Oooh! Ahhh! Mmmm ...

A tiny cookie packs a big punch of flavor with ginger and clove.

Photo by Amy Spiro

Are you ready for the prettiest, daintiest, loveliest cookie you've ever seen? Then you're ready for these miniature linzer torte treats. A buttery almond dough, a flavor-packed jam filling and a dusting of icing sugar on top really are the perfect combination. The dough gets its flavor from the ground nuts but also the brown sugar, citrus zest and a variety of spices. It may seem like a lot of ingredients for one cookie, but the hints of ginger and clove are definitely present in the final product. 

The cookies are delicious, but the jam is really a star here too, so you don't want to skimp on the cheapest brand. I have a soft spot in my heart (and stomach) for raspberry jam, but strawberry is also great -- really whatever flavor you love most. And if you're lucky enough like me to live near a place you can purchase your nuts freshly ground, then go for that as well. Your taste buds will thank you!  

Amy Spiro is a journalist and writer based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute's baking and pastry track, a regular writer for The Jerusalem Post and blogs at bakingandmistaking.com. She also holds a BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU.

Servings & Times
Yield:
  • Makes about 4 dozen cookies
Active Time:
  • 1 hr
Total Time:
  • 3 hrs
Ingredients

1 cup (200g) unsalted butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest

1 cup (100g) ground hazelnuts or walnuts

2 1/2 cups (315g) flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 cup good-quality raspberry or strawberry jam

Confectioner's sugar, for dusting

Steps
  1. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add in the eggs, vanilla and zest and beat to combine. Beat in the ground nuts until well mixed. Add in the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground cloves and ginger, and mix until all ingredients are completely combined.
  2. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Roll the dough out to about 1/4" thick on a well-floured surface. Cut out as any fluted rounds as possible. In 50% of the rounds, cut a small center hole (can use a piping tip).
  3. Bake the cookies on parchment-paper lined baking sheets at 350 F for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are turning golden brown. Let cool completely.
  4. Spread the bottom cookies with a thin layer of jam, without spreading it all the way to edges, otherwise it will ooze out. Top with a cut-out cookie, and sift confectioner's sugar over the finished sandwich cookies.