We all know what holiday is just around the corner right? You know the one with all the little cupids and the pretty pink and red hearts. You got it, Valentine’s Day! I think I may be dating myself here, but does anyone besides me remember the old elementary school Valentine box?? You know the box your teacher decorated with Valentine’s Day-ish decorations with a big slot cut out in the top for you to put all your special Valentines in for your classmates. Oh I remember that special box like it was yesterday.
I used to love going to the store the week before that special day with my sisters and our Mom to pick out our cards. Would I pick a Snoopy and the Gang from Peanuts card or would it be a Disney themed one? It was always a tough choice. Then once I got the cards the big question was how would I sign them. Should I just sign my name? Love? XO? A heart maybe??
Valentine’s Day is still a special holiday for me. It’s not because I want a gift, flowers or candies. All I really want on that day is that special Valentine card just like when I was little. It could be a store-bought card or a special homemade one like the one featured in the photos in today’s post. I have a box loaded with Valentine’s from years past and right before February 14th I take it out and think back to all the special people who have sent them to me and how lucky I am to have them in my life. The homemade card featured in today’s photo was from my son Casey dated Valentine’s Day 2000. Casey turned 5 that year and he made it in his Kindergarten class. I love that card because I could tell how much work he put into making it for me.
So this year show your Valentine how special they are by making them these perfectly crumbly, rich and buttery Linzer Heart cookies. I am usually not a big cut out cookie person because they take a little more time and patience than the average cookie, but these are worth the effort. Raspberry jam is the common type of filling, but any other flavor will work. They are a tradition at my house and I hope they become a tradition at yours too!
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup pecans halves
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam
- confectioners sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans on baking sheet and toast for 6 minutes until fragrant. Let cool then finely chop. Set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together flour and salt.
Cream butter and sugar in large bowl. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in half of dry ingredients until just combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and the toasted finely chopped pecans. Mix until just combined. Shape the dough into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take one ball of dough out of the refrigerator. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to a 1/4 inch thick. Cut out the cookies with a 2 or 3 inch heart cookie cutter for the top and bottom of the cookie or you can use a cookie cutter with a small heart cutout in the center for the top cookie and a solid cookie for the bottom. Arrange on the parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart and bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Keep your eye on the tray so it doesn't brown too quickly. Cool on the sheet then remove to wire rack. Repeat with second ball of dough. Spread 1 tsp. raspberry jam on bottom cookie then sandwich with another cookie on top. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.