Barefoot Contessa Linzer Cookies
There is nothing better then a fresh batch of cookies from the oven – well maybe if they have jelly filled centers! These Barefoot Contessa Linzer Cookies are delicious, buttery and soft. We love making these cookies at all times of the year and just chnage the small cookie cutter so that they are seasonal. A flower for the summer, clover for St. Patrick’s Day or just a regular circle for a timeless Linzer cookie.
Barefoot Contessa Linzer Cookies
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 9 minutes
Serves: 36 Cookies
2 1/4 cups all purpose unbleached organic flour (480 grams)
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (280 grams )
2/3 cup sugar (140 grams)
1 lemon; zested
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
1 cup jam of choice
Mix flour with the butter first in the stand mixer until crumbled. Then slowly add all the other ingredients.
Divide the dough in half and make two round balls. Wrap it in the plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the first ball of dough. Cut out the cookies with a small round cookie cutter. Cut out the other half of the dough with the same cookie cutter first and than with a smaller one make a smaller cut out in the middle of the cookie.
Place parchment paper on baking sheet. Place cookie tops and bottoms onto the sheet.
Bake for 9 minutes till very lightly golden on edges. If your cookies are burning your oven runs to hot you will need to decrease the temperature or time.
Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Once the cookies have cooled add a small lump of jam to the bottoms and press the top cookie with cutout lightly onto the bottom cookie.
Shift powdered sugar over the tops of the cookies. Store in airtight container.
How to Bake in Batches to Make the Most of Your Baking Time
One way to handle your holiday baking is to bake in batches, then freeze and store for the big day. You can do this successfully over a couple of weeks with batch baking and batch preparing.
The biggest thing to remember is to only try a few different types of things in one day, or focus on just one type of baked good in one day. For example, you might want to bake all your quick breads in one day. Another day you can prepare all your cookie dough. Yet another time, you can bake all your fruit pies and so forth. This process makes the most of the time you have, the space you have, and your skill level.
Don’t try batch baking without a plan of action. Be sure to write down your plans in advance so that you are sure you have enough time to do everything that you’ve planned. To figure out a basic time line, add up the prep time, the baking time for each oven full, and then multiply that by 1.5 to account for a little extra issues happening. Then you should be sure that you have enough time.
Get Everything Ready to Go
Your kitchen should be spotless when you start, and ensure that you have all the ingredients and appliances necessary to make each item ready to go. If you know, for example, that today you’ll be using about 10 pounds of flour, consider using a large bowl to hold the flour so you can easily spoon the flour into the measuring cup, flatten off over the bowl, without having to get into the bag over and over which usually means spillage.
Clean as You Go
Fill your sink immediately with hot soapy water so you can clean as you go. You will want to wash your mixing dishes and other utensils during the baking process so that you can use them again. There’s no point in totally destroying your kitchen as you batch bake, and you don’t have to. Set out a draining board, fill the sink with hot soapy water, and wash as you go. There are many opportunities during baking to wash a couple of dishes, and this will make the clean-up faster, and the process more organized.
All Day Batch Baking
You can set aside a day for batch baking such as a Saturday. Plan for all day baking, which usually entails 8 to 10 hours of work. Ensure that any other chores are done, including the shopping, and the kitchen is clean and ready prior to baking day. It’s important to organize your recipes with some logic behind them. For example, if you need dough to rise, start that first, so that it can be rising as you are preparing other things such as cookie dough or pie crusts. Both can be put in the refrigerator or freezer after preparation while you bake the bread, then baked after you bake the bread while the oven is still hot and ready.
Read each recipe that you plan to use and pay close attention to certain clues. For example, if an ingredient requires a cold kitchen, you’ll want to start that first. If something takes an hour to bake like banana bread, you can use that hour to mix other batter, dough, crust, filling and so forth that you can store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake them.
Organize the kitchen in stations. You will want a station for each type of baked good that you want to create. It’s a lot easier to lay out four pie crusts in pie tins, ready for fillings, than to do one at a time. As much as you can do for one type of thing in one run, do so. A bread making station is also essential. It needs to be a place you can freely flour the counter space, and easily clean up.
Be careful about combining batches in one recipe. If you have a cookie recipe that uses measures instead of weights, it’s better not to do them in more than one batch at a time, but you don’t need to clean the bowl between each batch that you make. Make the lightest type of batch first; for example, make sugar cookie dough before you make chocolate chip cookies, before you make peanut butter cookies. Consider the flavor, the ingredients, and everything before making the batches so that you can wash as little as possible.
The important thing about all day batch cooking is that you can choose to make only one type of baked good or you can make a number of different baked goods depending on how many people you need to feed.
Don’t try to stuff your oven too full. At most, you’ll want to cook two pies, four loaves of bread, and one large sheet of cookies at a time in one oven. Putting too many things in one oven can drastically change the temperature settings. Also, putting a dry item with a moist item in the oven at the same time can change the temperature needs. Read directions, plan ahead, and you’ll be fine.
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