Spicy chocolate shortbread cookies are sandwiched together with sweet raspberry jam and dusted with snowy icing sugar. These are shiny Christmas decorations that you can eat!Tonight Chris and I are headed out to my company’s Christmas party! We get all fancied up, eat in a delicious restaurant and enjoy a few adult beverages to celebrate another year of working hard. As you probably noticed if you’ve been stopping by my little corner of the internet for awhile, is that I love sharing my baked goods with my co-workers. They are always there to compliment me, or even offer me a little constructive criticism on what might work better next time. And, I LOVE to feed people! It’s a win, win. When I took these cookies into work, there was no comment afterwards at all, just crumbs! And I can understand why. These cookies are slightly sandy on the edges, like the best shortbread should be, and then softer in the middle. The dough is spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and just a touch of black pepper (Lynn taught me that) to really bring out the cocoa flavour. This dough comes together so easily, and like my Ginger Sandwiches it doesn’t require any chilling before you cut it out into shapes and bake them. I love baking Christmas cookies and being efficient at the same time! Linzer Cookies are always a reminder of the festive season to me because they remind me of one of my other favourite Christmas desserts: Linzer Torte! (If you haven’t tried this yet you really must. It’s a giant jam tart!) The other thing that I love (and you will too, I promise) is the little jammy window in the middle of these chocolate cookies. You can just see the shiny raspberry jam peeping out at you. That’s the cookie’s way of saying ‘Eat me! Eat me!’ And who are we to deny a cookie that life-long dream?These cookies look super fancy too, which makes them perfect for gifts for sweet tooths! And they are super easy to make, which fits into my holiday plans (which include: reading on the couch, running, taking a Pump class or two with my sister, reading on the couch, and maybe reading in bed). Once you’ve baked the cookies and sandwiched them with your choice of jam (cherry, apricot or strawberry would work here too), you shake some snow, I mean, icing sugar over the whole tray. It’s Christmas cookie magic.I made these as part of my friend Erin’s (from the wonderful Speckled Palate) Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange. It’s been so wonderful to see what everyone has been baking up for this cookie bonanza and I can’t wait to try out a few of the recipes over my Christmas holidays. There’s always room for more cookies in this house!
Spiced Chocolate Linzer Cookies
Gluten Free | Makes about 24 4cm sandwich cookies | Leftovers will keep up to a week in an airtight container
- 125 grams butter, softened
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup (or molasses)
- 70 grams sorghum flour
- 70 grams brown rice flour
- 40 grams white rice flour
- 50 grams hazelnut meal
- 50 grams buckwheat flour
- 30 grams cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup jam of your choice, to fill
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon gluten free cornflour
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and line three baking sheets with baking paper. Set aside until required.
- In a medium bowl whisk together sorghum flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, almond meal, buckwheat flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon ginger, black pepper and baking powder.
- In a large mixing bowl using hand beaters, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream softened butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add egg, vanilla, and golden syrup and beat until incorporated.
- Add flour, and use a wooden spoon to mix together dough. It may be tough to get it to come together in a ball, but you can use your hands if you need to.
- Scoop the dough together into a large ball. Divide this in half.
- Lightly dust your bench with some rice flour and gently roll out the dough to about .8cm thick. This dough is a little more delicate than a wheat dough but it will roll.
- Use your choice of cookie cutter to cut out shapes and place on prepared baking sheets. You can use a thin, flat, spatula to help remove the cut out shapes from the bench if required. Leave a little room for spreading. Using a 1.5cm round cutter (I used the end of a piping bag tip) remove a circle from the centre of 1/2 of the cookies.
- Once you have cut out all the shapes, gather together dough scraps and re-roll, continue until all the dough it used up.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden and the cookies have puffed up slightly.
- Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack before filling and pairing the cookies.
- When the cookies are cool spread the whole cookies with about 1 teaspoon of jam and then top with a window cookie. Once all the cookies are paired, mix together icing sugar and cornflour and then sift this over the top of the cookies.