Wine Linzer Cookies

200 g butter
100 g sugar
a pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
150 g almond meal
180 g flour
spices (a little cinnamon, ginger, cloves etc.)
powdered sugar for sprinkling
Mulled wine jelly
1 orange
100 ml red wine
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
1-2 star anises (I omitted them)
180 g canning sugar (3:1)*

For the mulled wine jelly, squeeze the orange juice and mix it with the wine and the canning sugar, add the cinnamon stick, cloves and star anis (I didn't have any).

Bring to a boil and cook for about 4 minutes. Strain the jelly to remove the spices and set aside to cool.

*I didn't have any canning sugar, so I put 150 g sugar and added 1 tablespoon of my grape and thyme jam, cooked it a bit longer until it started thickening. I actually cooked it a bit too long, and when it cooled it got so thick and hard, that I had to warm it up adding a bit more orange juice and it returned being the right consistency.

For the cookies, cream the softened butter with the sugar.

Mix in the egg yolk.

Sift the flour, mix it with the almond meal and the spices (if adding them) and stir into the butter mixture to form a soft dough.

Divide the dough in two, and shape each into a disc. Wrap them in a piece of plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about one hour or until firm.

Turn the oven on to 180°C.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll out one disc at a time between two sheets of parchment paper to about 4 mm thick.

Using a round, 5-cm fluted cookie cutter, cut the cookies and using a thin metal spatula transfer them to a baking sheet (I didn't have the original Linzer cookie cutter, so I used what I had, stars and flowers).

Using a small cookie cutter, cut out the center of half of the cookies - those are going to be the top of the sandwiched cookies.

Bake the cookies in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.

Be careful not to over bake them - when you notice the edges start browning, take them out. Let them cool on a cooling rack.

Repeat with the remaining dough. Collect the dough leftovers and chill them before rolling them out again. Since this is the dough rich in butter it gets soft very quickly once out of the fridge, especially with the oven on.

Once all the cookies are done, put all the cookies with the cut out center on a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle them generously with powdered sugar (use a fine mesh sieve).

Spread a little mulled wine jelly on the bottom side of the whole cookies and then sandwich them with the sugar dusted tops.

Let them rest until the jelly has set well.

Warm up slightly the remaining jelly, just enough to make it runny, and fill the top holes with a bit more jelly.

Store the cookies in an airtight container, separating layers with a piece of parchment paper so they don't stick to each other.

I got about 20 sandwiched cookies, although some disappeared before they met that gorgeously tasting jelly.

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