Valentine's Day Linzer Cookies

A twist on the traditional Linzer cookies you normally see around Christmastime, my raspberry-filled Valentine's Day Linzer Cookies are the perfect romantic treat to bake for your sweetheart on February 14th!

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Last week, I had the honor of contributing a guest post to inPSYCHful Living, a lifestyle blog written by fellow residents of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Ali and Melissa. In the post, I shared my recipe for Valentine's Day Linzer Cookies in order to get their readers in the mood for the most romantic holiday of the year.

Although I mentioned my guest post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I wanted to also make mention of the cookie recipe here, just in case you're not following me on social media. If you like the idea of skipping the usual heart-shaped box of chocolates this Valentine's Day in favor of something homemade, then definitely keep reading!

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I started with the raspberry filling, which consisted of a combination of seedless raspberry jam and fresh lemon juice. You'll want to simmer the filling mixture over low heat until it has thickened a bit. After the filling has thickened, just remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature while you work on the dough for the cookies.

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Traditionally, the dough for Linzer cookies calls for butter, but I opted to use butter-flavored shortening instead since I had a few sticks of it in our pantry that were leftover from the holiday baking season.

When making this type of substitution, it's key to remember that you'll also need to add a little bit of water to the dough to achieve a consistency and texture that will allow for rolling. If you leave out the water, then you'll more than likely find yourself staring at a bowl of dry and crumbling dough that will inevitably refuse to come together nicely in a ball.

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Also required for the dough are sugar...

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... freshly grated lemon zest...

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... two large eggs...

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... fresh lemon juice, and all-purpose flour (I used unbleached flour). Once the dough comes together, you'll want to turn it out onto a clean, floured work surface and shape it into a ball. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. You want the dough to be firm but not hard.

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Once the dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured surface until it's about 1/2-inch thick and then cut the dough using your preferred cutters. I used this Linzer Cutter by Wilton, which allows me to keep the overall round shape of the cookie but that also allows me to cut out a heart shape for the center.

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The number of cookies you actually get will depend on the size of your cutters and the overall thickness of the dough. For this particular batch, I got more than 2 dozen cookies.

The size of the yield isn't that important, though, as long as you remember to cut out the same number of tops and bottoms.

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Arrange the rounds 1 ½ inches apart on your prepared baking sheets and bake for 13-15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown around the edges.

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Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow them to cool before filling and assembling.

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To fill the cookies, take one of the solid cookies and place a teaspoon or so of the raspberry filling in the center and then top with one of the cutout cookies.

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When your Linzer cookies have been assembled, you’ll see the beautiful red color of the raspberry filling peeking through the heart-shaped cutouts.

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Cute, right?

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To finish, dust the tops of the cookies with some confectioners' sugar. Then just stand back in awe at what you created.

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Pure magic.

Are you ready to get baking? Grab the recipe HERE!

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