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TWD Double Header: Linzer Sables and Sugar Cookies

Everybody loves a good bargain, don’t they? My favorites are the “Buy One, Get One Free” deals. Sometimes, I’ll buy something that I don’t even need, just because I can’t resist the “BOGO”. Well, today, dear readers, you are getting two of Dorie’s terrific cookies for the price of one!

Last week’s TWD assignment were her Linzer Sables, selected by Noskos of Living the Life [1]. I did actually bake the cookies last Tuesday, but with everything that has been happening here in SGCC Land lately, I never got around to posting about them.

Linzer Sables are deliciously spicy little sandwich cookies made with ground nuts and traditionally filled with jam. Though I have made these cookies before, I had never tried Dorie’s recipe for them. As I mentioned, the recipe calls for some type of ground nuts. My preference was hazelnuts, but I didn’t have any and couldn’t seem to find them at the two markets near my house. I did, however, have lots of almonds, so I used those. For the filling, I stuck with the tried and true and used red raspberry jam.

While I can’t say that they were the best Linzer cookies I’ve ever had, I will say that everyone who tried them liked them very much. They were nutty, buttery and crunchy. The sables, themselves, were not overly sweet, and the jam was the perfect counterpart to them. All in all, I would probably make them again.

This week’s TWD assignment was much more versatile. Grandma’s All Occasion Sugar Cookies recipe , chosen by Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein [2], produces a basic sugar cookie dough that can serve as a backdrop for many different flavors and applications, and is suitable for any occasion. It can be rolled out and cut into shapes or made into a log for slice and bake cookies.

I made two batches of dough for this assignment. One was for the original vanilla sugar cookies and the other was flavored with some almond essence that I brought back from St. Lucia. I formed the almond cookie dough into a log for slice and bake cookies. Before baking, I also topped them with a mixture of granulated sugar and sliced almonds. They were soft and chewy with a lovely almond flavor. I ate five before I ever left the house!

The vanilla sugar cookie dough is still sitting in my fridge waiting to be cut into shapes and decorated for Christmas. I really, really wanted to get them finished for today too, but my 6 year-old nephews called me yesterday and invited me to go visit Santa with them. Well, what can I say? When a girl gets an invitation like that from her two favorite guys, she just has to accept! The rest of the cookies will just have to wait.

I thought that this was a very nice sugar cookie recipe. The dough was easy to throw together and it turned out a nice, tasty and tender cookie. I’d love to see how they would turn out using some lemon or orange zest in the dough. I’ll bet they’d be great!

If you’re interested in trying either of these cookie recipes, they can be found in Dorie’s book, Baking: From My Home to Yours [3], or at Noskos’ site [4] and Ulrike’s site [5]. As always, you can see more creative incarnations of both recipes by visiting the TWD blogroll [6].