Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! Recently I made the Linzer Torte from the current Joy of Cooking. Everyone enjoyed it so much, I thought I'd try and adapt it for some Valentine's Day cookies. These are nutty and spicy, with a raspberry jam that gives just the right amount of sweetness. In an airtight container in the fridge they keep well for a week.

1. If you can't get ground almonds, use a clean coffee grinder to grind blanched almonds. You'll need 3/4 cup.

2. Combine with 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar (optional), 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.

3. Add 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 egg yolks and the grated zest of 1 lemon - the easiest is to blend it all in an electric mixer/food processor if you have one.

You have to wrap the dough and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. Then roll out (with plenty of flour to avoid sticking), between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick, and cut out cookies using a heart shaped cutter. Make a small round or heart shaped hole in half the cookies. Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for about 15 mintues, and sandwich with raspberry jam after dusting the cutout cookies with powdered sugar. (You need to boil the jam first for a couple of minutes, and then let it cool down again). This makes about 20 2 inch cookies. Enjoy!

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