The Chinese New Year this year falls on the same day as Valentine’s Day. The Hongkong Ocean Park is calling it the Sweetheart Chinese New Year and its celebration plans feature a mix and match of both eastern and western elements. There will be celebratory attractions and performances, themed gift items, and auspicious culinary delights. That will be quite a celebration!
To celebrate the occasion, I made some heart cut-out Valentine Linzer Cookies cookies. I have been wanting to make these cookies ever since I bought the Linzer cookie cutter set during the last holidays. The set came with a round fluted cutter with 6 interchangeable shapes that can be inserted in the middle of the round cutter. I was delighted to come across the set as it is a nice-to-have if you love making cookies.
I search the internet for a recipe that did not require nuts (as most have some sort of nuts in them) and found Ina Garten’s Mini Linzer Cookies recipe. The recipe had few ingredients, most of which I already have in my pantry. I did go to the store for the confectioners’ (powdered) sugar. I only had strawberry jam, and so I used that instead of raspberry preserve.
I followed the recipe closely. Although the dough was a little difficult to work, the results were well worth the effort. I rolled out the dough in small batches and that really helped. The cookies on their own tasted so light and buttery. Combined with the jam and powdered sugar, they not only looked awesome but tasted delicious!
I was able to make 33 sandwiched cookies with the amount of ingredients used in the recipe.
- ¾ lbs (3 sticks/340g) butter
- ¾ cup (165g) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3½ cups (525g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup strawberry jam
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as possible. Mix in the rest and gently knead till dough comes together. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to ¼-inch thick. Cut into rounds with a 2-inch fluted cookie cutter. With half of the rounds cut a hole in the middle using small cookie cutters**. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake cookies for about 20 minutes, until edges begin to brown. Allow cookies to cool to room temperature.
Spread jam or preserves on the flat side of each solid cookie. Dust cut-out cookie with powdered sugar and press the flat side onto solid cookie with jam or preserves in the middle and powdered sugar on the top.
**If you are using a linzer cookie mould, cut half of the rounds with small cookie cutter insert and the other half without the insert.
Tea is a must with these delightful Valentine Linzer Cookies!
HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR and HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!