Egg Shaped Linzer Cookies

Today I’m going to share a recipe for Linzer cookies that are in the shape of an egg. Actually, they’re meant to look like a sunny side-up egg. Linzer cookies are more often than not filled with some sort of jam but we’ve decided to use a jarred lemon curd. I’ve had a jar of lemon curd that I bought awhile back at Trader Joe’s and was waiting for the right recipe to come along. Egg Shaped Linzer Cookies are the perfect vehicle for lemon curd.

Linz, 🇦🇹 Austria

Linz is the third largest city in Austria. Beautifully situated by the Danube River, Linz was originally founded by the Romans. Later it served as a provincial city of the Holy Roman Emperor. Today, Linz is known for its steel and chemical industry as well as its participation in music and the arts. Linz is also the home of the beloved PEZ candy. A childhood favorite of my kids and now my grandkids. PEZ candy and the even more famous PEZ dispensers are popular worldwide. The PEZ dispensers have become a notable collector’s item.

Origins of the Linzer Cookie

On to the origins of the Linzer Cookie. The city of Linz is also the home to the renowned Linzertorte. A Linzertorte is a tart made of a rich buttery dough, made with ground almonds, lemon zest and cinnamon. The tart is traditionally filled with black currant preserves and topped with a lattice crust. In the USA, raspberry preserves often replaces the black currant as the jam of choice. Linzertortes are traditionally served as a Christmas pastry.

Linzer cookies employ the same recipe as the Linzertorte but instead the dough is cut into cookies and two of the cookies form a sandwich around the preserves. The top cookie has a small cutout in its center, known as Linzer eyes, thus exposing the underlying jam adding to the visual appeal. While the traditional cutout is circular, all sorts of shapes, such as hearts are also popular.

Jam, Jelly, Preserves etc

The terms “jam” and “preserves” are often used interchangeably but technically they are not the same. Jam and preserves are both cooked mixtures of fruit, sugar and sometimes pectin. The difference is preserves contain chunks of fruit where in a jam the fruit is blended together. On the other hand, a conserve is a cooked mixture of fruit, nuts and sugar. Jelly is an uncooked mixture of fruit juice, sugar and sometimes pectin. Jam, jelly, preserves, conserve or curd can be used to make Linzer cookies.

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Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4-6 tablespoons water
  • 1 small jar lemon curd

Instructions
 

  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour and the salt. Set aside.
  • Beat the unsalted butter and white granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until creamy.
  • Add the eggs and pure vanilla extract until combined.
  • Slow the mixer speed down to low and gradually add the all-purpose flour mixture until just combined.
  • Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 60 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out. Use an egg shaped cookie cutter to cut out solid egg-shaped cookies. Place on one of the baking sheets.
  • Cut out another set of egg-shaped cookies, then use a small round cutter to create a hole in the center.
  • Place the cutout cookies on the other baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake 10 minutes. Check them after 5 minutes.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven. Transfer to cooling racks, separating the solid and the cutout cookies on two different racks. Let cool completely. Reserve the baking sheets, line with new sheets of parchment paper.
  • When the cookies have cooled completely. Whisk together the powdered sugar with water, adding one tablespoon at a time until the consistency is thin enough to pour.
  • If the mixture becomes too thin, add some more powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time until the consistency is right.
  • Place the cooling rack with the cutouts over the baking sheet with the parchment paper.
  • Dip the cutout cookies into the sugar glaze and tap gently on the side of the bowl to let the excess icing run off.
  • Place the glazed cutout cookie back on the cooling rack. Repeat until all the cutout cookies have been glazed. Let the glaze dry completely before handling.
  • Brush the completely cooled solid egg-shaped cookies with a thick layer of lemon curd. Top the cookie with the glazed cutout cookie and place back on the cooling rack.
  • When all the cookies have been mated, let them sit for at least one hour to dry completely before plating and serving.
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