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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Linzer Cookies with Milk Chocolate- the World’s Christmas Cookie and One of the Most Popular Cookies on the Planet

Buttery and nutty, this Old World buttery shortbread cookie with milk chocolate and raspberry jam is one of the most popular cookies on the planet. When packaged, they make beautiful holiday gifts and are actually better a day or two after they are made.
1-1/4 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup ground hazelnuts
6 tablespoons red seedless raspberry jam
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 - 3 Hershey candy bars, microwaved to spreading consistency
(Note: make your own ground nuts by processing nuts in food processor, pulsing until they reach the right consistency.) Make sure not to over process or oils will be released from nuts and it will become more of a paste form.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt and spices; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in nuts. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness; cut with floured cookie cutters and then cut half of the cut out cookies with a smaller cookie cutter in the center. Pick your shapes - stars, wreathes, trees, circles, hearts, etc.
Place on ungreased baking sheets and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Spread the bottom of each solid cookie with about warmed chocolate and then with 1/2 teaspoon jam. Sprinkle the cutout cookies with the confections’ sugar and place carefully over jam. Yield: 3 dozen

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