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Recipe Sun Feb 11 2007
Valentine's Day is upon us, and instead of unloading lots of dough on long-stemmed roses or candlelight dinners, why not whip up some dough and make these cookies for your sweetheart? Though they demand a bit more labor than your average cookie, the extra work definitely pays off. The final product is worthy of any good bakery. You can fill these with any flavor jam, but for a cookie that replicates something you might find in a certain Swedish Bakery, I recommend using lingonberry preserves. They are tart, but not too tart, and sweet, but not too sweet, and can be obtained from any of the various Swedish food shops in Andersonville, including Wikstrom's and Erickson's. At about five bucks a jar, plus a few more for flour, sugar, butter, and pecans, this recipe makes for a perfect Valentine's Day treat that looks like (but doesn't cost) a million bucks.
Pecan Linzer Cookies with Lingonberry Filling
(adapted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or mix of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc.)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup lingonberry preserves, strained
1. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl; set aside. Pulse pecans, confectionners' sugar, salt and spices in a food processor (or blender) until finely ground (but not wet).
2. Put butter and sugar into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffly. Add pecan mixture; then mix in vanilla and egg. Reduce mixer to low speed and add flour; mix until combined. Halve dough; shape into disks. Wrap in plastic and refridgerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out each disk of dough separately on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out cookies with heart-shaped cutters. Half of the cookies should be solid hearts (these will form the bottom half of the sandwich) while the other half should have a smaller heart cut out of the center (these will form the top half.) Space the cookies an inch or two apart on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and bake until golden brown, 8 minutes or so. Let cool.
4. Heat lingonberry preserves in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced and thickened, about 7 minutes. Strain out any solids. Let cool.
5. Before making sandwiches, stir the thickened preserves so that they are smooth enough to spread. Place cutout cookies (top halves) on a plate and dust with powdered sugar. Spread bottom halves with preserves and top with top halves. Give to someone you love and enjoy.