The other day I was at Roche Brothers in the cheese section, when I spied a jar of jam.
I was immediately intrigued, as my love of the raspberry-rose (and often lychee) combination is well-known. I experienced momentary confusion as to whether it was quince and apple jam (due to the brand name) or raspberry-rose jam, but determined that it was the latter and decided to try it.
It’s really excellent– the raspberry is nice and bright, and the rose comes through just enough to avoid being overly floral. But what to do with it? It seemed a waste to spread it on toast, and I worried that the delicate flavor would be lost if I used it in a layer cake. But then I saw these lovely linzer cookies from Brina’s Bites and knew exactly what to do with it.
Brina had added some spices– cinnamon and cloves– to a basic recipe (I think it may be from Ina Garten), but I took them out again to bring the recipe back to its roots. Like her, I opted to use a nut-free recipe, not only because I wanted to be able to share these with all of my friends (some of whom have allergies) but because I wanted the jam to be the star. Also because I wanted these to be as pantry-friendly as possible, and what’s more pantry-friendly than a basic shortbread?
The tartness of the jam contrasts nicely with the buttery cookie, and the floral notes elevate the whole thing, taking it from a basic dessert to a fantastic one.
Raspberry-Rose Linzer Cookies
- 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups, or 3/4 lb.) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Raspberry-rose jam
1. Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir into butter-sugar mixture until a soft dough forms.
3. Flatten dough into a 3/4″ thick disk and chill for about an hour.
4. Roll dough to 1/4″ thick. Cut out 2″ rounds, then use a mini-cutter to cut out the centers of half of the cookies.
5. Place on a parchment-lined sheet and chill for at least 20 minutes. This will help the cookies keep their shapes in the oven.
6. Bake chilled cookies at 350 degrees F for 12-18 minutes, until pale golden.
7. Cool cookies completely. Once cool, separate the cookies with cutout centers and dust generously with powdered sugar. Spread about 1 tsp. of jam on each of the remaining cookies and make sandwiches with the sugared tops. You can store these at room temperature or in the fridge if you want your jam to firm up a bit more. Just be aware that if you store them in a sealed container the cookies will soften from the moisture in the jam. I like them that way, but if you want to keep them crisp, store them uncovered.
NOTE: For some reason my powdered sugar didn’t really stick to my cookies when I first dusted them– when I picked them up the sugar just fell off. Once I’d stored the sandwiched cookies in the fridge overnight, however, the sugar stuck just fine. Keep that in mind if you have sugaring issues.
Another possible solution could be to dust the tops while still warm and then re-dust them once they’ve cooled completely, like one does with Mexican Wedding Cookies.