Night at the Opera Linzer Cookies
Linzer cookies are neat, elegant and uniform cookies that strike the perfect balance between soft and crumbly.
Makes 18 sandwich cookies
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
According to Alan Shane Lewis, host on The Great Canadian Baking Show, a Linzer cookie is a “sandwich cookie with a window into its jammy soul.”
This recipe helped Mahathi Mundluru win Star Baker for Cookie Week on The Great Canadian Baking Show, Season 4.
Linzer cookies are an Austrian treat. “Austria is known to be the capital of classical music, so I decided to make my cookies all music-themed,” Mahathi said on the show.
“I also play piano and guitar and flute, so I thought it’d be a fun way to incorporate myself into the cookie.”
Judge Kyla Kennaley praised the flavour combination in these cookies, saying, “the spices in the mulled wine jam complement the chocolate beautifully.”
Mulled Wine Jam:
- 1 ½ cups (375 ml) full-bodied red wine, such as zinfandel, barolo or cabernet sauvignon
- ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
- 1-inch thick slice of orange
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ tsp (1 g) black peppercorns, bruised with a mortar and pestle
- ¾ tsp (2 g) whole anise seeds, bruised with a mortar and pestle
- 4 bay leaves, broken
- 3 whole cloves
- 4-inch cinnamon stick, broken
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) water
- 2 tbsp (12 g) cornstarch
- 2 ½ cups (336 g) flour
- ⅔ cup (64 g) cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup (32 g) cornstarch
- ¾ tsp (3 g) salt
- ¾ cups (168 g) butter, cool (not room temperature)
- 1 cup (200 g) sugar
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil
- 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla
- 1 large egg, cold
- Zest of a ½ orange
- ½ cup (56 g) icing sugar, optional
Mulled Wine Jam
Combine wine, sugar, orange, salt and spices into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, strain and return to saucepan.
Stir together 2 tbsp water and cornstarch in a small bowl and add into the wine mixture. Simmer until mixture has a thick, jam-like texture, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and chill until ready to use.
Heat oven to 350 F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together flour, cocoa, cornstarch and salt.
Cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vegetable oil, vanilla and egg, mix until well combined. Add flour mixture.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll to generous ⅛-inch thickness.
Cut into 36 shapes and transfer to prepared sheets. Bake until set, 9-12 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Spread or pipe half the cookies with jam and sandwich with remaining cookies. Dust with icing sugar, if desired.