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28 February, 2010

Linzerbackerei Cookies

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Ingrients & Directions

=== FOR DOUGH ===
3 c All-purpose flour
1/8 ts Salt
1 ts Ground cinnamon
1/2 ts Ground cloves
1 c Cold butter -; (2 sticks)
1 1/2 c Granulated sugar
Grated peel of 1 lemon
2 c Finely ground pecans
4 Egg yolks
3 tb Milk
1 c Dried apricots -; (6 oz)
1 2/3 c Water
1/2 c Granulated sugar
2 Egg whites; beaten
60 Pecan halves
2 Egg yolks; beaten

To prepare dough: sift together flour, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Cut
butter into mixture until crumbs are about the size of small peas. Add
sugar, lemon rind and pecans; mix thoroughly. Add 4 egg yolks and milk, a
little at a time, mixing quickly and evenly through flour with a fork until
dough forms a ball. Small butter particles will be seen in the dough. Wrap
in waxed paper; refrigerate until firm, several hours or overnight. To
prepare filling: place apricots in a heavy-bottomed saucepan; add water.
Cover and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, or until mixture reaches the consistency
of preserves. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Add sugar; cook for 5
minutes. Let cool. Set aside. To assemble cookies: Preheat oven to 350
degrees. Divide dough into thirds. Roll out dough, 1 portion at a time, on
a well-floured surface to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into circles, using
a floured 2-inch cookie cutter. Transfer circles to a well-greased, shiny
baking sheet. Brush each circle with beaten egg white. Gather the dough
scraps; roll them into pencil-thin strips or logs. Place a ring of dough
around the edge of each circle, on the top of the circle; cut strips to fit
circles and press ends to seal edges. Fill center of each cookie with about
1/2 teaspoon apricot filling. Place a pecan half in center of cookie,
pushing pecan gently into the apricot mixture. Brush the edge of the dough
and the pecan half with beaten egg yolk. (This gives the cookie gloss and
color.). Continue shaping remaining dough and filling. Bake for 12 to 14
minutes, or until done. Yield: About 60 (2-inch) cookies.

Tester’s notes: When preparing the dough, it might be helpful to use your
hands and knead the dough into a ball rather than depend on the fork. The
keys to the recipe are (1) keeping the dough cold, and (2) grinding the
pecans fine, but not allowing them to become oily. I also recommend that
the apricots be cut up with the stirring spoon during cooking. Be careful
when applying the egg yolk glaze, because if you use too much, it will fill
in the pecan grooves, creating a cooked egg appearance after baking. During
the last 2 to 4 minutes of baking time, I brushed some more egg yolks on
the cookies and returned them to the oven to finish baking. This gave them
a beautiful golden brown glaze. Judging when these cookies are finished
baking is tricky — the centers might be too soft while the outer edges
appear done. Use your judgment about baking times.

60 servings

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