Linzer Heart Sandwich Cookies

Even though I am a professional chef, I don’t often take the time to bake cookies from scratch but I think a heart-themed cookie can be good for your soul or to share with a loved one. I like when they are somewhat buttery cookies with a tangy touch of fruit. The dough for this recipe works best when it is kept fairly cold and the result is an addictive (and quite beautiful cookie) Try it!

2 ½ to 3 dozen cookies, about 1-½ inches
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for rolling the cookies
½cup slivered almonds, ground
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
Powdered sugar, optional

Special Equipment:
2 heart-shaped (or round) cookie cutters: one about 1 ½-inches and one about ¾- inch
Wax paper (or parchment)
Rolling pin
3 baking sheets

1. Make the dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and continue mixing until the mixture becomes light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Take care to scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time so the butter and sugar are fully integrated and somewhat “fluffy.” In another bowl, combine and mix the flour, almonds, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
2. Roll the dough: Because this dough has a good amount of butter, it needs “resting” time and needs to be rolled fairly quickly. Lay 3 large pieces of wax paper in a single layer on a flat surface. Sprinkle each one with a light coating of flour. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, blend the flour mixture in with the butter. When the ingredients are fully integrated, place ⅓ of the batter on each of the pieces of wax paper. Coat dough with a light layer of flour, and top with another piece of wax paper of the same length to make 3 batter “sandwiches”. Place two of them in the refrigerator and work with one at a time.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
4. Roll the first batch into as neat a shape as possible. What matters most is avoiding creases or cracks and getting it to about 1/8-inch in thickness. When the first is rolled, refrigerate it and repeat the same process for the other two.