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LINZER SQUARES

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LINZER SQUARES

about 3 dozen squares

 

An adaptation of the famous Austrian Linzer Torte, these rich and delicate tea cookies are traditionally filled with raspberry preserves.  An apricot filling may be substituted.

 

  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar or the equivalent of 2/3 cup sugar in granulated sugar substitute
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs or the equivalent of 2 egg in egg substitute, IE, Egg Beaters, at room temperature and well beaten
  • ¼ cup milk or reduced-fat or skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1½ to 1 ¾ cups thick red raspberry or apricot preserves or seedless red raspberry jam, or reduced-sugar preserves or jam of choice
  • 1 egg yolk or egg white, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts or pecans
  • Confectioners' sugar, as needed and sifted

 

Sift together the first 4 ingredients.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles fine meal. Combine 2 eggs, milk, and lemon peel; add mixture to flour mixture, mixing until dry particles are thoroughly moistened.  Divide dough into 2 portions, using two-thirds of the dough in one portion and one-third of the dough in the second portion.  Wrap each in foil or plastic wrap and chill thoroughly. 

 

Roll the larger portion of dough on a lightly floured board into a rectangle to fit an ungreased 15 x 10-x 1-inch baking pan.  Place dough in pan and press up around edges, making a 1/2-inch rim.  Spread preserves evenly over crust. 

Roll remaining dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Using a sharp knife or flutes pastry wheel, cut dough into strips 1/2-inch wide.  Lay dough strips over preserves diagonally in a lattice pattern.  Dough is very rich and hard to handle.  If it breaks, just overlap strips.  Or, top raspberry preserves or jam all over with bits of the cookie dough.  Beat egg yolk or egg white and water together; brush egg yolk/ egg white mixture over lattice dough top or bits of cookie dough.  Evenly sprinkle top with nuts of choice.

 Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 30 to 35 minutes, or until done and golden brown.  Cool thoroughly.  Sprinkle confectioners' sugar lightly over thoroughly cooled cookies.  With a sharp knife, cut into 2-inch squares.  Store in an airtight container in a cool dry area.  May freeze, well-wrapped and sealed, in aluminum foil.          

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