Linzer Cookies

Makes about 20 cookies

2¼ cups flour

1 cup almonds

½ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cloves

½ pound unsalted butter

¼ teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon each grated orange and lemon zest

Good quality preserves

Powdered sugar

1. Combine flour, almonds, sugar, salt and spices in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground.

2. Add butter and pulse until mixture looks damp and crumbly. Add almond extract and zests, then pulse until mixture begins to clump. Remove dough., and knead a few times to make sure ingredients are blended. Form into two flat patties, wrap and chill 2 hours to 3 days. (Dough also may be frozen up to 3 months.)

3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness, between sheets of wax paper. Using a heart, star or scalloped cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Cut a small "window" from the center of half the cookies.

4. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 13-15 minutes, or until just beginning to color at the edges. Let cookies firm 1-2 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool. (Cookies may be kept in an airtight container for a month or more.)

5. Shortly before serving, spread each solid cookie with a thin layer of preserves. Sift powdered sugar over the cookies with cutouts, then place atop preserve-topped cookies.

-- Alice Medrich, "Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies," (Workman Publishing, 384 pp., $25.95)


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