The linzer cookie, based on a traditional Austrian torte, is another holiday classic. A tender, buttery cookie is filled with jam, sandwiched and dusted with powdered sugar. Elegant, yet fairly simple to make.
This recipe by Alexandra Stafford via King Arthur Flour, substitutes almond flour for some of the traditional wheat flour in the recipe. It adds a little more texture to the biscuit (for you Brits), while still keeping it manageable with the wheat flour. The inclusion of fresh lemon zest lifts the taste the cookie and pairs really well with berry jam. We used strawberry in the ones in the photos, but you can use any kind of jam or preserve or even a curd it you like.
These keep on the counter for about three days, in the freezer for a month or so. Be careful when storing. It's hard to tough up the powdered sugar ones the cookies are sandwiched together.
TIP: This dough MUST be cold for rolling and cutting. It will be too sticky otherwise. Roll and cut in small batches using a dusting of flour to make the job easier.
Here's a great cookie for you matcha fans out there. Sorry, but I'm not among you. But then, we women of a certain age often prefer the classics. But I digress....
This is a great way to include some natural green to your cookie dough - and to include that grassy tea flavor as well! Our matcha cut-out cookies are topped with melted white chocolate and some sprinkles, because, hey, it's the holiday season. White chocolate provides a nice sweetness and smooth texture to balance the earthier flavor of the tea.
The recipe is adapted slightly from one by blogger Stephanie of The Buttery Whisk. Hers calls for culinary grade matcha, but we used organic matcha tea because that's what was available readily. Ours turned out a lighter green, but the cookies are still a celebration color! We also cut the recipe in half, because most of us don't need that many matcha-flavored cookies. :)
We made our cookies mini-size using our own mini stamping cutters without the stamping part, and the wreaths were made from two small, scallop-edged cookie cutters. This recipe produced about 3 dozen 2-inch cutouts.
Note: The dough is a bit sticky, so you will need to flour the rolling surface and keep the dough chilled to get good cut-outs. We found it best to work with about 1/3 of the dough at a time, keeping the other sections in the fridge until ready to use.
tip + buying information
We tried out several ways of piping with melted white chocolate, but found this gadget to be our favorite. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave right in the silicone bulb and attach any kind of standard, metal tip that you like. (don't microwave that!). We used our smallest round tip for our cookies.
You can purchase our favorite bulb piping gadget at home stores and on Amazon. If you purchase one on Amazon, we will receive a small referral fee.
What's the secret to our melt-in-your mouth, easy maple bourbon pecan bars? We start with a mix!
We served these, cut into bite-size pieces, at a recent family gathering and everyone wanted the recipe. I recommend getting more than one box!
We start our bars with a mix from Trader Joe's called Maple Pecan Shortbread Bar Mix. We add a half-cup of our own toasted pecans and substitute 2 Tablespoons of bourbon for part of the box recipe's 3 Tablespoons of water. Otherwise, follow the box directions. Below is our list of ingredients you'll need and few photos of the bars in progress.
They're best fresh, but will keep for several days (not that they'll last that long). If you're making them ahead, cut into serving portions and freeze in a well-sealed container.
(not sponsored - just a fan!)
These tender little pastries were made by both my grandmothers, both of whom were immigrants of Czech heritage. I don't know anyone who tries these who doesn't want to have another. They are traditional for holidays, especially Christmas.
Kolacky (also kolachke) are made from a simple cream cheese and butter dough which is rolled, cut into squares, and filled with jams, nuts or cheese. You must sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving for authenticity. My grandmas always made apricot, cheese and prune (yuck) versions. We used raspberry-lime, peach with honeycomb, and lemon curd fillings with great results. Those are the flavors pictured in this post.
The dough requires chilling plus several other steps, so this is not a quickie recipe. But it's pretty, tasty and looks great on your holiday treats table.
Kolacky are best fresh, but will keep for up to a week in a tightly sealed container. They also freeze well for up to a month or so. Do not store with other cookies, as they will pick up the other flavors. In fact, we recommend you store each kind of cookie you bake in a separate container. Otherwise, they all taste a bit like all the other cookies, and none has a great flavor.
ingredients & equipment
Recipes and mixing tips
Simple recipes for home cooks using SideSwipe + your mixer. Tips for using + caring for your mixer. Our goal = Helping you get a perfect mix + great taste.