The Linzer tart cookie is one of the newest additions to my assortment of cookies I make during this holiday season. Originally, I made heart-shaped ones for Valentine’s Day, dipping the corner in chocolate and garnishing with pink and red nonpareils. When people asked me when I would be making them again, I decided to make them for Christmas along with all the other cookies and pastries I already make.

The Linzer tart originated in Linz, Austria, hence the name. Typically, the dough is made with finely ground almonds, and the filling is raspberry preserve.

Cheffie’s version is a little different. I’m not fond of raspberry, but give me anything with cherries and I’m happy. You can use blueberry, or mixed berry, or whatever you like, but I make them with cherry preserves.

The other difference is that I use finely ground pecans—just my little way of changing it up to make it interesting. The combination of the cherries and the pecans is divine.

So now it can be said that my box of cookies fully represents my nuclear family, and my husband can’t tease me that everything is Greek only. Ray is three-quarters Italian, and I make his mother’s Italian wedding cookies. The Linzer tart cookies represent his one-quarter German. But the rest is ALL GREEK!

 Linzer Tart Cookies

 16 ounces pecans

1 cup cornstarch

6 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

5½ cups flour

Cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 325°

In a food processor, pulse pecans and cornstarch until pecans are finely ground.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until blended, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, salt, and eggs. Slowly add flour and then the pecan mixture until fully blended. Divide into 6 balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in saran wrap. Refrigerate for at least1 hour.

On a floured surface, roll out cookie dough and cut out desired shape with a cookie cutter, making equal amounts of tops and bottoms. The tops have the extra cutout in the middle.

Bake about 17 minutes. The edges should just be starting to golden a bit, but the cookie should not brown. Cool on a wire rack. Spread cherry preserves on bottom half of cookie and place top half carefully over the preserves. When each one is assembled, dust powdered sugar generously on each cookie.

Yields about 40 cookies



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