Cookies top my list of homemade holiday gifts for family and friends. Over the last few days I’ve created a gluten-free Linzer Thumbprint Cookie from the dough of one of the world’s great desserts, the Linzertorte. That their crisp, nutty texture, buttery and lightly-spiced flavor gets even better after a couple of days, makes these a perfect cookie for mailing.
Yesterday, Paul and I wrapped and mailed a number of cookie packages. Tomorrow I’ll make another batch of dough as we’ve got a few more cookies to package and mail and local gifts to give.
A picture’s worth a thousand words
I wanted to get this recipe to you asap, as you’re probably in the midst of holiday baking yourself. Although I’m offering some tips for cookie success in this post, it’s the photos doing most of the talking.
Tips for cookie success
- Use room temperature butter, sweetener and eggs.
- For gluten-free Linzer Thumbprint Cookies, use cookie crumbs from gluten-free cookies as well as gluten-free flour. (BTW, cookie crumbs are made from finely grinding cookies in a food processor or blender.)
- Be sure to scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl a few times so that all the butter and honey get evenly incorporated into the dough.
- For the most even top and bottom browning, bake your cookies on either an insulated baking sheet or on a double pan (two rimmed pans sitting on top of one another so there is a layer of air between them).
- Depending upon the size and efficiency of your oven, bake one pan of cookies at a time.
- Lightly sprinkle the cookies with powdered sugar so the raspberry jam centers show through.
If you’d prefer to make a Linzertorte with this recipe instead of cookies, refer to pages 110-111 in my book Fruit-Sweet & Sugar-Free for shaping, filling and baking information.
Inspired from a recipe in my cookbook, Fruit-Sweet & Sugar-Free
Be creative with the cookie crumbs. When I used to make lots of holiday Linzertortes, I prepared crumbs from cookies as varied as carob and chocolate chip, ginger snaps, oatmeal and spice. And if there weren’t enough cookies to grind into crumbs, I even ground up granola a few times—after first removing the hard raisins. Based on the variety of cookies you use, the flavor of your Linzer Thumbprint Cookies will vary from batch to batch.
Gluten-free or not it’s up to you and easy to do. Substitute Pamela’s Gluten-Free Pancake and Baking Mix for the wheat flours in the recipe. Be sure the cookie crumbs are from gluten-free cookies as well.
Makes 3 ½ dozen cookies (or 1 10” Linzertorte)
Active time: 45 minutes
Total time: 90 minutes
Cookie Dough (or Linzertorte dough):
1¼ cups whole almonds
7 ounces (14 tablespoons) butter
½ cup mild honey
1 whole egg, 1 yolk
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Grated lemon zest from half a lemon
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup finely ground cookie crumbs
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
¾ cup white cake flour
OR 1½ cups Pamela’s Gluten-Free Pancake and Baking Mix*
Filling: 1 cup raspberry jam or fruit spread
Garnish: Organic powdered sugar
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Toast the almonds for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and remove the almonds to cool for about 10 minutes. Process the almonds in a food processor, using a pulsing action until they are very finely ground. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, reduce the speed to low while you add in the remaining dough ingredients.
With a food processor, stop the machine and add the remaining dough ingredients, then process till mixed.
Form the dough into scant 2 tablespoon balls. (I use a #40 scoop.) Place them close together on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat. Place the balls of dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking pans. Flatten each ball to 1/3-inch thick.
Bake them on insulated or double-panned cookie sheets until golden brown, approximately 18 minutes, turning the pan 180 degrees after 13 minutes.
Let the cookies cool before removing them from the pan.
*Note: I usually like Bob’s Red Mill products. I tried their gluten-free baking mix in my first batch of these Linzer Thumbprint Cookies. However, we didn’t like the taste it imparted to the dough or the cookies.
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