With Christmas quickly approaching, I thought it relevant to bake some Christmas inspired cookies. With Linzer cookies being so popular around this time of year, I decided to try them out for myself. I’m not often one to post holiday inspired recipes, I have a few here and there on my site, but I don’t do it often. I’m not sure why, though; I feel it’s something everyone does and for some reason, I’m adamantly opposed to doing things as everyone else is doing. But alas, when I look at the big picture I do it more often than I realize and here I am doing it now. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, though- just a pet peeve of mine; a strange, contradictory one, I will admit.
Linzer cookies are probably one of my favorite cookies to look at; their shapes with the colorful jam exposed, the dusting of sugar that brings thoughts of snow. While I do love the original Linzer cookie, I also love to experiment, which I did do with these. Instead of using cinnamon I used cardamom, and the lemon and cinnamon went into the jam which is made using persimmon(raspberry is commonly used). The perfect cookie to get you into the holiday spirit, and entertaining to make.
I chose persimmon as the jam because I felt it fit the season more accurately than raspberry; they are in fact, in season during this time of year. I’ve met many people who do not even know what persimmons are, or what to do with them. I’ve honestly never seen them in the supermarket until recent years, or maybe I just wasn’t looking. I’m more familiar with the common persimmon, as those are the ones I grew up eating straight off the tree. I would throw rocks at the fruit so it would drop down whilst one of my siblings would catch them with a container before they hit the ground. We would then enjoy a few of them.
The persimmons in the supermarket are cultivated to be non-astringent, meaning the tannins residing in the fruit is lowered to an exceptional degree, so they can be eaten at any time without extreme bitterness. The wild ones here on the east coast of the United States are extremely astringent due to their high levels of tannin and unpleasantly bitter on the tongue when eaten unripe. I wanted to use wild persimmons for these cookies as they’re really sweet when ripe, with a unique flavor not found in the supermarket persimmons. Sadly, the tree is completely bare by the end of November as birds(and other wildlife)feast on the ripe ones that fall to the ground. But still, I am quite pleased with how the cookies turned out. They’re delicate but delicious!
CARDAMOM LINZER COOKIES WITH CINNAMON PERSIMMON JAM
2 cups almond flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, room temp.
2 large, ripe, persimmons
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1. In an electric standing mixer with whisks attached, add the butter, vanilla, and salt; beat on low speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula and add the powdered sugar and beat until just combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour, all-purpose flour, and cardamom. Add half the flour to the butter and mix on medium speed, scrape down the bowl once more. Add the egg, then add the remaining flour slowly. Once combined, scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal halves. Shape them into a rectangle and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate an hour or two until firm.
2. Once the dough is firm, flour a flat surface and roll out the dough until it’s a large rectangle(just don’t roll it too thin). Using a round, 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible and place them on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper, placing each cookie about 1 inch apart. Re-roll the scraps and continue to cut out as many cookies until there isn’t any dough left. The first half should make around 12-15 cookies. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350°F.
3. Repeat the rolling process with the remaining half of dough. Cut out an equal amount so all the cookies will be in pairs. Use a smaller round, 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to cut out the centers. Place the rings on another prepared baking sheet and place in the refrigerator.
4. Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes. The edges should be a light golden color when done. Leave on the pan to cool for three minutes and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
5. Wash, peel, and mash the ripe persimmons(it’s okay if it’s a bit chunky). Place them in a small saucepan along with the sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the mixture is somewhat thickened, stir often. Turn off the heat and stir in the cinnamon and lemon juice.
6. Once the jam has cooled(it should have thickened while it cooled), take a whole cookie and spread a thin layer of jam over it. Gently place one of the cookies with the center removed on top and fill with a little more jam. Repeat until all the cookies are assembled. Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar.