Walnut Linzer Cookies

walnut linzer cookies | apt 2b baking co
walnut linzer cookies | apt 2b baking co
walnut linzer cookies | apt 2b baking co
walnut linzer cookies | apt 2b baking co

Linzer cookies are a holiday classic - usually made with almonds and raspberry jam as a nod to the Austrian Torte which they are named after. I took a few liberties here - swapping deeply toasted walnuts for the almonds and fig and currant jams for the raspberry so this is definitely a cookie where you can have some fun. Don’t have walnuts and fig jam? Try pecans or pistachios with strawberry or cranberry jam. If you are a home canner, I bet you have a few jars open in your fridge already. Feel free to use what you have. I used a round cookie cutter, and a couple of different sized round cutters for the centers of my cookies, but you could certainly use something a little more decorative. I also liked the look of cutting the centers purposely off-center, but it made the cookies tricky to move and they shifted in the oven a bit so I can’t say that I’d recommend it.


Walnut Linzer Cookies

Makes about 30 sandwich cookies

Slightly adapted from Holiday Cookies by Elisabet der Nederlanden

This nut-filled dough is delicious and delicate. Make sure to use enough bench flour that it doesn’t stick to your surface and handle it carefully when you are transfering the cookies to the baking sheets. I found a small offset spatula to be helpful with this task. These will loose their crispness after the first day, but are still delicious after a few days on the counter. Store them in an airtight container and redust with confectioner’s sugar if necessary.

1 1/4 cups (105g) chopped, deeply toasted walnuts

3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 cup (225g) cold, unsalted butter cut into cubes

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/3 cup jam

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

In a food processor, combine the walnuts, sugar, lemon zest, and salt and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add the flour and pulse until well combined. Scatter the butter over the top and pulse until a few small pieces of butter remain. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Pulse until the dough just starts to come together.

Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, pat it into a square about 1-inch thick. Refrigerate for at least one hour and up to 2 days.

When you are ready to bake position 2 racks, evenly spaced, as close to the center of the oven as possible and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut the dough in half and keep half of the dough in the refrigerator while you work. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/8-inch thick. Use a 2 1/2- inch round cookie cutter to cut as many circles as possible. Carefully transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheets. Use a small circle or decorative cutter to cut the centers out of half of the cookies on the sheets. Gather up the scraps and repeat. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Chill the cut cookies for 10 minutes before baking.

Bake the cookies 17-19 minutes or until barely golden. Rotate the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Transfer the sheets to cooling racks and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes then transfer the cookies to racks to cool completely.

Use a fine mesh sieve to dust the cooled cookies with a cutout with confectioner’s sugar. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the jam on each of the other cookies. Top the jammed cookie with the sugared cookie and serve.


Snuk Foods sent me the incredible fig jam I used in these cookies - you can find it on their site (alongside tons of amazing International pantry items!) HERE.

walnut linzer cookies | apt 2b baking co
walnut linzer cookies | apt 2b baking co

Pretty Little Summer Fruit Cakes

pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co

I took another round of pottery classes this Spring, and finally got most of the pieces I made all of those months ago back from the studio (the plates in this post). Making pottery is a good exercise for me. It is one that requires a lot of patience, which I find myself in short supply of these days. With pottery there is a lot of waiting: waiting for things to dry to trim, waiting for things to dry to fire, waiting for the bisque fire, then glazing, then the glaze fire. Then sometimes, you get to the end of all of it, after hours and hours of work, and your shit breaks at the very last moment (like the cracked green plate below). It is unavoidable and it happens to the most experienced potters. It is a craft that requires a lot of humility.

Baking comes much easier. It feels natural and simple and I can generally bake things really, really fast - very little patience required. These little summer fruit cakes are that kind of easy treat: quickly thrown together, but quite pretty and tasty. Use any small fruit you like for these cakes, my favorites of the ones pictured were the cakes with little slices of apricots and blackberries, but use whatever you have around. It is a great way to use up little bits of things you may have kicking around in the fridge.

Pretty Little Summer Fruit Cakes

makes 8-15 cakes, depending on the size of the molds

I used about 10 small brioche molds and 2 mini loaf pans here and a combination of lots of odds and ends of fruit that were left in my fridge. Any summer fruit, cut into thin slices or berry sized chunks would be great here. I don't mind the flavor of almond extract in almond cakes, but I know it is a divisive ingredient so feel free to leave it out if you aren't a fan.

6 ounces high quality butter, softened but still cool

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups assorted summer fruit (berries, halved and pitted cherries, sliced apricots, peaches or nectarines, and currants are all great options)

Preheat oven to 325 and great and flour your pans. Put the pans on a baking sheet so they will be easy to move in and out of the oven.

Sift the dry ingredients together, press on the almond meal to help it through the sifter if necessary.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth, then slowly stream in the sugar with the mixer on medium speed. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and cream the butter and sugar together until light, fluffy, and smooth. About 3 minutes.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the extracts.

Reduce the speed to low and alternately add the milk and flour mixture. Mix until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Pour the batter into the pans and top each cake with a few pieces of fruit. Bake the cakes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-40 minutes depending on the size of the pans.

Cool for 20 minutes, then remove the cakes to a rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar and an additional berry or two just before serving.

pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co
pretty little summer fruit cakes | apt 2b baking co