Linzer Four Ways

I have always been fascinated by the “Linzer” confection.  Raspberry jam in a nut crust, what’s not to love?  I have read many recipes for these confections but with varying ratios of nuts and spice.  So this week, I decided to try out recipes for “Linzer” confections from my most trusted baking experts.

First up, was a Linzer tart from the Cook’s Illustration Cookbook.  The crust has a combination of hazelnuts and almonds (2:1 ratio) with cinnamon and allspice mixed in.

imageimage  I’m not very good at cutting out strips of dough to make a lattice and so I prefer cutting out shapes with fun cookie cutters and place them loosely on top.  This was very good – I loved the spice with jam and the crust is denser than you would expect for a tart.

From Milk and Cookies by Tina Casaceli (based on recipes from the bakery Milk and Cookies in NYC), the Linzer is done as a bar:

imageimage  The crust uses almond and hazelnut flour instead of ground nuts.  There is only cinnamon in this crust and was the sweetest of all the ones I tried.  It also had the most butter out of all of them (1 pound!!)

From the Williams Sonoma Cookies, this is a Linzer cookie:

image  The crust has ground hazelnuts with almond extract instead of adding ground almonds.  I found this much easier to make than the tart or the bars.  The raspberry jam was not baked in and spread on fresh between the cookies, so made the cookies a bit soggy when spread on too early.

And finally,”Spiced Brown Butter Linzer Cookies”  from the December 2015 issue of Bon Appetite Magazine.

image  There are no nuts in the crust but it is spiced with cardamon, cloves, and black pepper.  The crust was very crumbly and hard to roll out as is.  So, I resorted to my usual trick – adding a 1/4 cup of Kalua to bind things together.  🙂  The jam is also spread fresh between the cookies and the tartness really balanced well with the spiced butter cookie.

So, there you have it.  Linzer confections four ways – what a treat!

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