Christmas is meant to be a time of peace and joy, but often ends up being stressful and overall give is the impression that it is the time we're lacking. Hence I came up with this recipe, which saves you a lot of time and provides you with two recipes hidden in one.
The original part of Classic Linzer cookies is actually a recipe that my mum has been using for years and according to me, a Linzer Cookie monster and a snob is the best one I have ever tasted. It originates from a book from the 90s, where there were no pictures whatsoever and I managed to get my hands on it in an antique shop after a very long search. It might seem a bit unusual, as the measures are in cups (not the American way), but are simply for the ratios so I decided to keep it this way. I used a standard 250ml mug, which was just enough.
The other darker side of this recipe is inspired by something I ate years ago at my friend's nan's place about 20 years ago. She gave me her recipe, but I managed to lose it and unfortunately, this amazing lady passed since. To honour her memory, I tried to mix the ingredients I remember tasting in her recipe and combined it with a chocolate version of Linzers.
So enjoy this double recipe and take the time to have a go with your loved ones, as well as kids (just keep them away from the darker version).
Classic & Cocoa Rum Linzers
2 and 1/3 cup of Plain White Flour (plus a bit of flour for rolling the pastry) ¾ cup of Granulated Sugar 250g of Butter (2x 125g) 3 egg yolks 1 Vanilla Sugar Sachet – can be substituted for 1 tsp of vanilla extract or half of the contents of a vanilla bean
Extra Ingredients for Classic ones Few drops of lemon juice Zest of half a lemon For the filling – Rosehip marmalade (or even jelly, just make sure its relatively smooth)
Extra Ingredients for Cocoa Rum ones 2 tbsp of Cocoa powder 3 tbsp of Dark rum 150 of Dark chocolate For the filling – 50 ml of dark rum, 150g of walnuts, 2tbsp of honey, 2 tbsp of melted dark chocolate
If you fancy making only one of those, just cut the ingredients in half (still use rather two egg yolks) or double the type specific ingredients.
Take walnuts and rum for the Cocoa Linzers filling and put them together in a bowl and leave to soak before you start.
Mix white flour, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla sugar or its substitute together. Separate mixture in the half and put into bowls. In one bowl, add a few drops of lemon and the lemon zest and half of cut soft butter. In the other bowl, add cocoa powder, rum and the other half (125g) of soft butter.
Rub the butter in the mixture in each bowl. It may feel like there's not enough moisture, but the key is to properly rub the flour and sugar into the butter, so it all comes together. When done, wrap each pastry and put it into the fridge for at least an hour or two.
Preheat the oven at 150°C and start rolling one of the pastries. Cut into round shapes and start lining them up on a baking paper. Cut out different shapes in the middle in every other line for the pale Classic Linzer pastry and bake for approx. 3-5 minutes. Make sure you check the cookies and look for the pinky shade. If you are not sure if you see it, pop them back but be quick as they will brown soon. Leave to cool down before sticking them together.
Follow the same method for the cocoa Linzers. To prepare the filling, take the walnuts soaked in rum and blend them (I used a regular hand blender), then add honey. Melt the chocolate and add two tbsp of it to the mixture. Start connecting the cookies with the mixture and after you finished, drizzle the rest of melted chocolate on the tops; or you can even dip them if you like.
If you feel like the cookies are a bit crispy, just cut an apple in half and add leave it next to the cookies, preferably in a box. Store in a cool place – not a fridge, but a cellar, shed or even a window will do.
About the Ingredients
Lemon Zest – Lemon zest brings a great subtle twist to these sweets and completes the unusual spicy hint of the combination with rosehips. It also contains an antioxidant called naringenin, which is anti-inflammatory. It also contains vitamin C (Ghannadi et al., 2016) , which is always good to get during the colder weather.
Rosehip Marmalade – Rosehips are also a great source of vitamin C (Ancín-Azpilicueta et al., 2017) , however, their anti-inflammatory properties were found beneficial in different types of arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, where their intake help to reduce the pain and not negatively affect the stomach (Cohen, 2012).
Walnuts – Due to their lipid profile and further on anti-inflammatory properties, walnuts are great prevention of neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. They are one of the major sources of polyphenols to a human, as well as vitamin E (Ciudad et al., 2017) which also plays a major part in the immune system function.
Dark Chocolate & Cocoa – Dark chocolate brings the richness to this recipe, as well as it usually contains a bit less sugar and more cocoa. It contains polyphenols, which are beneficial to cardiovascular and neural health. It also contains minerals such as Copper, Potassium or Iron (Jirillo et al., 2017).
Ancín-Azpilicueta, C., Jiménez-Moreno, N., Mármol, I., Rodríguez-Yoldi, M. and Sánchez-de-Diego, C. (2017). Therapeutic Applications of Rose Hips from Different Rosa Species. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(6), p.1137.
Ciudad, C., Izquierdo-Pulido, M., Noé, V. and Sánchez-González, C. (2015). Health benefits of walnut polyphenols: An exploration beyond their lipid profile. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57(16), pp.3373-3383.
Cohen, M. (2012). Rosehip - an evidence based herbal medicine for inflammation and arthritis. Australian Family Physician, 41(7), pp.495-8.
Ghannadi, A., Hashem, M., Hashemipour, M., Kelishadi, R. and Khosravi, E. (2016). Effect of the peels of twoCitrusfruits on endothelium function in adolescents with excess weight: A triple-masked randomized trial. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 20(8), p.721.
Jirillo, E., Margone, T. and Russo, M. (2017). Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Polyphenols: From Biology to Clinical Applications. Frontiers in Immunology, 8, p.677.