Big Daddy left this afternoon for some important "bidness" in Hartford, Connecticut--about a 5 or 6 hour drive. And so before he left, we thought we should take a nice long walk, so that he could really stretch his legs. Doesn't he look just like a robot in the above picture? Too funny--he's such a ham. Wee Willie Willard just loves his morning walks SO much--there's no way we could skip them. Check out his patience, waiting by the door and then watching Big Daddy lacing up his boots:
And I wish my camera showed motion, because if you could only see Willie's tail going around and around in furious circles from the sheer happiness of such great things to come, you'd laugh!:
I don't know why I'm including these photos, except to show off my unwashed hair and squinting wrinkled eyes and Big Daddy's cool glasses and my ear warmers that I bought at Macy's Herald Square in NYC a few winters back:
Oh brother--I just hate hate hate photos of myself! I do like looking at photos of food, though, and happily, I have lots of those today to share! This Valentine Linzer Cookie recipe is absolutely DIVINE--you can't go wrong making these for those you love. You can also make them for other holidays, like Christmas--be creative! Anyways, let's get started. Here's the ingredients you'll need, and the paddle attachment in your mixer:
(Make sure to use CAKE FLOUR!)
For this recipe, you add ground almonds or hazelnuts to the creamed mixture. I always grind my almonds in my food processor, but you could also use a good strong blender or coffee grinder. You want the nuts ground as finely as possible:
I like to freeze the dough for about 10 minutes at this point, to firm it up. You can use the time to wash up a little and line your baking sheets with either parchment paper or silicone liners:
Preheat your oven and roll out the cookie dough (You can roll out dough between 2 layers of parchment paper for easier rolling). You will be cutting with your larger heart cookie cutter, then using your smaller cookie cutter to cut cute little hearts out of half of the bases:
Keep re-rolling scraps and repeating process. Bake for about 12 minutes and let cool on a rack. Heat your jelly a little bit, and spread a small amount on your heart cookie bases. Place top layer on bottom, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Then you'll fill the holes with more jelly. These are really fun to make!:
Be ready for lots and lots of "ooh's" and "aaah's"!!!
I did a little "demo" of this cookie at a recent Women's Club meeting, and these ladies are going to be MAD at me for snapping these!:
We girls sure love our treats!
Here's the recipe!
VALENTINE LINZER COOKIES
Makes aprox. 2 dozen cookies (depending upon your cookie cutter size)
1 1/2 sticks buttter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. vanillla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds
2 1/4 cups CAKE flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
6 oz. raspberry or strawberry jam
Cream butter in a standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Add sugar and continue creaming. Add the egg, lemon, vanilla and almond extracts and mix. Mix in ground almonds. Stir together dry ingredients in a bowl and add to mixer; blend. Form the dough into disks, wrap and chill. Roll out dough to about 1/8" thickness. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut out the base cookie shapes (large heart cookie cutter). Cut out the centers of half the cut shapes with a smaller heart shaped cookie cutter. Re-roll scraps and repeat. Bake for 12 minutes, or until edges turn golden. Cool on wire rack. Heat jam slightly and spread the base cookie shapes with a layer of jam. Place top layer over bottom, pressing down slightly. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, then fill holes with more jam. Let set slightly before serving.
TOP 3 THINGS I'M GRATEFUL FOR TODAY:
1. I'm grateful that my husband has a job that he loves, and that his chosen career takes good care of us all, especially in this terrible economy.
2. I'm grateful that at this VERY moment the sun is shining outside my office window--my view all day has been similar to being inside of a big snow globe!
3. I'm grateful that our daughter has such a sweet boyfriend at school, who is secretely planning to romance her the way a beautiful girl SHOULD be romanced on St. Valentine's Day!