Valentine’s Day? Just bring me chocolate and it’s all good. For years, poor Cap’n Awesome used to get truly flummoxed as each Valentine’s Day approached because he couldn’t figure out what I wanted (chocolate).
A century ago when life included small children, an old house with a series of unfortunate events including a mortgage and real winters, he made the mistake of getting me a prearranged bouquet of flowers. It came complete with all the cheap frilly crap they use for filler. That last sentence probably gives you a hint about what I think of prearranged bouquets.
Silly Awesome actually thought I was trying to cut back on sweets so he didn’t think I wanted chocolate. That he remembered all the way to the following year about those sad flowers must tell you how much of an imprint my reaction must have made (read: rhymes with witch).
That next year a few days before Valentine’s Day, he surprised me with a little heart-shaped box of Godiva chocolates. Every day a new box would appear – bigger than the last. That the last heart-shaped steamer-trunk-sized box on Valentine’s Day was bigger than the turkey platter seemed to make the point – Lisa likes chocolate. A lot. And Awesome knows it.
snark insurance he bought EVERY size heart box they had available that year, which meant he spent more that month on chocolate than on our mortgage.
These days we are more likely to open a nice bottle of wine and share a great dessert that we make at home. I like to bake stuff that makes the holiday seem way more personal – and better (read: less expensive than the mortgage). Like these easy gluten-free Linzer Hearts.
The base for these linzer hearts is an adaptation of Dorie Greenspan’s Sable Cookie. I use about half the dough for these and save the rest in the freezer for something else. Buy the best raspberry jam (seedless is less work) you can afford because the flavor is the star of the cookie. I like to bake them one day and fill the next so that they get a chance to fully develop their flavors. This is an easy recipe to put together and it is great to do if you only have snippets of time because each step can wait until you get around to it.
Skip the expensive flowers and chocolate and make these. Or get the chocolate and make these anyway.
|Linzer Hearts, Gluten Free||
- 170 grams or 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 100 grams sugar (about ½ cup)
- 30 grams sifted powdered sugar, sift before measuring (about ¼ cup)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large egg yolks plus 1 whole large egg
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground powdered lemon peel
- ½ teaspoon almond flavoring
- ½ teaspoon Framboise Liquor
- 280 grams GF flour (about 2 cups) (150 superfine brown rice flour, 80 grams tapioca flour/starch, 50 grams superfine white rice flour)
- 1 cup raspberry jam (good quality, seedless or strained)
- 1 tablespoon Framboise Liquor
- 50 grams powdered sugar, sifted after measuring (about ½ cup)
- Dough needs to be refrigerated overnight, at minimum. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add in sugars, salt, Mix again until smooth. Add in egg yolks and whole egg. Mix until fully incorporated. Add in cardamom, lemon peel, and flavorings. Weigh flours into a container and whisk together. Add to butter, egg mixture and beat on low until all the flour is incorporated. Using a spatula, take one more swing through the dough to make sure everything is mixed in.
- Drop the dough onto plastic wrap and smash it into disk. Cover well and refrigerate at least overnight, and even longer is better. The flavors develop with rest.
- When ready to bake, take half the dough at a time (refrigerate the rest). Let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes (covered). Roll between two layers of plastic wrap while still chilled. You may have to use the rolling-pin to press into the dough to get it rolling. Roll about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. Cut into heart shapes. Cut half the hearts in the center with a smaller heart shape. Remove to the prepared baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake about 5 minutes. Rotate pans. Turn oven temperature to 325. Bake at 325 for about 10-15 minutes or just until the cookies turn a pale golden brown. Don’t under bake or the cookies will fall apart easily. Over bake and they will be pretty dark and not look great – but they will taste just fine. If you want, bake one test cookie to see what your oven does and how long it takes. Sometimes I find that helpful.
- Cool cookie on the baking sheet without touching them (they will break if you move them while warm). Once cool to the touch, remove to a baking rack to finish cooling completely.
- While cookies are baking or even a day ahead, heat up jam until simmering. Add in the Framboise and stir thoroughly. Make sure the mixture is strained so there are not seeds (but alternatively – if you love raspberry seeds, feel free to leave them in the jam). Cool thoroughly. The mixture will thicken as it cools off. It is ready when it is just about back to thick jam status.
- Match up cookies so that each whole heart has one cut out outline cookie for the top. Use the small hearts for another purpose.
- Line up all the heart outlines, bottom sides up (flat side) on one baking rack with a sheet pan under it. Using a strainer, shake powdered sugar in a deep layer on the cutouts until they are all snowy white. Keep them far, far away from the other cookies. Powdered sugar only on the outline hearts!
- Place the jam on the whole heart cookie bottom side up (flat side) almost to the edges, but leave some room. You will use maybe a half teaspoon of jam on each cookie, but make sure the center looks like a pool of jam. Place a powdered sugar cut-out heart outline on top and gently wiggle it down lightly without disturbing the powdered sugar edging. Handle on the edge of the cookie only (which explains why they are so thick!). Place on a rack to set. They will set up in a matter of hours. Try to not disturb them before that or you risk sugar falling into the jelly).
- And there you have it. Linzer hearts for those you heart.