Will and I love to stay in for Valentine's Day, and this year we made a delicious meal, complete with these Linzer Cookies for dessert. This recipe makes possibly the best cookie dough I've ever tasted with the hint of cinnamon and ground almonds that are mixed in. So. Good. You can find the recipe and its source at the bottom of this post!
Yield: About 2 dozen
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup (96g) slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 8 oz strawberry or raspberry jam, seedless if preferred (preferably freezer jam)
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder, set aside. In a food processor, pulse almonds with brown sugar until finely ground, set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and powdered sugar on low speed until combined, then increase to medium-high and whip until creamy, about 1 minute. Mix in egg, then blend in vanilla and almond extract. Mix in almond mixture, then with mixer set on low speed, slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Form mixture into a ball and drop onto a sheet of plastic wrap, then flatten into a 6-inch round disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dust work surface with flour, cut disk in half and then evenly roll out each portion into 1/8 to 1/6-inch thickness. Cut into heart shapes using a cookie cutter, then using a smaller heart shape cookie cutter, cut smaller hearts into the centers of half of the hearts (I actually used a Linzer Cookie cutter that you can get at Michael's). Carefully transfer to Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets (you can run a sharp knife or pastry scaper under cookies to help lift them if needed. Also, chill dough that's not currently being rolled or baked, the hearts hold their shape better when cold), spacing cookies 1-inch apart. Bake in preheated oven 10 - 12 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Spread strawberry jam over whole hearts, dust cookies with heart cut centers with powdered sugar then place those cookies over over tops. Store in an airtight container.
With Christmas right around the corner, I figured it was about time for a more Christmas-y recipe. When I came across this amazing cranberry white chocolate recipe, I looked no further.
I ended up making my biscotti a little thicker, making it a little softer than normal biscotti -- almost like shortbread. Dipped in coffee, this stuff is perfection.
You can find the recipe at the bottom of this post!
Original recipe can be found here.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 12 ounces white chocolate chips, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift together flour and baking powder and set aside. In a mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest and salt. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the cranberries and 1/2 of the white chocolate chips.
- Form the dough into a 12-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
- Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti again, for 15 minutes, until they are golden brown. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.
- Melt the remaining white chocolate chips in a double boiler. Dip the bottom of the biscotti in the white chocolate and let chocolate cool and set.
For my mom's birthday weekend my husband, brother and I made my mom a birthday dinner complete with these absolutely delicious pear tarts. We served them with some seriously delicious vanilla Blue Bell ice cream, and they were to die for!
Original recipe found here.
For The Pastry Dough:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 2 sticks (8oz) unsalted butter, kept very cold and cut into small chunks
- 2 1/2 tablespoons iced water
For The Filling:
- 2 1/4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/4 ounces sugar
- 1 large egg
- 6 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- I small tub ready made vanilla pudding (3 1/2 ounces)
- 2 large ripe pears
- 2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling on top
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 6 four inch tart shells.
- In a bowl combine the flour, salt and cold butter chunks. Rub them together with your fingertips until most of it has been squashed. You still want to keep large chunks as this helps with the pastry layers.
- Add the iced water and gently mix together with your hand until a soft ball forms.
- Wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
- Using a stand mixer, beat the soft butter and sugar together until light.
- Add the egg and vanilla, beat until it's all well mixed together.
- Fold the flour into the mixture and then the vanilla pudding. Set aside.
- Once the pastry dough has rested, roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick and cut out circles large enough to fill 6 four inch tart shells.
- Place the dough into the tart molds and trim to fit. Transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes to rest.
- Blind bake the pastry shells using parchment paper and dry beans in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Once the shells have cooled slightly, fill them with about a heaped tablespoon of the filling mixture.
- Peel the pears and slice into four wedges around the core.
- Take each wedge of pear and slice it again thinly. This will be the pear slices which will go on top of your filling mixture.
- Once you slice the pear thinly, push it down with your fingers to create the fanned look, place your knife below the slices and scoop them up and place them on top of the filling mixture.
- Gently push the down slightly until some of the mixture comes up over the sides of the pear. This will give the tarts the look of the sponge top around the edges.
- Sprinkle the tarts liberally with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees F.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 55 minutes and the tops start to get golden brown in color.
- Once the tarts have cooled, combine the water and sugar in a small pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes until it thickens into a syrup and using a pastry brush, carefully glaze the tops of the tarts to get a nice shine.