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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Autumn Linzer Cookies

Autumn Linzer Cookies, made with butternut squash and filled three ways.

I love cookie cutters, don't you?  Since I moved to Vermont, my cutter collection has veered toward moose and maple leaves, which I have in multiple sizes.  My newest addition is an Autumn Linzer cutter, spring-loaded, with several interchangeable center shapes.  So to give it a trial run, I made some squash-based Linzer cookies, to fill with lemon-pomegrate curd, nutella and capuccino ganache.  And what a cute result!

Autumn Linzer Cookies

1/2 cup roasted squash or pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup almond flour (or very finely processed blanched almonds)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 T corn starch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened slightly

  1. Preheat oven to 325F (300F if convection)
  2. In food processor bowl with blade attached, puree the squash. 

  3. Add the sugar, vanilla, yolks and process until smooth.  Add the almond flour, all-purpose flour, corn starch, cinnamon, and salt.  Process until smooth.

  4. Add the unsalted butter, and process until combined.

  5. Place the dough between sheets of waxed paper and place in freezer to solidify for 20 minutes.

  6. Roll out on floured countertop to 1/8" thick:

  7. With cutters of your choice, cut out disks for bottoms and tops.  Make additional cutouts on the tops using either a Linzer cutter, or another cutter or knife.  You can even use things like plastic pen caps to cut small shapes.  Place cut cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

  8. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until fully cooked but NOT brown.  Cool on rack

  9. Fill:  Place a teaspoon of filling on each bottom cookie and press top cookie on gently. 
    Use appropriately-colored fillings for the shapes or designs on the tops.  For instance, I used Nutella for the acorn shapes, and melted Capuccino chips for the squirrels. 

    For the maple leaves, I made a lemon curd, and added some pomegranate juice:

    Lemon-Pomegranate curd:
    Combine in saucepan:  Juice of 1 lemon, 2 egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 T Butter 2 tsp corn starch.  Stir well to combine.

    Heat, whisking continuously, until thick.  Remove from heat.  Add 2 T pomegranate juice, and a couple of drops of red food coloring (optional).  Proceed with filling as above.

  10. Serve with hot mulled cider, or milk and tea.  Refrigerate leftover lemon curd-filled cookies.



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