I must admit the month of February has not been very good to my family thus far. We have all been struck down at some point with a cold that seems to linger on forever. Just when you think you are recovering…BOOM you get hit with another round of symptoms. This caused us to eat out a little bit too much leading up to Valentine’s Day simply because I did not have any energy whatsoever to cook and most of the time one of us didn’t even feel like eating anyway.
Of course the worst of it had to happen right before Valentine’s Day. We opted to not go out to dinner due to all of the times one or all of us consumed take-out during the week prior. My daughter and I continue to run a fever while the rest of the house is slowly on the road to recovery. These cookies were our touch of Valentine’s Day in the house since we did not have a formal celebration.
Not only do these cookies make a great gift for a special someone but they also look spectacular as centerpieces on a holiday table. This recipe is very adaptable to all seasons and tastes so be sure to save it for any special occasions. I particularly love them for Valentine’s Day and anniversaries, but Christmas is another great option as well. You can accommodate any holiday really by simply changing out the cutter shapes and even the color jam you use. Now, if you tend to give cookies as gifts then you already know the horrible feeling of slaving over a kitchen and not being able to taste the end results. If you fit that description then you will be delighted by this recipe. Since you cut out the centers of one portion of dough you will be left with many small hearts. You can go ahead and bake up these hearts, sandwich them with jam, and dust with a bit of powdered sugar to create mini treats for yourself. It is a gift that keeps on giving!!!
To make these cookies a leaner (skinny) option compared to traditional raspberry linzer recipes, flour and butter are cut in half. Half of the flour of traditional recipes is replaced with ground almonds that lend hearty taste plus a bonus bit of crunch. In comparison, a traditional raspberry linzer cookie offers 240 calories and 13 grams of fat PER COOKIE. This recipe offers up only 96 calories and 5.1 grams of fat per cookie. HUGE difference, especially if you are like me and tend to never stop at just one.
So go ahead and make a batch to share with someone you love. There is no reason to wait because you won’t feel guilty serving them these sweet little bites!!!
Skinny Raspberry Linzer Heart Cookies
- 7.5 oz. All-Purpose Flour; divided
- 1 cup Whole Blanched Almonds
- ½ tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- 2/3 cup Sugar
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter (1 stick); softened
- ½ tsp. Pure Lemon Extract
- 4 Egg Yolks
- Raspberry Jam
- Powdered Sugar
- Weigh 2.25 oz. of flour and place in a food processor. Add almonds to processor and pulse until finely ground. Weigh the remaining 5.25 oz. of flour in a bowl. Add the almond mixture, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir well with a whisk to combine.
- In another large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar, butter, and lemon extract. Beat with a stand or hand mixer on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat until well combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Beat just until the mixture forms a soft dough. Place the dough ball onto a piece of plastic wrap. Knead gently until smooth (about 3 times). Divide the dough equally into 2 portions and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill dough for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Roll first dough portion to 1/8 inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut with a 2 inch cookie cutter of your choice (Fluted Heart by Wilton pictured above) to form approximately 36 cookies. Repeat procedure with the remaining dough portion, using a 1 inch cookie cutter of the same shape to remove the centers of the second set of 36 cookies (72 cookies total from both dough portions, 36 with centers removed). Place cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool cookies on pans for 5 minutes. Remove cookies from pans and place on wire racks to cool completely.
- After cookies have cooled completely, spread the center of each whole cookie with approximately ½ tsp. raspberry jam. Sprinkle cutout center cookies with powdered sugar. Place 1 cutout cookie gently on top of each whole cookie. Serve.
Weight Watchers: 4 Smart Points, 3 Points Plus, or 2 Traditional Points
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS