Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Aloha Linzer Cookies - #Creative Cookie Exchange





Aloha.  Most people think of this word as hello or goodbye but it is so much more.  You could say it is the word for love, but that would not be totally accurate either.  Aloha can mean love, affection, peace, compassion, respect, kindness, and sympathy but the simple truth is that it is a way of life. It is a connection to each other and to nature, and a code of behavior as to how we should live our lives.

Although I am not Hawaiian by birth (I'm a haole), I have lived here for a long time, and I like to think that I try to practice the aloha spirit by showing people I care about them, and one way I do this is to bake. It brings me joy to bake yummy treats and share them with family and friends, and I hope in turn it brings happiness to the recipients, and creates positive feelings and thoughts that spreads to others.





When the theme of Hearts/Love was announced as this months theme for the #CreativeCookieExchange I knew that I wanted to incorporate aloha into my cookies, both figuratively and literally.  Linzer cookies seemed to fit this perfectly, and I went in search of a cookie cutter that people would recognize as symbol of Hawaii.  This turned out to be harder than I imagined.  Who knew that it is impossible to buy a pineapple-shaped cookie cutter in Hawaii? My compromise was the go with a shell, although I must say that I almost went with a honu (turtle), but I wanted to be able to clearly see the shape.  My other homage to Hawaii was to use macadamia nuts in the dough.





These cookies are quite a popular cookie during the holidays, but I say that when a cookie tastes this good you should enjoy it year-round.  They are a rich, buttery sandwich cookie that is enhanced by a luscious jam center. Any flavor of jam works well, but I went with a raspberry-cherry-rhubarb jam. The dough for these cookies is very buttery, and therefore needs to be refrigerated to make it easier to work with and to stop the cookies from spreading too much during baking.  I would recommend that you work quickly and only cut out the cookies you can bake immediately, and then place the dough back into the refrigerator to cool before you roll out and cut the next batch to bake.  It was also much easier to roll out the dough on a large piece of parchment paper so it did not stick, and use an offset spatula to loosen the cookies from the parchment and gently lift them from the paper onto the cookie sheet.





Even though I liked the shells I had this urge to make some hearts, and one day I will find the elusive pineapple cookie cutter and make those too.





If you would like to know more about #CreativeCookieExchange and see what the other bakers made for the Hearts/Love theme please scroll down below the recipe. Thanks to Deepti from Baking Yummies for getting us organized for this month.





Aloha Linzer Cookies
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

Ingredients
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 110g cup packed brown sugar, divided
  • 350g cups all-purpose flour
  • 2g (½ teaspoon) baking powder
  • 4g (½ teaspoon) salt
  • 3g (½ teaspoon) cinnamon
  • 230g butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 340g jam
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Preparation
  1. Add the macadamia nuts and 55g of the brown to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl to combine.
  3. Add the remaining 55g brown sugar and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. 
  4. Add the egg and vanilla bean paste, then reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add in the flour.
  5. Stir in the macadamia nut mixture until fully combined.
  6. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, split into two balls, and then flatten into 13cm discs. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 2 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180℃. 
  8. Place a sheet of parchment paper on your counter and roll out the chilled dough to 4mm thickness, using a lightly floured rolling pin. 
  9. Use cookie cutters to cut out the cookies from the dough. Cut a shape from the center of half of the cookies, making sure you have an even number of whole cookies and ones with the middle cut out.
  10. Use an offset spatular to gently lift the cookies and transfer to cookie sheet that was been lined with a Silpat or parchment baker, about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool completely.
  12. Collect the cookies with shapes in the middle, and using a sieve, dust a heavy coating of powdered sugar over the cookies.
  13. With the whole cookies, spread jam on the bottom side stopping just before you get to the edge. Take a cookie dusted with powdered sugar and secure the two together to make a sandwich, pressing gently to distribute the jam.

Recipe inspired by Fork To Belly
For US measurement click here






It is late January guys and you know what that means! Soon love will be in the air! Too corny? OK fine, but we all know Valentine’s Day is about to start trending, and we have the perfect cookies! Hearts, love, anything symbolizing hearts and love, we have it all! Check out our hearts and love cookies below and maybe make them for your loved ones! You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:





13 comments:

  1. So nice to see Linzer cookies made with macadamia nuts. And I do hope you find that cookie cutter soon.

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  2. These are so pretty! And seriously, Hawaii has no pineapple shaped cookie cutters? What's up with that? I'm sensing a big business opportunity for you… Lovely cookies and a lovely sentiment behind them.

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  3. What a great story! I love the description of aloha - what a wonderful way to live. And you could treat me to these cookies any time. :-) They not only sound delicious but look beautiful too.

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  4. Lovely looking cookies Felice . And your post was an eye opener. I too thought "Aloha" just meant hello or goodbye too!

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  5. How gorgeous are those cookies, such a fun, different shape. Linzers are one of my favorite!

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  6. Love your shells but how funny that you can't find a pineapple cookie cutter! I love your explanation of Aloha too. How lucky to live in such a friendly loving place.

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  7. I just received a pineapple sort of cookie cutter/biscuit cutter as a Christmas gift. I wish we lived close by so we could share! It may have been from Williams Sonoma. I can't remember shopping at WS when I lived on Oahu but maybe one is there now?
    Your cookies and sharing of Aloha are wonderful!

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  8. Love these! The macadamia nuts sound so good!

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  9. These are so pretty, and such a classic Valentine's Day cookie.

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  10. OK I might be crazy but I swear William Sonoma, when they wrapped presents, use to put a bow on them with a pineapple cookie cutter attached. Does that sound familiar at all? Gah. I will keep an eye out, because I swear I got multiple of them lol (MIL liked to have them wrap presents she bought there). Anyway, your cookies look awesome, and I love where you went with the theme!

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  11. This cookie sounds delicious! I joined this group because I have so many cookie recipes booked marked and never the chance to make them. Being in this group has just made the list longer! These cookies are beautiful and can't wait to try the recipe! Lovely just Lovely!

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  12. The cookies look wonderful and I agree baking and sharing yummy treats is a perfect way to show your love :)

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  13. Aloha, Felice! Beautifully written and beautiful cookies too. Love the addition of the macadamias in the dough as well!

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