I love linzer cookies, The delicate buttery cookie sandwiched together with preserves is such a dainty treat and as you can see they are pretty as a picture.
Love is all you need Bowl and Mug from Mollegaarden (Krasilnikoff)
Although it is usual to decorate simply with the cut out shape showing the filling and maybe a dusting of sugar, I have decided to embellish each cookie with simple dots of royal icing adding an ornate touch without overwhelming the treat.
I have also modified my recipe to use hazelnut instead of the original almond lending a warmer, nuttier taste to the cookie which perfectly pairs with the raspberry filling.
The idea for the Deer Heart cookies has been in my head since last Valentines Day, as in truth the Deer Aimee cutter from Cakes by Bien is one of my favorite cutter ever. But I did find cutting the buttery soft linzer cookie dough a little tougher than when I use my regular vanilla sugar cookie or gingerbread cookie recipe and in the end I made half a simple circle cookie with a heart cut out. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it is a little bit of work removing the dough around the neck section and I can be a little bit lazy sometimes.
As it turns out the simple heart ones were the perfect little bite size, adorable and so much fun to decorate with the little dots of royal icing.
Hazelnut Linzer Cookie Recipe makes around 24 double filled deer cookies or 40 small circle.
Deer Aimee cookie cutter from Cakes by Bien. Circle cutter approx 4cm (1 1/2")
225 g (8oz) unsalted butter room temperature
100g (3 1/2oz) or 1/2 cup sugar * I used caster (superfine) sugar
1 large egg yolk
300g (10 1/2 oz) or 2 cups plain (all purpose) flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
80g (2 3/4oz) hazelnut meal (ground hazelnut)
Deer Cookie cutter and small plastic heart plunger or circle cookie cutter and medium heart cutter.
Filling - 1/2 cup raspberry jam (jelly)
Decoration - Royal Icing
In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the sugar and butter at high speed for a couple of minutes until light and creamy. Reduce the speed to medium low and mix in the egg yolk, scraping down the sides as required. Add the flour, hazelnut meal, cinnamon and salt and mix at low speed until combined.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours until the mixture is firm.
Dust the workbench with flour and generously flour a rolling pin, then roll# out the dough and cut out shapes as desired.
# If you have difficulty rolling out this dough you can roll it out between sheets of baking paper.
To make the Deer Heart cookies, cut out the deer shape and then use a small heart plunger cutter to cut out a heart shape on the back of half the cookies.
To make Linzer Love cookies cut out circle shapes and use a heart fondant cutter to cut out hearts in the middle of half the cookies.
Place the cut cookie dough on baking trays covered in baking paper and chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and bake the cookies until golden (around 12 - 15 minutes).
Allow the cookies to cool on tray.
Place the raspberry jam (jelly) in a microwave safe bowl and heat at high for 20 - 30 seconds until it starts to bubble. Stir until smooth.
To fill deer cookies place jam (jelly) in a disposable piping bag and pipe onto half of the cookies (the ones without the heart cut outs). Gently press the remaining cookies onto the top using the jam (jelly) to stick the cookie into place.
To fill the heart cookies you can just spoon the jam (jelly) onto the top of half the cookies (without the heart cut outs) and press the other cookies gently onto the top.
To pipe decoration mix up pre-mix royal icing to piping consistency and fill a piping bag with a small round tip (I used 1.5 PME).
Pipe an eye and ear onto the deer cookies and a few small dots around the back/tail area.
With the heart cookies, pipe decorative dots around the heart cut out and edge of cookies.
Optional - To pipe decorative drop swags around the edge of the cookie, press the tip to the edge of the cookie and gently apply pressure to allow a length of icing to fall/drop down, carefully pull the tip around to the point on the cookie you wish the swag to reach whilst still applying the light pressure and press the tip to the cookie so the royal icing attaches to the edge of the cookie. Continue around the cookie until you have completed a full circle. Fill in dots between the swags around the edge of the cookie and then pipe a second smaller circle of dots on the top of the cookie.
Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.
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Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission.