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Hello Sweetie!  These dazzling Linzer Cookies are just the thing for your special someone.  They are easy to make, keep for several days, and freeze well.

I confess.  I am a sucker for cookies, especially cut-out cookies.  But it seems like many of you are, too. People frequently ask me if I have a good recipe for roll-out cookies.  So, here it is.  These are wonderful and, since two cookies are sandwiched together, you get two-for-one when you make these Linzer Cookies.

And, now I feel like the Ginsu Knife salesperson.   Not only can you make Linzer Cookies with this recipe, but you can also make fabulous drop cookies, too.

I love the idea of using one recipe to make many kinds of cookies.  It’s brilliant.

My goal was to develop a dough that can be used for several variations.  To create this makeover, I incorporated elements of several recipes I found in regular cookbooks and turned these inspirations into one Master Dough.  I’m making roll-out Linzer Cookies here, but by adding an additional egg, I’ve also come up with recipes for fabulous Double Ginger Cookies and Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies.  (See the recipes below.)  I suspect the possibilities are endless, but I will stop at two and let you use your own culinary inventiveness
to create others.

All of the mainstream recipes I found use butter.  I tried these with Earth Balance Buttery (Vegan) Sticks and with unsalted butter.  Truth be told, I prefer butter.  There’s nothing quite like the taste in home-baked cookies.  But, if you can’t tolerate dairy, these work well with a dairy-free spread.  I also added one teaspoon of baking powder to lighten the finished product. Gluten-free baking needs all the help it can get.

For ease of handling, I rolled out the Linzer Cookies between sheets of plastic wrap.  Don’t roll them too thin or they will be difficult to handle.  And, don’t use raspberry jam with seeds.  It is disastrous as the little seeds make it very difficult to fill the tiny opening in the top cookie.

Enjoy these cookies and don’t forget to share some with your sweetheart!

Roll-Out Linzer Cookies
Makes 48 to 60 cookies

1 ¾ sticks (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon orange extract
2 ½ cups cake and pastry flour blend (below) or all purpose blend
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam or jelly

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until soft and slightly fluffy.  Add the egg, vanilla and orange extracts and beat until smooth.  Combine flour blend and baking powder.  Add the flour blend to the butter mixture, one cup at a time, beating briefly just to incorporate
after each addition.

Between two sheets of plastic wrap, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick.   Cut out 2-inch circles or other shapes.  Gently gather the extra dough from around the cutouts and reroll it.  Chill the cutout cookies for 15 minutes while you roll out remaining dough.  With a small star or circle or the point of a paring knife, cut centers out of half the cookies.  Remove the centers and add them to the dough you are reworking.  When cookies are chilled, use a spatula to transfer them to the cookie sheets, setting them 1 inch apart.  Bake 10 to 11 minutes or
just until the edges are slightly brown.

Heat the jam or jelly in a microwave for 45 seconds or until softened.  Set the whole cookies on one sheet of parchment.  Brush with jam and top with a cut-out cookie.  Spoon the remaining jam into the center of each cookie sandwich, leaving any chunks of fruit behind.  Let cool until set.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  These can also be frozen.

Cranberry White Chocolate Walnut Cookies
(Makes 42 to 48 cookies)

1 ¾ sticks (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon orange extract
2 ½ cups cake and pastry flour blend (below) or all purpose blend
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup white chocolate
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until soft and slightly fluffy.  Add the eggs, vanilla and orange extracts and beat until smooth.  Combine flour blend and baking powder.  Add the flour blend to the butter mixture, one cup at a time, beating briefly just to incorporate
after each addition.  Fold in cranberries, white chocolate, and chopped walnuts.  Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheets and bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Double Ginger Spice Cookies
(Makes 42 to 48 cookies)

1 ¾ sticks (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon orange extract
2 ½ cups cake and pastry flour blend (below) or all purpose blend
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
¾ cup chopped crystallized ginger
½ cup raisins.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until soft and slightly fluffy.  Add the eggs, molasses, vanilla and orange extracts and beat until smooth.  Combine flour blend, baking powder, and spices.  Add the flour blend to the butter mixture, one cup at a time, beating briefly just
to incorporate after each addition.  Fold in chopped ginger and raisins.  Drop by
teaspoons onto a plate of sugar and roll to coat.  Set on baking sheets and bake 10 to 12
minutes.

Cake and Pastry Flour

This makes ¼ cup more flour blend than you’ll need for the master dough recipe.  Reserve the extra for dusting the counter when making roll-out cookies. 

1 cup sweet white sorghum flour (4 ounces)
1 cup white rice flour (5.4 ounces)
¾ cup cornstarch (3.4 ounces)
1½ teaspoons xanthan gum (or guar gum)
½ teaspoon salt

SHORTCUT:  This blend makes very light pastries and cookies with a fine crumb but, if you are pressed for time, you may use 2 ½ cups of any all purpose flour blend.  Add the xanthan gum and salt if they are not already in the blend.