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Linzer Squares & Thumbprints



1 c hazelnuts,whole unblanched
1 c butter,unsalted,chilled
2 c flour
2/3 c sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon,ground
1/4 t salt
2 lg egg,separated
1 t vanilla extract
1 T lemon zest,finely grated
1 c raspberry jam,seedless
1 nut coating,for thumb-prints (opt)
2/3 c hazelnuts,unblanched-chopped finely
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


For Squares, line the bottom and 2 sides of an 8"x8"x2" metal baking pan, with an 8"x16" strip of heavy duty aluminum foil, well buttered or greased. For Cookies, butter or grease 2 nonstick cookie sheets. Place the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and bake them, stirring occasion- ally, for 10 to 12 minutes or until they turn golden where the skins crack. Cool to room temperature.
Food processor method: Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate.
In a food processor with the metal blade, process the nuts with 1/2 c of the flour until the nuts are fine but not powder fine. Add the rest of the flour, the sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and process for a few seconds until evenly mixed. Pulse in the butter until mixture has the consistency of fine crumbs. Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract, and lemon zest and pulse just until the dough begins to hold together (do not allow it to form a ball.)
Electric mixer method: Finely grate the nuts. Soften the butter. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and lemon szest. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar about 3 mintues or until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, then the vanilla extract. At low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture, just until the dough begins to hold together.
For the Squares: Remove one cup of the dough and press it into the prepared pan. Spread 2/3 cup of the jam to within 1/4" of the edges. Set aside. Add three tablespoons of the egg whites to the dough remaining in the food processor or mixer and pulse or beat until it is incorporated. Set aside the remining egg whites for the the cookies.
Scrape 1 cup of the dough into the pastry bag and close it securely. Pipe the mixture to form a lattice on top of the raspberry filling. Pipe the first line down the center, dividing the square in half. Now pipe 2 more lines, dividing the sqaure into quarters. Then pipe 4 more lines, each between the existing lines, dividing the squares into eighths. There will be 7 lines. Turn the pan and repeat the process, adding 7 more lines. Next pipe a border line around the 4 edges of the pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and the jam bubbling. Cook completely in the pan on a wire rack. To unmold, run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the pastry on the 2 siddes without the aluminum foil. Use the foil to lift out the whole square and lide it off the foil onto a cutting surgace. Use a long, serrated knife to cut 2-inch squares. For the most attractive squares, first cut the square in half in the middle of the center lattice line (not on either side.) Turn the square 1 turn and cut it into quarters following the same directions, forming 16 2-inch quares. For the cookies: Measure the remaining dough into a 1 1/4 inch scoop or 2 level teaspoons and roll it between the palms of your hands to for 1-inch balls. If you are using the optional nut coating, roll each ball in the reserved egg whites. Lightly flour your hands, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Roll each ball in the chopped nuts. Place the balls 1 1/2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Use your floured index finger to create depressions in the center of each ball. Fill each depression with 1/4 teaspoon of the remaining jam. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cookies begin to brown lightly. Store in airtight containers at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Keeps 1 week at room temperature, 2 weeks refrigerated. The squares will keep for several weeks refrigerated. The thumbprints become dry.
Makes 16 squares and 3 dozen cookies.













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