A couple of years back exactly around these holidays, a 5 something year old girl wanted to bake cookies with her mom. So, they went to the store, bought some cookie cutters, came home and baked the cookies that they both wanted to bake. Then the two giggled with joy and gorged on the most delicious and prettiest cookies they had ever baked, as the sun sunk into the horizon. And that is when they knew their favorite holiday tradition was born.
When I was little, we hardly ate outside food. Even though eating out was not such an uncommon thing back then, it was strictly ruled out in my grand dad’s house where we were raised, for all kinds of genuine reasons of course. We were pretty well behaved kids, my brothers and I, and followed every bit of that.
That would change when my parents came to visit us once a month or when we would go spend our summer holidays with them. During those three months, we would get to eat whatever we wanted from the world outside home. Mom would bring us all kinds of goodies from the bakery. Jam biscuits in particular, I figure, must have been a favorite of hers. She’d buy it for us often. I relished every aspect of eating those biscuits from the colorful packaging to the kind of jam in it to the simple fact that mom bought those for us.
Those jam biscuits dug deep in my mind perhaps as a symbol of pampering and a taste of never-before-seen freedom. When I became a mom to a girl, history was almost waiting to be repeated. The jam biscuits had to re-appear in some form in our lives, waiting for the right time, place and the right moment.
I cannot fathom what a mark those jam biscuits must have left on me subconsciously. Reminiscence of the jam biscuits from my childhood and my little girl’s eagerness to bake cookies nudged me to bake these Linzer cookies for the first time, a couple of years back.
Baking with our little ones is the best feeling in the world. Living in the moment in the simple things that matter is when memories are created to last a lifetime.
Linzer cookies are originally from Linz, Austria the deemed home of Linzertorte, a traditional European Christmas pastry and the world’s oldest torte, apparently. Linzer cookies are made from the same recipe as that of Linzertorte where the dough contains nuts rather than flour as the main ingredient other than butter and sugar. Traditionally black currant preserve is used as the filling. In the American version, raspberry jam/preserve is commonly used. Variations use lemon or orange zest to spike some flavor, a combination of nuts and any fruit preserves, jam or jelly as the filling.
Don’t ever taste the cookie dough before baking though. Consider it a fair warning in good faith. Or you won’t be left with any to bake the cookies!
Needless to say, these cookies make for a perfect edible gift during the holidays.