honey + cardamom linzer cookies with strawberry-rose jam


Valentine’s Day is packed with roses, strawberries and hearts, so why not make a tender short bread cookie sandwich that checks all the boxes?

These Linzer cookie sandwiches are made with a fool-proof dough filled with the warm essence of cardamom and sweetness of honey. Scratch-made jam is easier to make than you think. Sprinkling a dab of rose water to any berry packs a floral punch that will delight your Valentine.

I have been so excited to share this recipe with you! The truth is, I have made this Linzer cookie dough before, circa Christmas 2017. Back then I added marmalade to the Honey-Vanilla Linzer Cookie dough. I also used a biscuit cutter and vanilla jar top to create the signature Linzer window. Oh how times have changed.

The one thing that has not changed is I am OBSESSED with this dough. As you can see in the pictures it is thick and holds its shape, which is very important for cookie sandwiches. The dough is sweet and cardamom adds a wow-factor like none other.

My husband and I have been together for 10 years as of February 12, 2009. I remember when he asked me to be his Valentine, I was so swoon and without hesitation said “yes”. We did not spend Valentine’s Day together that year. We just met 2 days earlier and were about 4 hours apart, going to separate colleges.

Fast forward 10 years and we do not like being apart. We love to make dinner together at home on Valentine’s Day, playing jazz and me forcing him to dance with me in the kitchen. We could care less if we made pizza or filet mignon, it’s just fun to be together.

I am not the kind of girl that cares about gifts on Valentine’s Day, but my husband always brings me home roses. He told me this year there were slim pickins’, but I thought they were beautiful. I was inspired to make Rose Jam given that this flower is a Valentine’s staple in our home. Nothing pairs better with roses than strawberries, which are typically chocolate covered on this special day.

I found rose water at Whole Foods, but you can get it on Amazon as well. I took a swig of it from a glass and realized that it is extremely dense and powerful. This recipe calls for a very small amount, so as not to overpower the other flavors. There is such a thing as too much rose, trust me.

ingredients

Dough

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¼ cup honey

Rose + Strawberry Jam

  • 1 pound strawberries (raspberries work too)
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon rose water

Materials

preparation

  1. Whisk flour, cardamom, salt, sugar in stand mixer. Add vanilla and mix to combine.
  2. Add butter and beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Add egg yolk and honey; beat to combine.
  3. Knead dough a couple of times to incorporate any dry bits in the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Divide dough into two. Roll dough into disks and wrap in plastic wrap tightly. Chill in freezer until firm but not frozen, about 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 325°.
  6. Make the jam: Hull strawberries and cut into pieces. Toss cut berries and sugar in a small heavy pot. Let sit until berries start to release their juices, 20 minutes. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally at first and then more often as mixture thickens (as sugars concentrate, jam will be more likely to scorch), until most of the liquid evaporates and mixture is thickened, 30–40 minutes. To test for thickness, place a small dollop of jam on a chilled plate and chill 2 minutes. Drag your finger through: It should leave a clear path that doesn’t fill in. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and rose water. Chill.
  7. Remove dough from freezer. Unwrap and roll out with rolling pin about 1/8 inch thin. I sandwich the dough between parchment paper when rolling, so it does not stick to any surface.
  8. Use a cookie cutter to cut out desired amount of cookies. Ensure that there is an even amount, since each sandwich will use 2 cookies.
  9. Use the smaller cutter to punch out centers of half the cookies, I used hearts.
  10. Put sheets of uncooked cookies back into the freezer for about 5-10 minutes. This will allow the butter to firm up and keep the cookies in tact.
  11. Bake cookies on top rack, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until evenly golden brown all over, 10–15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets.
  12. Spread about ¾ tsp. jam across entire surface of each unpunched cookie. Dust tops of cutout cookies with powdered sugar; place on top of jam, sugar side up.

Do Ahead

  1. Dough can be made 1 month ahead.  Freeze. Thaw in refrigerator overnight before using.
  2. Cookies can be baked (but not assembled) 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
  3. Jam can be made 2 months ahead in a canning jar, keep chilled.
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