Happy Valentine's Day!
Does anybody have special Valentine's or Galentine's Day plans? Erlend and I do NOT have any, and I am more than okay with that. The Valentine's Day industrial complex is strong in New York City. Our regular restaurants are offering crazy prix fixe prices for a limited menu, and there are vendors at every subway stop shilling overpriced, wilted roses. Even the Valentine's candy here is twice as expensive as everywhere else! Aside from that we're also not really the romantic type — neither of us know when our anniversary is, and it always takes us a minute to figure out how long we've been together.* So I think we'll pass, thanks.
*Don't mistake that for indifference; Erlend is my Valentine, through and through. He's the Type B to my Type A, the ying to my yang, etc, etc.
Truth be told, these linzer cookies are about as festive as I'm willing to get for Valentine's Day. Which doesn't seem like too much of a stretch for the special occasion, but it actually is. Why? I kinda sorta hate making rollout cookies. Although I have always loved eating them, I definitely groaned when they exploded in popularity over the last few years (thanks to the really awesome Instagram accounts of @bakedideas, @vickiee_yo, and a bunch more folks I don't have room to name). Look through my Recipe Index — I barely have any recipes involving rollout cookies! I pretty much avoid making them at all cost.
I'm also just really bad at it. I'm terrible at bringing the dough together (like... is it supposed to have the texture of chocolate chip cookie dough, or something else?). I'm even worse at rolling them out evenly and shaping them with cookie cutters. I don't have a trusty recipe, and a bad recipe can leave you with deformed cookies with a bad texture. The texture is either too hard and brittle, or too soft to hold up against a jam filling.
When Jennifer from Savory Simple sent me her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, a few months ago, I bookmarked a bunch of delicious-looking recipes, including this one for blood orange curd linzer cookies. I fully intended to make another recipe (she has such delicious ones to choose from, like hot chocolate with salted caramel whipped cream and cherry vanilla jam crumb bars), but her linzer cookies kept stopping me every time I flipped through her cookbook. They were adorable enough to convince to try a rollout cookie recipe one more time.
And I'm glad I did! Jennifer's recipe for linzer cookies worked better than any that I've tried in the past. Based on a shortbread dough, the cookies come together easily and hold their shape in the oven beautifully. They're also delicious, with a strong butter and vanilla flavor that pairs well with Jennifer's sweet, citrusy recipe for blood orange curd. Enjoy!
Some baker's notes:
- The blood orange curd will be a little bit thicker than your typical curd or jam. This is okay — it's easier to keep the cookies together this way! You'll also end up with more curd than what's needed for the cookies. It keeps in a sealed mason jar for about 1 month; use the extra on pancakes, waffles, toast, and more!
- Linzer cookie dough is different from traditional chocolate chip cookie dough. It doesn't come together fully in the stand mixer; you'll need to do some kneading on your end to get it to a rollable state. The easiest way to handle it is to dump it on a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap it up, and knead it together until it forms a disk. No need to worry about overworking it like pie dough! It's very forgiving and will be delicious no matter what. Keep re-rolling the scraps into new cookie shapes to have as many cookies as possible!
- I was super ADD when I made these and couldn't decide on which cookie cutters to use. I ended up using all of them, resulting in cookies that are 1-inch, 3 1/2-inch, and 5-inch wide. As a result, I don't actually know how many cookies this recipe yields beyond what Jennifer says. I've included the yield and instructions as it is in her cookbook. Note that your yield will be different depending on what cutters you use as well. I used the following cutters: a super mini heart from this set, a small heart, circle cutters (from this set), and a fluted biscuit cutter.