Chasing Delicious | Blood Orange Linzer Cookies
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Blood Orange Linzer Cookies

Blood Orange Linzer Cookies

Metronomical tapping quietly drums away on the weathered, wet deck outside my window. I focus my eyes ahead of me trying hard to ignore the wall to wall windows surrounding me – I chose my beautifully luminous breakfast room as an office so I’d have no problem spotting incessant distractions from duties and tasks. My idiosyncratic, often compulsively-obsessed brain counts each tap outside; my eyes and a majority of my attention focuses on dawning one small line after another smaller line in pursuit of a graphic masterpiece my client will surely shoot down, a tedious task sitting high up on my to-do list. The bouncing drops quickly create a pace around which my work is moulded; I find myself in a race with each drop, trying to to beat gravity in its unrelenting pull.

The persistent beat of the raindrops fall with a calando to an irregular, difficult to predict pace. My curious eyes move away from my computer for just a brief moment in search of the source of the tapping. Expecting to find heavy, depressing, dark clouds – a cold, gloomy sight filling the morning thus far – I find layers of greys are replaced by bright blues. A wash of fog and steady rain are now succeeded by shiny bubbles of water resting delicately on blades of grass and barely-broad sprouting leafs. A lone trickle of rain drops fall from a crevice created by the merging pitches of my roof; the source of the beat to which my work has been built now found.

I shut my computer – crap, did I save? oh well – and slip a pair of nearby shoes on. Expecting to shiver in the late winter cold, I am instead welcomed with the warm breeze of an early spring day. I take a few more steps outside and a flood of questions whirl around inside my head. How long has my grass been this green? When did the trees start sprouting leaves? Have there always been this many birds bouncing about? Wait. When did the flowers come back? Soon I am lost in my own backyard, admiring an early spring.  I frivolously pick some fluffy dandelion, orange tree blossoms and a daisy or two as I wander around in search of nothing but a few free smiles.

With the freshly pruned flowers plopped into a jar of water, I head off to a nursery – my to-do list forgotten. Back home I begin to fill long-abandoned clay pots with small, fledgling herb plants. I arrange an old, dirty gardener’s cart with my favorites, carrying a few off to other parts of the deck. I plant a few gerber daisies, a purple and hunter green peppermint plant and a hardy rosemary from the previous year. With huffs and grunts, I struggle to drag a forgotten, far-too heavy for just me to carry, mossed over bird bath up to the deck. I clap and brush my hands together to shake off loose dirt – a cloud of dust and pollen circles around me. I pause admiring my handy work before slipping inside just before the sun begins to routine trek back down the western sky.

Back in front of my open computer I ignore my work once again and stare out the large breakfast room windows. Instead of staring at a cold, wet deck with lonely patio furniture, I watch a bluejay flap about as a small female house sparrow takes a few petite sips in the freshly filled bird bath. I peer out at growing herbs, slowly overtaking a rod iron cart before my eyes dart about the collection of eclectic, scattered pots of rosemary, gerber daises, pansies and mint.

I shut my computer again and decide to search for a recipe to celebrate an early spring. I quickly decide on linzer cookies, but what flavor jam and what kind of dough? A pile of blood oranges call out – the sweet and tart flavors and soft chew of a blood orange marmalade seem like a perfect companion for a buttery cookie that crumbles at the slightest hint of a mouth biting down. To add some depth and a little nuttiness I decide to make an almond shortbread dough. Together in a sandwiched cookie, dusted with sweet powdered sugar, these blood orange linzer cookies are a perfect, bright and scrumptious treat. The  sweet, tart, nutty and buttery notes coming together in wonderful harmony will have you hoarding stacks of these cookies when you leave the cookie jar.

Linzer Cookies – My linzer cookies are made with a crisp cookie top and bottom. To achieve a crisp cookie you need two things: a lot of fat (butter) and a lot of sugar. Because of this the dough can be very soft, thus requiring refrigerating before rolling out. To avoid the bottom of the cookies from over browning, it is best to bake the cookies on two stacked baking sheets. Also, be sure to watch the cookies carefully during the last few minutes of baking because cookies with a high sugar content go from light golden to dark drown very quickly.

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Blood Orange Linzer Cookies

This recipe is adapted from a Bo Friberg recipe and will yield 24 to 36 linzer cookies.

Difficulty: Easy

Tools:

Stand mixer or a bowl and spoon
parchment paper
Rolling Pin
Cookie cutters

  • 2″ circle, and/or
  • 2″  fluted circle, and/or
  • assortment of flower shapes, plus
  • 1/2″ circle cutter (for creating the center cutout)

Lined baking sheet (stacked on another baking sheet for even baking)
Small sieve
Spoon or small icing spatula

Ingredients:

16 ounces unsalted butter, at room temp.
7 ounces sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
14 ounces bread flour
4 ounces almonds, finely ground

8 ounces Blood Orange Marmalade (recipe below)
1 ounce powdered sugar

Instructions:  

1. Cream together the butter and sugar and mix until light and fluffy.

2. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until completely incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix in well.

3. Add the flour and ground almonds. Mix until a batter forms.

4. Split the dough into 2 equal portions and flatten each piece of dough out a bit between two pieces of parchment paper. Fold in the parchment paper so that the dough is not exposed and refrigerate the dough for an hour.

5. Preheat an oven to 325°F. Line the top of two stacked baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

6. On a lightly flowered surface, roll out the dough until it is about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick.

7. Using cookie cutters of your choice, cut out the dough and line the cookies on the cookie sheet. Be sure to cut a hole out of the center of every outer cut piece of dough (this piece will be the top, so you can see the jam), and you can bake the center cut outs as well – they make a scrumptious snack on their own.

8. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven for 28 to 32 minutes or until the edges just begin to turn golden brown. Watch carefully to make sure the cookies don’t overgrown.

9. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on a wire wrack. Let the cookies cool completely before assembling.

10. To assemble, first dust powdered sugar on the tops of all the cookies with the center cut out. Next, spread a small spoonful of jam on the bottom of a whole cookie. Carefully press a dusted cookie top onto the jam.

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Blood Orange Marmalade - Because marmalade contains whole chunks of rind it can be very tart and even a bit bitter (depending on the citrus you use). To avoid this you can bring the rinds to a boil on their own a few times (using just enough fresh water each time to cover the rinds, discarding the water). This will remove some of the bitterness. Also be sure to chop the rind very fine as large chunks will not spread easily for a small application like cookies.  Citrus, particularly lemon, contains a large amount of pectin and thus it is not necessary to add pectin to make marmalade thicken.

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Blood Orange Marmalade

This recipe will  yield about 8 to 12 ounces of marmalade, enough for one jar.

Difficulty: Easy

Tools:

Chefs knife
Paring knife
Heavy bottomed pot
Wooden spoon
Clean jar

Ingredients:

3 medium/large blood oranges
1 meyer lemon
8 ounces sugar
1/2 cup water

Instructions:  

1. Remove the pulp and juice from the oranges and lemon into the heavy bottom potted. Chop the rind from one of the oranges and from the lemon finely and add to the pot.

2. Add the sugar and water to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.

3. Boil the mixture, stirring occasionally, at a full boil for about 15 minutes or until the jam reaches 220°F or is very thick – to test the thickness stick a plate in the freezer, remove it, drop a small spoonful of jam on the plate, place back in the freezer for 30 seconds, remove and check the consistency. You should be able to hold the plate sideways without the jam running down the plate.

4. Pour the jam into a clean jar and set aside. Once cool store refrigerated. This jam will keep for a week in the fridge.

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Enjoy!

 

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AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Founder of Chasing Delicious, and author of Haute Dogs, Russell's works have been featured in Southern Living, Men's Fitness, Redbook, TRADHome, and Real Simple magazines and on various sites including Lifehacker, Fast Co., Business Insider, The Kitchn, Live Originally, Quipsologies, Explore, and Fine Cooking. Follow Russell on Twitter @rvank and Instagram. Get more delicious @chasedelicious.

39 Comments

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  • Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño

    these look excellent and your pictures are wonderful. It;s always fin to see the shapes of the cookies before they are assembled.

  • Sommer@ASpicyPerspective

    Ohhhhhh! If I ever wanted a cookie more than now, I can’t think of the time. What a gorgeous recipe!

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

    These look unbelievable!

  • Miriam @ Overtime Cook

    As usual, these are absolutely beautiful. I just experimented with linzers for the first time, and I’m now ready to try some more. Must try these!

  • thelittleloaf

    Your cookies look absolutely wonderful. I’ve never made linzer cookies but this looks like the perfect recipe to get started with :-)

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    These are absolutely lovely!

  • Diane {Created by Diane}

    they are so pretty and I’m sure delicious!

  • Paula @ Dishing the Divine

    I love your pictures. :) They make me smile. :) Can you believe the only cookie cutters I own are Halloween and Christmas themed? Not a single round one or flower one in sight. Must remedy that some day. :)

  • kelly

    Lovely read! Cookies were in the air. I made some last night. They weren’t even in the running compared to your beautiful gems. So, when is your journal/cookbook coming out? Or is it just my wishful thinking:)Keep up the great work!!

  • Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats

    Oh my! What lovely gorgeous looking cookies. I have always wanted to try blood orange, but I can’t seem to find them here even in our foreign grocer. It’s really a pity as I have been dying to bake something with blood orange. I can’t wait to check out what will you be doing next. Btw, your photos and food styling really inspires me to do better. Have a good week ahead. Cheers!! Jo

  • Kiri W.

    Fantastic! I love linzers, never thought to use blood orange though. Very beautiful treats.

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    Lovely linzer cookies with so many cute shapes! Love your styling, its so inviting :)

  • sarah

    Beautiful! I absolutely love blood oranges. What pretty cookies.

  • Heike Herrling - But it tasted good..

    Oh my, what a beautiful recipe. I love it! Biscuits are something I’m yet to blog.. you set a high bar!!
    Heike Herrling

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    I love all those pretty shapes, linzer cookies are always so beautiful.

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food

    Lots of fat and sugar!!! Yes and yes!

    You did good, my friend… very very good. ;-)

  • RavieNomNoms

    I LOVE those pictures of the cookies that are cut out. How creative! Just beautiful! I am sure that blood orange just makes that so sweet and delicious!

  • TidyMom

    Russell these are GORGEOUS!!
    I’m definitely adding to my must make cookie list!

  • Magic of Spice

    These are just beautiful! Love the varied shapes :)

  • Amy at Gastronome Tart

    I have yet to actually cook or bake with blood oranges. I love these cookies as the filling looks similar to possibly a raspberry (minus the seeds of course) due to the color.

  • Stephanie

    Just beautiful! I cannot wait until spring comes here too and I can wander around in the yard without having to put snow boots on.

    The cookies look lovely too, I have had this kind of cookie on my list for a long long time!

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out

    These are beautiful! Blood oranges are hard to find where I live, so I have simply been lusting over gorgeous blood orange recipes like this one recently!

  • Kulsum at JourneyKitchen

    This season i have been hooked on blood oranges. Have something to blog about this weekend too. Beautiful!

  • Amy @ FragrantVanillaCake

    These are beautiful! I love this blood orange variation even more than the usual berry jam filled linzer! Perfect for this time of year!

  • Chris and Amy

    Beautiful! Gorgeous! Love the blood orange…a nice twist!

  • kitchenriffs

    Boy, I don’t bake enough. You’re good, and select such great recipes – it’s a pleasure to read your blog. Like the new background! As always, good post. Thanks.

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet

    I’ve seen a lot of blood orange recipes lately, are they in season? Because we only get them for a really short period of time in Melbourne ~ These cookies look great and I love how you’ve made them into so many different shapes and sizes!

  • Suzi

    Hi new here, nice to meet you. Congrats, I saw this on the Top 9. I have been searching for blood oranges but they have somehow eluded me, I have plenty of navels growing in my yard along with grapefruits and tangerines but not these. Cute cookies you’ve made and the marmalade sounds wonderful. Hope you are having a fab day.

  • Cookin' Canuck

    This is such a beautifully written post, Russell. I look forward to spring for all of the distractions – the birds flitting through our garden, planning out our vegetable beds… I’d also be happily distracted by these pretty cookies.

  • Ken┃hungry rabbit

    Beautiful as always – poetic verses, tantalizing sweet treats and of course you eye catching photos.

  • Sandy @ tinytinyfork

    The shapes you cut out for the cookies are stunning! Love the photos and idea of blood orange filling :)

  • Brad

    How elegant! Great recipe! (and even better pictures!)

    Thanks for sharing,
    Brad

  • tinajo

    Looks lovely and yummy! :-)

  • Lora

    These are just gorgeous and such mouthwatering flavors. Wow.

  • Sara{OneTribeGourmet}

    Love your style of writing and equally love these beautiful blood orange linzer cookies!

  • Ilan (IronWhisk Blog)

    yum! looks great.

    I love linzer cookies but I usually have them with strawberry.. not orange. Will have to try this out soon.

  • Sharyn Dimmick

    What a surprise! I was expecting linzer made with blood orange curd, rather than marmalade.

  • Meeta

    I got lost in this post and saw so much of me. I have an ever distracting mind too and all seems more interesting just not the chore I have to complete. And like you I often go into the kitchen to bake. Linzer cookies in Germany are often served during Christmas but I like the tangy preserve you make for this. Lovely!

  • Ann

    I made these cookies the other day! They were absolutely amazing! I had received 3 large boxes of blood oranges over the holidays and was looking for tasty dishes to make. This was a perfect dessert!

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