red, white, and blue linzer cookies

July 2, 2018 Portland, OR, USA


This post was done in partnership with Stonewall Kitchen, who sponsored this post by providing the compensation and ingredients used for this post. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own — thank you for supporting the brands that help Hummingbird High keep running!

Although Instagram gets a lot of criticism today for its ever-changing algorithm (especially from creatives, business persons, and other various folks like me who make a living from it), there are some aspects of the app that I really appreciate. To wit — I love Instagram Stories, which allows me direct access to your thoughts, comments, and general feelings as I bake in the kitchen. As much as I love sharing the final products on my blog, I feel like it doesn't do enough justice to the actual work involved: the various trial runs that failed, the sunken versions that came before it, the sink full of dishes, the flour on the kitchen floor. Instagram Stories is a way to let you guys in on all that, and to assure everybody that although everything looks perfect on the feed, my kitchen probably looks a lot like yours whenever you take on a recipe. Or maybe even worse, lol.


One of my favorite things about Instagram Stories is the polling feature, which allows me to get feedback from you guys in real time. Take this weekend, when I was developing a quick-and-easy 4th of July recipe with some of my favorite Stonewall Kitchen jams. After publishing a complicated (but totally worth it 😜) American Flag cake recipe, I figure you guys would want something a little easier for your day off celebrations. My initial recipe idea was for some star-shaped pop tarts, made with some store-bought puff pastry dough and stuffed silly with Stonewall Kitchen almond butter and raspberry jam.

But when I opened my freezer to thaw the puff pastry dough, I saw some almond flour I'd forgotten about and a light bulb went off in my head: almond always works wonderfully with raspberries, and I was more in a cookie kind of mood anyway. I ended up baking both the pop tarts AND the cookies, asking you all which you preferred via Instagram Stories (the story is still up on my profile — be sure to click the story titled "tart vs cookie"!). I couldn't decide either, since both were plenty tasty to me.


And while the initial results were split evenly (literally 50% off you voted for the tarts, while the other 50% voted for the cookies), I was surprised by the surge of people who changed their minds in the next frame after I showed the cookies filled with jam and topped with confectioners' sugar. Over 10,000 of you guys (!!!) voted that you preferred the cookies (which is funny, since only about 2,000 people voted in the initial tarts vs. cookies poll in the first place), with a good portion of the folks who initially wanted pop tarts flipping over to the cookies. Nobody can resist those shiny, jammy centers it seems.

So, without further ado — red, white, and blue jammy almond linzer cookies, just in time for 4th of July!!! The red in the recipe is Stonewall Kitchen's Seedless Raspberry Jam, and the blue is Stonewall Kitchen's Wild Maine Blueberry Jam, which I love for its texture (you can see actual blueberries in it!) and contrasts wonderfully with the beautifully smooth raspberry jam. Enjoy!


also featured:

Some baker's notes:
  • To cut the cookies, I used a star-shaped cookie cutter set that had a range of sizes, ranging from small 1 5/8-inch cutters to 4 5/8-inches. I used "medium" 3 1/2-inch and "large" 4-inch star cutters, and used the smallest cutter (1 5/8-inches) for the smaller stars and cutouts. 

  • Because I wanted the cookies to stay pale, I used blanched almond meal, which is crushed almonds that have been separated away from their skins for a finer, paler meal. It tends to be pricier than unblanched almond meal, so in a pinch, you can substitute one for the other — just know that if you use unblanched almond meal, your cookies probably won't look as pale and white as mine. 

  • After filling with jam, the cookies tend to soften considerably and won't keep that well — so be sure to only assemble and enjoy right before serving! 


Red, White, and Blue Linzer Cookies

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Ingredients

Special Equipment:
  • small, medium, and large star cookie cutters (I used this set)

For the Linzer Cookies:
(makes around 12 medium or large cookies, and 6 smaller cookies)
  • 2 2/3 cups (12 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups (2.35 ounces) blanched almond meal 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup (3 ounces) Stonewall Kitchen Seedless Raspberry Jam
  • 1/4 cup (3 ounces) Stonewall Kitchen Wild Maine Blueberry Jam

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Recipe

For the Linzer Cookies:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, 2/3 cups blanched almond meal, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

  2. In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon almond extract. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Lower the mixer speed to its slowest setting and add 1 large egg, mixing until just incorporated into the dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  3. With the mixer on its slowest setting, gradually add the flour mixture (from the 1st step), continuing to mix until just incorporated. At this point, you should have a solid mass of dough. Tip the dough out onto a work surface and use your hands to shape it into a rough 6 by 6-inch block. Sandwich the block in between two pieces of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to roll it out between the sheets to a slab approximately 1/4-inch thick. Transfer the slab to a sheet pan, and move to the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.

  4. During this time, position a rack in the lower half and upper half of the oven and preheat to 350 (F). 

  5. After 15 minutes, remove the sheet pan from the freezer and unpeel the top sheet of parchment paper from the slab of dough. At this point, the slab of dough should feel fairly hard and brittle in your hands. Use the parchment paper sheet to line a sheet pan, and set aside. Peel the bottom piece of parchment paper off the slab of dough and line a second sheet pan with it. Transfer the slab dough to a hard surface and use the large and medium cookie cutters to stamp out star shapes. Use the small star cookie cutter to cut out a small star shape within half the larger star cookies, saving the smaller cutouts for smaller cookies. Reroll any scraps and repeat the process to stamp out more star cookies. Transfer the cookie shapes to the lined sheet pans, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches between each cookie.

  6. Transfer to the preheated oven, placing one tray on the upper rack and the second tray on the lower rack. Bake, rotating the pans between the racks at the halfway mark, for 12 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden around the edges. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and allow the cookies to cool to room temperature on the pans before assembling.

Assembly:
  1. Set aside the cookies with the smaller star stamps on their own parchment paper lined sheet pan. Use a fine mesh sieve to dust the top of the cookies with 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, and set aside.

  2. Take the remaining half of the star cookies and flip them over so that the rough part of each cookie is the right side up. Use an offset spatula to spread 1 to 2 teaspoons of Stonewall Kitchen Seedless Raspberry Jam and Stonewall Kitchen Wild Maine Blueberry Jam over the cookies, making sure to leave some space along the cookies' border — if you spread the jam right up to the edges, there's a chance the jam will overflow when you sandwich the cookies. 

  3. Take the dusted cookies and carefully nestle each one on top of the jam-covered cookies, pressing gently to create sandwich cookies. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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