Cheryl Margolin of Lake Elsinore was one of the 10 winners of last year's Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off with her chocolate raspberry linzer cookies:
"I started making these six or seven years ago. I saw a recipe that was something like it and just extrapolated a little bit. I fix them mostly just for the holidays, but my beautiful daughters do love them, and I go with what they love. When you find something that works, you stick with it."
Chocolate raspberry linzer cookies are one of the favorite recipes we've collected in our updated "Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookies" e-book. The cookbook now includes 65 recipes from a wide range of sources including world-famous pastry chefs, favorite bakeries and home cooks. And check out the favorite holiday recipes we've collected in our "Los Angeles Times Holiday Handbook." The book shares more than 110 seasonal recipes to help you celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's.
Each book is $4.99. They are available at the Los Angeles Times bookstore for Kindle, Nook and iBooks.
Total time: 1½ hours, plus chilling and cooling times
Servings: Makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies
Note: Adapted from a recipe by Cheryl Margolin.
2 1/3 cups (10 ounces) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 to ¾ teaspoon pure almond extract
2 cups semisweet or dark chocolate chips
Raspberry jam or preserves
Powdered sugar, for dusting
1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the almond extract. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture. Divide the dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, preferably overnight.
2. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured board, roll out half of the dough to a thickness of one-eighth inch. Cut out rounds using a 2½-inch cookie cutter.
3. Repeat with the remaining dough. On these rounds, use a 1-inch cookie cutter to cut holes in the center of the dough. Reroll the trimmings to form extra cookie tops and bottoms.
4. Bake the cookies on ungreased baking sheets just until set, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the sheets and cool on a rack.
5. In a metal bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate chips, stirring until smooth. Spread 1 measured teaspoonful of the melted chocolate on the flat side of each whole cookie. Top with one-half measured teaspoonful of the raspberry jam. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the cookie tops with holes; place a cookie top over each prepared bottom to form the sandwich cookie. Repeat until all of the sandwiches are assembled. (The cookies are best assembled shortly before they are eaten, as they can become smudged if stacked and stored.)
Each of 3 dozen sandwich cookies: 143 calories; 2 grams protein; 20 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 7 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 21 mg cholesterol; 12 grams sugar; 53 mg sodium.