Linzer augen (linzer eyes): jamarchist holiday cookies
Linzer Augen Recipe
1 cup toasted & skinned hazelnuts 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4-1/2 cup red currant preserves or raspberry confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Finely grind the hazelnuts in a food processor. Add a little sugar to prevent it becoming too pasty.
In a large bowl, beat the butter on high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy and pale. Add the granulated sugar and continue beating until combined. Add the egg yolk, lemon zest, vanilla and almond extracts and beat until blended.
Sift together the flour, cinnamon and salt into another bowl. Add the ground hazelnuts and stir to blend.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed or stir with a spoon until blended. The dough should be soft.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide the dough into four equal portions and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove 1 portion of the dough at a time from the refrigerator. Place dough between 2 sheets of floured waxed or parchment paper and roll out 1/4 inch thick.
Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut out the cookies. Using a tiny cookie cutter, bottle cap or other tiny shape, cut a hole in the center of only half of the cookies.
Repeat with the remaining portions of dough. If the dough becomes sticky, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 to 20 minutes before rolling out.
Using a thin spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are firm to the touch, about 12 minutes.
Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks.
To assemble, spread the solid cookies with a thin layer (about 1 tsp.) of preserves. Top the solid cookies with the cutout cookies.
Dust the cookies generously with confectioners’ sugar and fill the hole with more jam. Then eat them and let the revolution begin in your mouth.