Raspberry Linzer Cookies

Makes about 28 sandwich cookies

2 cups sliced natural almonds

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 cup raspberry preserves

Confectioners' sugar

1. In a food processor, process the almonds and 1/2 cup flour until nuts are very finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl and add remaining flour.

2. Using an electric mixer on medium, beat butter until smooth, 1 minute. Gradually beat in granulated sugar; continue beating until light, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla and lemon zest. Reduce speed to low; add flour in thirds and mix just until smooth.

3. Shake dough into two thick disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

4. Position racks in the top third and center of oven. Preheat to 350 degrees. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.

5. Working with one disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface until 1/8 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch fluted cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Arrange cookies 1 inch apart on pans.

6. Using a 1-inch fluted cutter, cut out centers of half the cookies to make the cookie tops. Bake, switching the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until cookie edges are very lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Cool on pans 5 minutes; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

7. Spread 1 teaspoon of the preserves on each whole cookie. Sift confectioners' sugar over the cookie tops. Sandwich together, pressing gently to adhere. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, layers separated by wax or parchment paper, for up to 5 days.

-- Karen Mitchell and Sarah Mitchell Hansen, "The Model Bakery Cookbook" (Chronicle, $35, 208 pages)