how do i love thee?

i am not a big fan of the big annual v-day of mid-february. first of all, i ain't a big chocolate lover. second, i'm allergic to the fragrance of roses. third, such peer pressure!! a "special" dinner with a crowded house and inflated prices just doesn't seem all that romantic to me. so this thursday i hope to be sweating it out in my kickbox class that starts this week.

but i do have a soft spot for baked goods during the v-day madness. when i heard lovely zorra over at 1x umrühren bitte was hosting a heart for your valentine i knew i couldn't pass it up. i decided to make some linzer hearts, one of my favorite cookies. when i was in undergrad, i used to love treating myself to some at the all-popular hungarian pastry shop that was right around the corner from school. i figured if i was going to procastinate writing that 20 page paper on the use of romanian troops in the second world war, at least i should have some relevant late night snacking to go with it!

one of my favorite cookware shops in the city was always broadway panhandler. however, since it moved to 8th street, i just haven't been feeling the love. my last trip there was a disappointment. so today i decided to try sur la table. if martha lists it as resource, it has to be decent. and their website is pretty tempting so i had some good hopes ... that were quickly dashed. i was specifically looking for new aluminum jelly roll pans and mini muffin pans. all they had was non-stick (same problem i ran into at the bp). i don't want to get into a huge debate about why i don't use non-stick or silicone (carcinogens) but suffice to say, i do believe there should be other options for consumers than just the usual non-stick shit. i mean c'mon already!! if you're going to be using silpats anyway, why do you need non-stick pans? at least give me those in the real stuff!!

i was also annoyed at myself. usually i go to cook's companion here in brooklyn. they truly are a testament to quality vs. quantity. they may not have a huge store, or every variety of every tool. but they always have everything i need. sure the majority of bakeware is non-stick, but they have plenty of good old fashioned aluminum. for some reason, i still tend to think that manhattan stores will be better. and then every time i betray my borough-based consumer loyalty, i am faced with the stinkin' reality that they are not necessarily so.

i have to admit, i did forget about new york cake in the flatiron district. i haven't been there in years. last time i was there, buying supplies for christmas cookie gifts, i was greeted by the unmistakable aroma of ganja. the juxtaposition of looking for sprinkling sugar and smelling cannabis was just weird! :)

golden hearts
but i digress at the expense of sounding bitchy. this post is about happy hearts. somehow in my excitement, i used the wrong sized cutters. so not only were they a pain to put together because the cutouts were so thin and delicate, they also didn't quite come out looking the perfect ratio of white powder to red jam. but looks are so superficial when you have delicious flavor to enjoy! to check out other people's hearts, click here.

linzer hearts: makes 1 dozen cookies
from martha's baking handbook (2005, p. 117)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (4.5 oz) blanched hazelnuts
2 sticks butter, room temp
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1. in large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. in food processor, pulse hazelnuts until finely ground; whisk into flour mixture and set aside.

2. in bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. add egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon zest; beat to combine. add hazelnut-flour mixture and beat until just combined, 15 seconds.

3. turn dough onto floured surface. divide in half, shape into flattened disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

4. remove one disk from refrigerator and let stand until softened slightly (to prevent cracking). on large piece of parchment dusted with flour, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. transfer dough on sheet to pan and freeze until firm, about 20 minutes. repeat with other disk.

5. preheat oven to 325F. line two barking sheets with parchment paper. remove one sheet of dough from freezer; working quickly, cut into heart shapes with 3-inch cutter. cut out center heart from half of the shapes with a 2-inch cutter. transfer cut outs to prepared baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inch apart, and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. you can bake the center cutouts as bite-size cookies, or re-roll the dough - i decided on sandwich cookies).

6. bake, rotating halfway through, until cookies are crisp and lightly golden all over, about 15 minutes. transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool completely. spread flat sides with about 1 1/2 tsp of jam. sift confectioners' sugar on open hearts. top jammed hearts with open hearts and enjoy them with the one that makes you smile!

waiting to cool

raspberry jam = love
linzer darling

three hearts


  1. I love Linzer in Switzerland we call them Spitzbuebe (literally rascal).

    Thank you for your participation.

  2. wow!! Those look fantastic, I wants one!!! hehe

  3. I have always wanted to make this type of cookie. I've always heard them called Stained Glass cookies. I must make them now since yours look so delish!

  4. I totally hear you on quality, and things looking better in the city.
    Your hearts look fabulous. The filling especially looks tasty.

  5. thanks everyone! i had such fun making them and they were a total hit at work.