Linzer Bars

​Crispy dough made of toasted nuts and warming spice, holding a lot of good homemade jam and a crunch of slivered almonds is a promise of a comfort homemade pastry

Linzer bars ​are a delicious ​dessert that ​is very easy to make even for those of you who ​try to ​avoid baking ​for whatever reason it might be

These bars are so much better than any store-bought version because of ​a strong flavor​ and crunchiness​ achieved by toasting nuts used in the dough​. ​Two kinds of flour provide both – ​great ​taste and texture which is super important in recipes like this one – making sure that you can hold your bar without breaking apart when bit​ing​ into it​

Throughout the years I tested different combinations of nuts and flours​ used​ in the dough but combination​ of hazelnuts and almonds is my favorite one.​​ If you​ ​don’t like either of those nuts, you can substitute it with the one you prefer. My suggestion would be walnuts that ​provide ​an extra layer of flavor – deep, earthy and somewhat bitter-ish and sharp. Be careful when substituting with very fatty nuts like cashews or macadamias – those will add a lot more oil into the dough and therefore you have to increase the amount of flour accordingly. For the filling, I love to use tart & sour jams ​with my favorite being homemade Apricot and Raspberry jam or a combination of those two but you can really use any jam you like. Finish your Linzer​s bars with ​some streusel and slivered almonds and I promise you won’t be able to stop ​eating this delicious treat​

Notes:

  • Linzer bars are great make-ahead pastry that tastes best on the second or even third day
  • You can make the dough ahead of time and store it in a fridge for 3 days or throw it into a freezer and freeze it for several weeks. When ready to bake, thaw the dough letting it sit at room temperature or overnight in a fridge and bake as directed
  • This pastry is also a great snack for kids to take to the school or we love it for road trips and hikes (containing good amount of healthy calories from nuts and butter)
  • The cake tastes amazing on the second and also third day when it’s a bit older and very well set

INGREDIENTS

(for 13 x 8 inch/ 33 x 20 cm baking tray)

Linzer Dough

80g Almonds with a skin on, toasted

80g Hazelnuts, toasted

200g Flour, white/ plain

150g Butter

80g Spelt flour

100g Sugar, white

1 Egg, whole, large

1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. Baking soda

1/4 tsp. Baking powder

1 tsp. Cinnamon

pinch of Cardamom

3g Salt

Other

800g Apricot & Raspberry Jam (1:1 ratio)

Streusel (50g Butter + 50g Sugar + 100g Flour)

Slivered almonds


METHOD

1. Linzer Bars Dough: Toast 80g Almonds and 80g Hazelnuts on a skillet or a non-stick pan until fragrant and crispy, for 8-10 minutes. I always toast nuts on low-medium heat, preheating the pan for a couple of minutes before adding nuts. While toasting nuts, make sure to stir them or move the pan frequently. You can also toast nuts in the oven at 350°F/180°C for approx. 10 minutes. Once toasted and fragrant, remove them from the hot pan and let them cool down completely

2. In a bowl of your stand mixer attached with a paddle (alternatively you can work with an electric hand-mixer), cream 150g of Butter with 100g of Sugar and 1/2 tsp. of Vanilla extract for 2-3 minutes (we’re not trying to incorporate too much air). While butter and sugar are creaming, process your cooled down toasted nuts until semi-fine (they don’t have to be as fine as almond flour and there can be some bigger chunky pieces). Add ground cold nuts into a creamed butter & sugar and mix just until combined. Crack 1 whole Egg into the bowl and keep beating on medium-high speed until egg is fully incorporated, for approx. 1 more minute

3. In the meantime, in a separate bowl combine 200g of white/ plain Flour with 80g of Spelt flour, 3g of Salt, 1/4 tsp. Baking soda, 1/4 tsp. Baking powder, 1 tsp. of Cinnamon and a pinch of Cardamom and stir well. Add dry mixture into wet ingredients in two additions, mixing well to fully incorporate. Remove the bowl with the dough from the stand mixer and scrap all the dough onto your work desk. Using your hands, bring the dough together and shaping a disk. Wrap the dough into a plastic wrap and place it into the fridge for at least one hour (or up to three days) before moving on with rolling it. If you’re in a rush, throw the dough into a freezer and move on with the recipe once it is hard to touch

4. While the dough is chilling, prepare your jams, slivered almonds, mix the streusel (in a bowl combine 50g of very soft Butter with 50g of Sugar and 100g of plain Flour and mix with your fingertips until crumbly). Line baking pan with a parchment paper and preheat the oven to 370°F/ 190°C. Make sure that you’re using a pan that have some edge (at least 3/4 inch or 2 cm) otherwise jam will be dripping down from the pan during baking

5. Once your dough is well chilled and hardened, take it out from the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. Working on the floured surface, roll out the dough into the size of your baking pan (alternatively, you can roll out the dough directly in a baking pan). You can also use fingertips to get the dough into corners and the edges. Spread all the Jam all over the dough (note: if using two kinds of jams, I like to spread one of them on the bottom and then add dollops of the second jam and spreading it slightly). Finally, sprinkle Streusel all over the cake and then finish with slivered Almonds. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes

6. Once baked, carefully remove the cake from the oven and let it cool down in a baking pan for at least two hours before slicing it. It is important to be patient and not to slice the cake too early because jam needs time to cool down and set. Also, if the dough is still hot when slicing it, it will not hold together and it will crumble. Once the cake has cooled down, slice it into squares and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. The cake tastes amazing on the second and also third day when it’s really well set

Dobrú chuť,
Lenka

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