I accidentally blinked, and now we’re in the middle of November. How did we get here? How did this happen? Is my senior year of college really almost halfway over?
Yeah, yeah it is. And the dozens of job applications staring me in the face won’t let me forget it, either.
Applying for jobs is honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Tailoring each cover letter to make it sound like I’m wholly focused on this one job, making sure my resume is consistent and updated, looking for these elusive little jobs in the first place – it’s just so grueling. Someone should be paying me to find someone to pay me, honestly.
In the spirit of doing impossible things, I decided it’d be super cool to try my hand at linzer cookies this weekend. If you don’t know the name, I’m sure you know what they’re supposed to look like: they’re those real cute sandwich Christmas cookies with a shape cut out of the top cookie so you can see the beautiful red raspberry jam that’s in the middle. The whole thing is dusted with powdered sugar to give it the perfect illusion of snow-dusted presents left on your plate by some magical force, maybe even from Santa himself.
They really are a beautiful tradition.
And mine turned out nothing like that.
Here’s the thing, y’all. Making art like this takes a patient and practiced hand, a couple of fancy tools, and some time. I really don’t have any of that. So yeah, my linzer cookies weren’t quite perfect, but they were a lot easier than I expected, and they tasted pretty darn good. So as a gift to you, I’m going to give you two sets of instructions: one set is what Ina Garten (yeah, I know, I should’ve expected one of her recipes to be hard but all the ingredients were normal for once so I figured I’d try it) suggests to make the perfect snow-covered cookies that you’ll want to serve to all your guests; the other set is the Patented Zac Jones Method to Make Your Life Much, Much Easier. This method will result in tasty cookies that look like they need a little bit more love, but the draw of this way of doing things is that you can watch an entire episode of “The Crown” on Netflix while you bake instead of fussing over methods and procedures. And if we’re being honest, that’s more important to me than an impressive platter for guests.
Either way you decide to prepare these, I hope you enjoy them! They’re perfectly sweet and buttery, with a little bit of tartness from the lingonberries. Listen to some Christmas tunes while these are in the oven and you’ll start feeling festive in no time!
Lingonberry Linzer Cookies
- 1 1/2 sticks butter (room tempterature)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup lingonberry preserves
- powdered sugar (for dusting)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl with an electric or stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar until pale yellow. Add the vanilla and mix again.
- Add the salt and flour and mix on low until a dough begins to form. Turn the dough out on plastic wrap and flatten it in a disc shape. Wrap the disc and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and unwrap it. Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick and use a circular cutter to make as many cookies as you can. Combine the remaining dough and re-roll it out, cutting more circles from it. Repeat until all the dough is used. Use a small cutter to cut a shape from half of the cookies, then chill in the fridge again for 15 more minutes.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking at 20 to see if the edges are browning. Once they begin to brown, take the cookies out of the oven. Let them cool, then spread lingonberry preserves on the flat side of the solid cookies. Dust the cut out cookies with powdered sugar, place them on top of the lingonberry cookies, and enjoy!
- Follow Ina's instructions until the third step. Instead of rolling the dough out, just pinch off bits of dough and roll them in your hands, flattening into a cookie shape. Repeat with all of the dough, and make sure your cookies are of a relatively uniform shape and size. Chill them for 15 minutes before baking.
- Bake the cookies for 20-30 minutes, checking them starting at 20 minutes and removing them when they begin to brown at the edges. Once you remove them, use a small cutter to cut a shape of your choice from half of the cookies (the scraps are a lot more edible this way than with Ina's way). Continue to spread with lingonberries and dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy your easy holiday cookies!
- Recipe adapted from Ina Garten's here.
- I thought mine were suuuuper buttery, and would have loved to put 2 sticks of butter in instead of 3. I have no idea what that would do to the dough though, so try it and let me know!
- Ina's recipe is originally for 36 mini cookies, but I made mine larger. Make sure to follow her original instructions if you want lil mini babies!
- Lingonberries are native to Scandinavia, and are popular in Swedish cuisine. I usually find mine at IKEA or T.J. Maxx/Marshall's/Home Goods under the brand Scandinavian Delights. If you can't find any, most grocery stores carry red currant preserves and they're very similar!