I officially hate making Linzer Cookies.
There I've said it. I feel better.... Dang, I just thought about making them again and lost it. Well, I gave it my best shot.
I nearly threw in the towel with these things. I was losing my religion (not that I have any to speak of at the moment) and my mood was threatening to send Kid #1 and 2 into therapy sooner rather than later. I remember in the middle of the process thinking that doing this and being this way really sucks at Christmas time.
The experience has kinda got me thinking about the Christmas traditions that we all seem to get so hung up about. I make a certain kind of cookie every year. Cappuccino Flats. You can find them here. They're awesome. I don't know why I only make them at Christmas but I do. It's become a tradition because somehow it just seems wrong to dip cookies in melted chocolate in the middle of the summer... but I could still totally do it. But then I can't stop there. I have to make all kinds of stupid cookies... try new ones (because repeating a recipe is like wearing the same underwear two days in a row for me or something), try making crackers, throwing in some gingerbread ('cause they go well with the lemon curd that I made, right - that actually makes sense)... then my students give me stuff. This year I got chocolate and more chocolate, jams, jellies and a gingerbread house... more stuff than I know what to do with. I regift - there I said it. I donate. I share. I eat some of it. Then I've got all this other crap that I give away 'cause I made it and I know full well that everybody else is overwhelmed with stuff too but I'm giving some to them anyway... it's dumb.
Why don't we do this in February when nobody has any crap left and we would all really appreciate a little pick me up to get through the rest of winter. This cookie tradition has to get amended for my own sanity, my kid's sense of well-being and my pocket book.
The christmas tree is a tradition right? We get one every year and the kids love it. I could take it or leave it. I'm not sure that I would care if I didn't have it. Might even be a relief.
Christmas dinner? Yup - feel the same way.
Here's the only tradition that gives me any true satisfaction: Having time with people that I care about and that I really want to spend time with. Not worrying about what I bought for them and whether they'll like it but just being with them. I don't want them buying me any gifts. I don't need stuff. I need them. Having the time to do that is more precious than anything I make or buy or get. Done.
So I've put my foot down about stupid linzer cookies that don't make as many as their recipe promised and dough that wouldn't roll out whether I begged or pleaded and wayyyyyy more time and mental anguish than they could ever give me back. Not again. They taste good... but not good enough.
Here is my new Official Christmas Tradition: Hello Friends... Goodbye stupid Linzer Cookies.
(Stupid) Linzer Cookies adapted from Martha Stewart 'Cookies'
makes about 13 if you are me, recipe called for 2 dozen (!)
2 cups all purpose flour (plus some for rolling)
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup pecan halves toasted lightly
2 tbsp icing sugar (plus a little more for sprinkling)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cubed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 lg egg
1/2 cup jam of your choice (something red is nice)
Sift flour and baking powder together in a bowl. Combine the pecans, icing sugar, salt and cinnamon in a food processor or blender and pulse until finely ground (in retrospect I would just buy ground pecans and be done with it... too much additional bother)
Add the butter and sugar to the pecan stuff and beat at medium speed until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and egg. Beat just until incorporated. Continuing to beat, add in the flour mixture and mix until combined.
Halve the dough and shape into disks. Refrigerate at least 2 hrs (Mine went overnight).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment or some kind of non-stick arrangement.
Roll out one disk of dough until it's about 1/8 of an inch thick. Refrigerate another 20 minutes (really?!)
Remove from fridge and cut the cookies leaving half of them intact and the other half with a hole in the middle. Re-roll the scraps, refrigerate and use again.
Place on the baking sheets and bake until pale golden - 8 - 10 minutes.
Cool on wire racks.
Heat the jam in a small pan over med/low heat just until it liquifies and thickens a bit (if needed) - about 7 minutes.
Sprinkle icing sugar on the cookies with the cut out in the middle.
Spread jam on the intact cookies.
Place the cut out cookies on top of each.
Take some pictures and thank the gods that you don't have to do this again for another year (maybe never)
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- Wanda Thorne
- St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
My Favourite Cookbooks
- Wanda Thorne
- bok choy
- coconut milk
- cream cheese
- goat cheese
- green peas
- ice cream
- main course
- maple syrup
- peanut butter
- poppy seeds
- quick bread
- root vegetable
- side dish
- smoked salmon
- sour cream
- split peas
- stir fry
- sustainable living
- vanilla bean
- white chocolate