The Washington Post

Corn Linzer Cookies

Corn Linzer Cookies 12.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2020 Dec 9, 2020

Linzer cookies typically describe a berry jam-filled, nut-based shortbread cookie sandwich, but this New World version calls on corn flour. The sweetness of corn pairs well with fruity fillings, such as the raspberry jam here, which is easily made with frozen berries. Feel free to swap in another homemade or store-bought jam or citrus curd. Once assembled, these cookies taste best if eaten right away.

Because corn flour caramelizes at a lower temperature than all-purpose flour, the cookies should be baked at 300 degrees.

Make Ahead: The jam can be refrigerated for up to 1 month. The cookies will soften within a few hours of being filled. If you don’t plan to serve them all at once, reserve the baked cookies in an airtight container and fill as needed — the baked cookies will stay crisp for 2 days unfilled.

Where to Buy: Corn flour, the superfine relative of cornmeal, is available at specialty markets, health food stores and online from retailers such as Bob’s Red Mill. Check Indian markets as well.


Servings:
12 - 15

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12-15 servings; makes 12 to 15 sandwich cookies

Ingredients
  • For the jam
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) water
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
  • 4 cups (480 grams) fresh or frozen raspberries
  • For the cookies
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick/113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons (55 grams) fine yellow corn flour (see headnote)
  • Generous 3/4 cup (105 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (110 grams) raspberry jam (may substitute other jam or curd; see headnote)

Directions

Make the jam: Place a small plate in the freezer for testing the jam later.

Add the sugar to a medium pot. Add the water to moisten the sugar, but do not stir. Split the vanilla bean, if using, lengthwise with a paring knife, scrape out the seeds with the back of the knife and add the seeds and pod to the pot. Cook over high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium and reduce to a thick syrup, about 25 minutes.

Add the raspberries and stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes. Stirring is crucial, because it breaks down the berries while preventing over-caramelization, which may cause the jam to stick to the bottom of your pot. To test the jam’s readiness, spoon a bit of jam onto the chilled plate, and run your finger through it. If your finger leaves a trace on the plate, the jam is ready. Transfer to a separate bowl and let cool completely. Remove the vanilla bean and discard, or rinse, dry well and add to granulated sugar to make vanilla sugar.

Make the cookies: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a large bowl and a hand mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar on medium speed, until thoroughly combined and somewhat lightened (you don't need a lot of air to be incorporated), about 2 minutes. Add the egg white, salt and vanilla extract, and mix for another 2 minutes on medium. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the corn flour and all-purpose flour and mix on low until well combined.

Cut 2 sheets of parchment paper, about 12-by-16-inches each. Turn the dough onto one of the sheets and shape into a flattened disk about 6 inches in diameter. Place the other parchment sheet on top and, with a rolling pin, roll as evenly as possible until 1/8-inch thick. Carefully put the flattened dough on a tray, and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Transfer the cookie dough to your work surface and remove the top layer of parchment. Cut the cookies with a 2-inch round or fluted cutter (if the dough is too stiff to work with, wait 1 to 2 minutes, but it's best to cut as soon as possible, as the dough softens quickly). Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Leave one sheet of cookies as is; these will be the bottoms. To make the tops, use a 1/2- to 1-inch round cookie cutter (the larger end of a piping tip works well here) to cut the center of each cookie to form doughnut-shaped tops. Gather the leftover scraps and reroll in between sheets of parchment, just like you did before, to get a few extra cookies. If the dough becomes too soft to work with, return to the freezer to chill.

Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the sheets and switch their positions in the oven, and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies’ edges are golden. Rotating and switching the sheets halfway through the baking process will ensure the cookies bake evenly. Keep a watchful eye — these thin cookies can brown quickly. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough, if any remains.

To finish the cookies, dust the tops with sifted confectioners’ sugar. Drop about 1 teaspoon jam in the middle of each bottom cookie, and top with the dusted doughnut-shaped cookie, gently pressing down so the jam almost reaches the edges.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Mother Grains," by Roxana Jullapat (W.W. Norton, April 2021).

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per cookie sandwich (based on 15): 111


% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 6g 9%

Saturated Fat: 4g 20%

Cholesterol: 16mg 5%

Sodium: 42mg 2%

Total Carbohydrates: 13g 4%

Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%

Sugar: 5g

Protein: 1g


*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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