Strawberry Linzer Tarts

When I was a kid there was an amazing bakery in the town I lived in.  My mom used to take us there as a treat, and one of my favorite things was getting Linzer Tarts, these layered cookies filled with raspberry jam.  Well, I’ve been making a lot of raspberry stuff as of late so I decided to switch it up a but and make these strawberry.

Plus, the cookie part was always a little dry, so adding just a little bit of buttercream to each adds some additional moisture plus, of course, a nice bit of flavor.

Enjoy these, and I hope they take you down a similar memory trip as they took me.

Ingredients

Cookies

·        3/4 cup butter, cold

·        2 cups flour

·        2/3 cup sugar

·        ½ t vanilla

·        1 egg yolk

·        2 T milk

·        3 T powdered sugar

Filling

·        6 T butter, softened to room temperature

·        1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

·        1 t vanilla

·        Strawberry jam (I only had preserves, so I used those, but jam would be better – it’s smoother.  You can also use raspberry or boysenberry or whatever works for you.)

Directions

Take the butter and cut it into small cubes and then place it into a bowl along with the flour.  Use your hands (after you’ve washed them) to mix the two together.  Really get in there and combine them until the mixture is kind of pebbly.IMG_2919

Next, add in the sugar, vanilla and the egg yolk and mix with a hand mixer until everything is well combined.IMG_2920

Flour your work surface, place the dough down and knead it with your hands until it’s smooth.  Then, roll it into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a half hour to an hour.IMG_2921

When you’re ready to cook, roll out the dough so it’s fairly thin and cut it with a cookie cutter.  Its easiest if you have a round cutter, about 2 or 2 ½” across since you’ll be adding two layers and it’s more difficult adding layers to oddly shaped cookies.

Take the excess dough and re-roll it to get more cookies out of the deal – you should end up with about 40 cookies…just make sure you have an even total number.

Take half of the cookies and put them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  The cookies won’t spread much so you can keep them pretty close together (leave maybe a half inch between each one).

IMG_2923

Take the other half of the cookies and, with a smaller cookie cutter (here you can use a cute shape if you have one) and cut out the middle of the cookies.  Place these on baking sheets lined with parchment paper as well.  If you don’t have enough baking sheets, just lay out some parchment paper on the counter, place these cookies on top and just replace them on the cookie sheets when the first round is done cooking.IMG_2926

Bake the cookies at 350 for about 10-12 minutes, or until the edges start to brown just a little.  Take them out of the oven and move them to a wire rack to cool completely.IMG_2927

IMG_0455While the cookies are cooling you can make the buttercream, which is pretty simple.  Just pour the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl and mix with your hand mixer until well combined and creamy.

Spread the buttercream on the whole cookies, and then follow with your strawberry jam (or preserves or boysenberry or…you get the idea).

Before you put the tops on the cookies, place them on wax or parchment paper on the counter and sprinkle the 3 T powdered sugar on top of them.  Then place the tops on top of the jam – you’ll be able to see some of it because of the cutout you made – and serve!IMG_2936IMG_2937IMG_2961IMG_2977

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