With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I thought a recipe for some heart-shaped sugar cookies would be perfect to share. However, when I pulled out my cookie cutter collection the other day — divided by holiday, of course — I was shocked to find that I only own teeny tiny heart cookie cutters, and I wasn’t about to make a special shopping trip.
While I love mini desserts as much as the next person, tiny conversation heart cookies were out of the question (though they would be adorable). Finally, I remembered the Linzer cookies I’d make a few years back and set to work. After all, what could be cuter this time of year than a petite heart-shaped window filled with red raspberry jam?
After a major overhaul to the previous version, I’m happy to present the recipe below. The cookies have a crisp, delicate texture in part due to the use of a food processor (the almond meal makes them too grainy otherwise). Both sweet and a little bit tart I suppose these are even an appropriate (given the season) metaphor for love.
Holiday Baking: New and Traditional Recipes for Wintertime Holidays)
Preparation Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Chilling Time: 4+ hours
Baking Time: 9 – 10 minutes
Makes: 4 dozen sandwich cookies
- 60 grams (1/2 cup) millet flour, plus more for rolling
- 60 grams (1/2 cup) garbanzo fava flour
- 96 grams (1/2 cup) potato starch
- 32 grams (1/4 cup) arrowroot starch
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 144 grams (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 96 grams (1/2 cup) golden brown sugar
- 280 grams (2 cups) blanched almond meal/flour
- 168 grams (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 10 grams (2 teaspoons) vanilla extract
- 5 grams (1 teaspoon) almond extract
Filling and Decorating:
- 1 cup raspberry jam, strain seeds if desired
- Powdered sugar
Make and Chill Dough:
Whisk together millet flour through table salt in a large bowl, set aside. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine both sugars and almond flour, blend for 30 seconds. Add softened butter to the almond-sugar mixture, process for 1 minute—it will become somewhat of a paste. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs and extracts to the mixture, run the machine for 30 more seconds. Scrape almond paste mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir by hand until the dough comes together into a smooth ball.
Sprinkle a sheet of plastic wrap with millet flour. Spoon dough onto the plastic wrap; sprinkle with a little more flour and pat out into a disk. Wrap up the dough very well and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before rolling.
Roll Out and Bake Cookies:
Divide the dough into four pieces; work with one at a time, keep the others wrapped and refrigerated. Flour a clean counter or pastry mat and roll the dough to 1/8″ thickness. Cut 2 1/2″ fluted rounds out of the dough. Make a “window” in the center of half of the cutouts with a smaller cookie cutter of your choice. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets, about 1/2″ apart. Form all scraps into a disk, wrap and re-chill in the freezer before repeating rolling/cutting process.
Bake one sheet of cookies at a time in the preheated oven, about 9-10 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Allow cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack.
Fill and Decorate Cookies:
Once all of the cookies are baked and cooled, it’s time to assemble the cookies¹. Transfer the preserves to a microwave safe container. Heat for 15-30 seconds on high power to loosen them up a little, stir well.
Flip the full cookie rounds so they are bottom side up. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the preserves into the center; spread it out evenly leaving a 1/4″ border around the edges. Top with a window cookie, pressing together gently to seal. Place finished cookie on a serving platter or back onto the cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cookies.
Once all of the cookies are filled, sift some powdered sugar over them—how heavy a dusting is up to you! Serve immediately or cover and keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
¹ At this point, you may also wrap and freeze the unfilled cookies for up to 3 months and fill them at a later date.