Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Glühwein Linzer Hazelnut Cookies

This is my nod to missing all the German Christmas markets as we are in the States this  year for the holidays. 

The plan is be be back there for Christmas next year and I can't wait. I am already planning out all the Markets I would like to visit but as of yet haven't.

Glühwein (roughly translated to "glow wine") is hot mulled German wine served at Christmas markets and restaurants throughout Germany during the holiday season.One of the things I miss most, is taking a break from Christmas shopping to stand at a glühwein hut with friends sipping this lovely spiced hot drink.
These are Linzer style cookies with homemade spiced wine jelly. Use two different size star cutter to create the cookies. The bottom is a solid star cookie, the top has a cutout from a smaller sized star cutter. 
Important! Make sure you bake the cutout cookies and the solid star cookies separately on two different baking sheets. They have two different baking times with the solid stars being shorter. If you bake them together on one sheet, the cutouts will be finished first and will end up over done.

The dough has hazelnut flour in it. I made my own by pulsing whole raw hazelnuts with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. The powdered sugar presents the nuts from becoming wet and sticky as they are pulverized. 

I recommend you double, triple or quadruple the mulled wine recipe below and save it for later to reheat and drink with the cookies.
Wishing everyone a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, no matter where in the world you are!

Glühwein Linzer Hazelnut Cookies
Prep Time: 40 minutes 
Bake Time: 10 minutes 
Steep/Chill Time: 60 minutes 
Yield: 2 dozen cookies 

For the Glühwein Jelly Filling: 
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1star anise
  • 1 inch of a cinnamon stick 
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 package of plain gelatin
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 
For the cookie dough:
  • 1+1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup hazelnut flour
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (one and one half sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg 
Make the Mulled Wine Jelly Filling:
  • Heat the red wine in a small saucepan. When the wine has come to a boil, add the star anise, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, lemon and orange zest. Lower the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. 
  • Remove from the heat and let the spices steep into the wine for a half hour. 
  • Place the gelatin and 4 tablespoons of cold water in a small dish to dissolve it. 
  • Strain out the spices and pour the spiced wine back into the saucepan. 
  • Over a medium flame, stir in the gelatin, 1/3 cup of white granulated sugar and the freshly squeezed lemon juice. Cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. 
  • Remove from heat, set aside and let cool completely.
Make the Hazelnut Cookies:
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the all-purpose and hazelnut flours. Set aside. 
  • Cream together the unsalted butter, white granulated sugar and vanilla sugar or extract. 
  • Beat in the egg until just combined. 
  • Add the flour mixture a bit at a time until just combined. 
  • When dough comes together, pat into a ball, wrap in plastic cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • Roll out the dough and use two different sized star cookie cutters to create shapes. Use the larger star cookie to cut out all the cookies. On half of those large stars, use the smaller star cookie to cut a star-shaped opening in the middle of the cookie. 
  • Place on parchment paper. Taking care to place the whole star cookies on one sheet and the cutout cookies on another. 
  • They will have two different baking times which is why you don't want to combine the shapes on one baking tray. 
  • Bake the solid star cookies for 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies just start to brown. Bake the cutout star cookies for 6-8 minutes or until the edges of the cookies just start to brown. Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Assemble the Cookies:
  • If the mulled wine jelly has hardened too much to make it difficult to spread. slowly warm it up over a very low flame until it softens a bit. 
  • Sprinkle a layer of powdered sugar on a small flat plate. 
  • Use a small pastry knife to spread the mulled wine jelly on the solid star shaped cookie. 
  • Take a cutout star cookie and flip it upside down onto the plate with the powdered sugar. Rub it on the plate until the underside is covered with powdered sugar. 
  • Shake off the excess and place the cutout, powdered sugar side up, on top of the jelly spread cookie. Repeat until all the cookies have been married. 
  • Place on a serving platter and serve.

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