spoon: You can also use just a plain butter knife and a spoon to spread cream cheese buttercream and apricot jam on each half of the cookie, but it does take longer than using a pastry bag. Once you spread the buttercream on the bottom half, top with the cookie that has the hole and press together. Now drop a dollop of the apricot jam into the hole.
Dust the cookies with powdered sugar before transferring cookies to an airtight container. Cookies should be refrigerated for at least 24 hours before consuming, this will bind the two cookie halves together and make them easier to hold and eat.
Cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. To thaw, transfer to fridge and leave there until no longer frozen.
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