Have you baked for Christmas already? I think that Linzer cookies are not missing on any Christmas table not only in Slovakia but in all Central European Countries. When I was a child, a parcel came to us before Christmas. It was full of Linzer and some other cookies baked by my granny who lived near Brno. If I tell people in Vienna that my grandmother came from the Czech Republic nobody is surprised. As a result of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy, they say that almost every second Viennese has a „böhmische Großmutter“ (Bohemian granny). Many famous Austrians were born on the territory of the present Czech Republic: Gustav Mahler, Sigmund Freud, Adalbert Stifter and even the patron of Vienna Clemens Maria Hofbauer! Franz Schubert, Egon Schiele and Bruno Kreisky had also their Czech grandmothers… And now try to guess, who or better to say – what is the granny of Linzer Cookies? Linzer Cake, of course! And because it is considered to be the oldest cake with a recipe in the world it might be the granny of all the cakes! Its identification signs are the short crumbly dough, redcurrant jam and lattice of dough strips on the top. Linzer Torte and Linzer Cookies (Augen – Eyes as they say in German) are connected with the capital of Upper Austria – Linz. But it is not sure at all who created the cake and who named it. Some are persuaded that its author was a confectioner named Linzer, but citizens of Linz do not like this theory because it is said he was a Viennese. The invention of the cake is also often ascribed to Johann Konrad Vogel who came to Linz in 1822 and married a confectioner’ widow. But he did not invent the cake, he just started mass production of it. There is a recipe from 1696 kept in the Vienna Library, which was the oldest one known for a long time. However, ten years ago the library director of the Upper Austrian Museum found four Linzer recipes in a cookbook of the countess Anna Margarita Sagramosa from 1653!!! But one more person is important for the cake: the Austrian painter and poet Franz Hölzhuber, born in Linz, of course, who emigrated in the 1850s to America. When he fell in dire straits he recalled his parents’ confectionery skills and started to produce the cake over the ocean. There is also a light opera about this cake and part of the permanent exhibition on the Linzer castle is also dedicated to it. You can buy the cake baked according to the original recipe in the confectioner’s shop Jindrak. They export the Linzer Torte anywhere in the world.
But back to the cookies, here you have the recipe – from my granny, of course. 🙂
350 g flour
180 g butter
80 g powdered sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Make the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Cut out round cookies from one half of the dough. When you cut out round cookies from the other half take your smallest cutter (if you do not have special cutters for Linzer cookies) and make a peekaboo cutout in the center of each. Place cookies on the baking paper, bake them and stick together with the jam (you can also use apricot or raspberry jam). Top with icing sugar.
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