How to Make Anna Gordon’s Vanilla Linzer Cookies with a Watercolor Icing Design

Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall

Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall

Jennifer Causey

Even if you’re not an artist, you can nail these “painted” cookies.

“I love any opportunity to bring creative interpretation to a classic recipe,” says Anna Gordon, the chef-owner of the Good Batch bakery in New York City. “The finished painted design is pretty and does not have to look perfect!”

Gordon brushes a simple glaze (powdered sugar, water and whatever food coloring you like) over her linzer cookies using a small paint brush. They taste as good as they look, too.

“The sweet, buttery cookie is a nice contrast to a tart, jammy filling,” she says.

Anna Gordon’s Vanilla Linzer Cookies

3¾ cups (about 16 oz.) all-purpose flour

1¼ tsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. table salt

1¼ cups (10 oz.) unsalted butter, softened

1¼ cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups (8 oz.) powdered sugar, sifted

Burgundy and black food coloring gel

1 cup raspberry or blackberry jam

¼ tsp. vanilla extract

1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat together butter and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in eggs on medium speed, about 30 seconds. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Divide dough in half; shape each half into a 6-inch disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

2. Unwrap one dough disk, and place on a piece of floured parchment paper. Lightly flour dough; top with another piece of parchment paper. Roll dough to ⅛-inch thickness, lightly flouring as needed. Transfer dough and parchment to a baking sheet; chill while repeating with remaining dough disk.

3. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove top parchment paper from one rolled disk; cut using a 3-inch round cutter, and place rounds 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining chilled dough. Cut out centers of half of the rounds using a 1¼-inch round cutter. Reroll and cut scraps as needed. Chill until ready to bake.

4. Bake in oven until edges are lightly golden, 10 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely on pans on wire racks, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

5. Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl; gradually whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons water until smooth and desired consistency is reached. Spread a thin layer of icing on cookies with holes. Let stand on wire racks until set, 30 minutes. Once all top cookies are glazed, whisk 1 drop burgundy food coloring into remaining icing; brush 2 to 3 strokes over glazed cookies using a paintbrush. Let stand until set, 30 minutes. Add 7 to 8 drops burgundy food coloring and 1 drop black food coloring to remaining icing. Paint more strokes onto cookies using a paintbrush. Let stand until set, 30 minutes.

6. Stir together jam and vanilla until combined; divide and spread mixture over each “bottom” cookie. Top with glazed cookies. Serve or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Serves: 16
Active time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
Total time: 5 hours, 15 minutes


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