Oh, the Linzer…
Anyone, who has ever heard about the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is not gonna be surprised by the fact that Austria and Hungary share a lot of traditions and recipes. Especially when it comes to cakes, cookies, tortes, and all the heavenly results of the development of confectionery. One of these shared heavenly gems is the Linzer torte. It is very popular as a cake, but also as cookies, made according to the same recipe, and they cannot be absent from the Christmas dessert table. It is almost obvious that I also had to make them this year to fill up at least one of my empty cookie boxes…
I guess every family has their own recipe for it. So do we 🙂 This recipe is old, very old, and my Mum always makes it for Christmas, following the sharp, decent handwriting of her grandmother. I copied this recipe to my own cookbook, and brought it to Denmark.
My Greatgranny is very special to me. I was named after her (she hated her given name all her life – until I was born and given the same name), and we were lucky enough to spend the first two years of my life together, in the same home. When my Mum went to university, she left home and moved in with my Greatgranny. It was not easy to get your own flat at the time my parents were young, so when my Mum and Dad got married, they simply lived together with Greatgranny and looked after each other. Unfortunately I don’t remember much of the time spent together with Greatgranny. But I have heard the stories all my life, and she must have been a great person! She lives through us, and her legendary cooking and baking.
That’s us, about 30 years ago 🙂
And this is her recipe for Linzer:
- 600 g flour
- 300 g margarine
- 150 g icing sugar
- a pinch of salt
- a pinch of baking soda
- grated peel of half a lemon
- 3 egg yolks
- jam of your choice
Making linzer dough is not rocket science, really 🙂 You just put all the ingredients (except the jam) in a bowl, and work them together thoroughly. You only need to add a little bit of milk, so you get a light dough. It really depends on the quality of the flour you use, but it is really only a little bit of milk. Less than a dl, I would say…
Because we are only 2 adults and 2 children, I only used 400 grams of flour and equivalent ingredients, but I heard that Greatgranny used to bake linzer of 1,2 kgs of flour for the whole family…
Once the dough is done, roll it out very thin with a rolling pin, and cut different shapes out of it. Perfect task for small baby hands 🙂 Since later we are going to fill the cookies up with jam, it is important that you cut the same amount of full and holey shapes that will go together.
Preheat your oven to 200 Celsius, and bake the cookies for no longer than 10-12 minutes! They don’t need to get brown and too crispy, you want them nice and soft.
Once they are done and cold, take the jam of your choice (we traditionally use apricot jam, but any other will do as well), and whip it until it gets hard.
Now you can fill your cookies: Put a spoonful of jam on the middle of the full cookies, then gently put a holey cookie on the top.
You can sprinkle them with some icing sugar, so they don’t just taste, but also look yummie 🙂
That’s it. Wasn’t too difficult, was it? Enjoy!