Advertisement
Share

Chocolate raspberry linzer cookies

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Makes about 3 dozen sandwich cookies
Chocolate raspberry linzer cookies
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
Share
Print RecipePrint Recipe

Many hands help make holiday cookies. That’s true when you’re gathered with family and friends and vats of colored icing. It’s true when you’re running a contest for cookie recipes, when it takes thousands of readers, dozens of cooking school students and five hungry judges to choose the best. And, it turns out, that’s even true if you’re one of the winners.

This year’s Holiday Cookie Bake-Off attracted nearly 200 recipe entries. More than 7,000 votes were cast by readers on our Facebook page. We took the top 50 vote-getters to the folks at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, and students and faculty there baked them all off.

L.A. Times Food Editor Russ Parsons, Deputy Food Editor Betty Hallock and Times Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter spent one Saturday morning tasting every single one along with Lachlan Sands, dean of Le Cordon Bleu, and one of his students, Katherine Berg.

Last Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen was jammed with happy bakers and their helpers for the photo shoot for today’s cover story. But none of them was happier than Nicole Cleghorn, who flew in for the event from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.

Her husband is a staff sergeant stationed there, and she follows the Times Food section online. So when she learned that her white chocolate turtle cookies were chosen among our 10 favorites in this year’s contest, she planned to email us a photograph.

But then her friends came through. One, whose husband travels a lot on business, donated enough airline miles to get her a free ticket. Five others chipped in enough cash for a couple of nights in a hotel. And so Cleghorn was able to join the nine local winners in the Test Kitchen.

She brought a box of intricately decorated cookies she’d made at home and marveled at the turn of events. “That hotel!” she said. “My goodness, it has glass elevators and robes in every room.”

Amazing what great cookies -- and the hands of many friends -- can do.

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 2 1/2-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.)

Adapted from a recipe by Cheryl Margolin.