I found this Linzer Macaroon cookie recipe on Epicurious a few years ago, and it’s become my go-to holiday cookie. While they are very sugary and not really low fat, the fat comes solely from almonds rather than butter or eggs, and that makes me feel better. (C’mon, let me have my holiday delusions!) These cookies are also great for anyone following a gluten-free diet, as they contain no flour. They’re basically just almonds, sugar, egg whites and raspberry jam.
This is an example of a good cookie with a poorly written recipe, so I’ve corrected the problems here. First, the original Bon Appétit recipe called for cooking them for 18 minutes, which turns them into hard crunchy discs rather than chewy macaroons. Second, it called for watering down the raspberry jam too much. You just need to add enough water to make it more easily spreadable on the delicate cookies. Third, you really must rinse your hands between every couple of cookies you form – otherwise you’ll have a hard time making the gooey dough into balls. Relax, it’s easy. Just follow the instructions and you’ll end up with simply irresistible cookies.
I recommend using a raspberry jam that’s not overly sweet – or you could substitute lemon juice for all or part of the water when making the jam filling. I haven’t tried that, but I bet it would make for a nice tangy contrast with the sweet cookie. Oh, I guess I’ll just have to make another batch and find out.
Linzer Macaroon Sandwich Cookies
Adapted from Bon Appetit
1 2/3 cups blanched slivered almonds
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon almond extract (I like half almond, half vanilla, but if you love almond flavor, go for all almond)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1 tablespoon water (see note above for alternate suggestion)
Put the jam and the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about five minutes, then cool completely (place in the refrigerator if necessary – the filling should not be too runny.)
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Put the slivered almonds and the sugar in a food processor and grind well. Add the egg whites and extract(s) and process until very well blended.
Dampen your hands and form teaspoons of dough into balls and place them on the sheets an inch apart, flattening just slightly so that the diameter is about 1 1/4″.( Be sure to rinse your hands with warm water between every couple of cookies so the dough is easy to handle.) Press a couple of sliced almonds onto the top of each cookie.
Bake until just barely golden, about 13-14 minutes. Slide the parchment paper off the baking sheets and cool. Use a metal spatula to remove the cookies to a work surface, arranging them flat side up. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of jam onto one cookie, then top with another. Repeat until finished. Sift powdered sugar over completed cookies.
Makes about 20 cookies
Some other holiday cookie recipes I can’t wait to try:
Crackly Spice Cookies from She’s In the Kitchen
Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles from M Loves M
(Note: I discovered that the original recipe is actually from the book Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats)
Life-Changing Vegan Thumbprints from The Kitchn