Strawberry Linzer Valentines

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By popular demand…They’re pretty and tasty, and, if you use a heart shaped cookie cutter they make an excellent edible valentine. The tender, buttery-crisp-sweetness paired with your favorite jam is truly a match made in heaven! This is my take on an ancient  Austrian tradition, named after the town of Linz. Here I’ve used cashews, but you can use most nuts you may already have on hand in their place, such as almonds. My favorite store bought preserves are from St Dalfour, made without refined sugar.

Strawberry Linzer Cookies

Makes 15 medium cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup softened butter

½ cup maple crystals

1-teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup unbleached white all-purpose flour

¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour

¼ cup arrowroot

1 cup unsalted cashews, finely ground

1-10oz. jar strawberry preserves

¼ cup organic powdered sugar (for garnish)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Line two baking sheets with a silpat or parchment.

  1. In a large bowl, combine butter and maple crystals together and using a hand mixer, beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract.
  2. Whisk together the flours, including arrowroot in a medium bowl. Slowly sift the flour mixture into the butter mixture and continue beating until well combined. Add the cashews and continue to mix until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator. (No longer than 20 minutes or it will become too hard to work with.)
  3. Divide the dough in half on a lightly floured parchment sheet. Roll the dough to about ½ inch thick. Cut dough with cookie cutters. You will cut out the cookies and then, using a smaller cutter, cut half the total amount of the cookies. Make the second cut on top of the baking sheet so that it doesn’t stick. Repeat until all dough is used.
  4. Place the cookies on the baking sheet. Bake for 6-7 minutes and rotate pans. Continue baking until the edges are lightly golden. Remove and allow to cool on racks.
  5. When cool, take the whole cookie (bottom of the sandwich) and gently spread about 1 T preserves in the center. Press down a cutout cookie to fit over top so there is a “jam window”. Continue until all cookies are matched.
  6. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.

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