Dolce Mangia
Sweet Eats
Linzer Hearts
2 2/3 c flour
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
2 sticks unsalted butter
2/3 c sugar
4 oz hazelnuts or almonds, finely ground
1 c seedless raspberry jam
Confectioner's sugar for sprinkling

In a bowl, combine the flour and spices; stir well to mix; set aside.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together on medium speed the butter and sugar until soft and light, about 5 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and beat in the nuts and the flour and spice mixture, one at a time.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to finish mixing the dough. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap and chill the dough until it is firm, about an hour, or up to several days.

Set the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Cut the dough into three parts and refrigerate two of them. Place one third on a floured surface and flour it lightly. Press and pound the dough gently with a rolling pin to soften it, then roll the dough about 1/4" thick. Use a 2 1/2- to 3" heart-shaped cutter (or any round shape) to cut the dough. Place the cookies on parchment- or foil-covered pans about 1" apart.

If you have a tiny heart-shaped cutter, use it to cut the center out of half the cookies to make a window when they are sandwiched. Or use a small round cutter or a pastry tube, or leave the cookies unpierced. Repeat with the remaining dough. Mass the scraps together and roll them once again to make more cookies.

Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes or until they are a very pale golden color. Cool them on the pans on racks.

While the cookies are baking, bring the jam to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Let the jam reduce until it has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.

After the cookies have cooled, dust the pierced cookies lightly with confectioner's sugar. Invert the unpierced cookies and spread each with about 1/2 t of the reduced jam.

Top with the pierced cookies, sugar-side up. Use a small paper cone, a tiny spoon or the snipped corner of a non-treated plastic bag to fill in the windows of the cookies with more jam.

Store the finished cookies between sheets of parchment or waxed paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.

Time: 2.5 hours   Makes: 18

These make great Valentine gifts. The recipe can be found at:
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