DORIE GREENSPAN! I’m sorry, I can hardly contain my excitement over this next guest! Dorie Greenspan is one of my baking heroes— she is a baking goddess. Though we have never met (someday!), I feel as if I know her from spending so much time with her cookbooks and website. I even discovered one of my favorite restaurants in Paris thanks to her (Bistro Paul Bert). Her books are the ones I return to most often when I am trying to figure out a recipe problem or want to feel inspired to bake something new. Baking, From My Home to Yours is the book that I recommend if someone is only going to have one baking book on their shelf or doesn’t know where to start. I mean, there is an entire blog dedicated to this book and hundreds of home cooks bake her recipes every week.
I can’t say enough about how important she is to me as a baker, which is why I was so very thrilled that she agreed to provide us all with a cookie recipe for the 12 Days of Cookies! It has been so fun collaborating with her on this, she is as kind and generous as you would guess, and I promise you will love her recipe for Linzer Sablés as much as I do.
But before we get to the cookies, let’s learn a little more about Dorie! She has completed the Lottie + Doof Food questionnaire:
LOTTIE+DOOF FOOD QUIZ/Dorie Greenspan
Sweet or salty?
This is a tough opening question, since I love food too much to choose one over the other. I’ve got a taste for both and I really like sweet and salty when they turn up together. I always add salt to the sweet things I bake (take World Peace Cookies, for instance) and I love to add fruit, a touch of honey or a little maple syrup to my savory cooking.
Chocolate or vanilla?
In the old days, I would have said ‘chocolate’ without hesitation, but these days, while I still adore chocolate and probably eat more chocolate than I do any other food group (and I consider chocolate an important food group), I’ve got a new appreciation for the pleasures of vanilla, especially if the vanilla is in Pierre Herme’s Infiniment Vanille – it could make a convert out of any chocloholic.
Hot or mild?
Either, as long as the flavors are balanced.
What won’t you eat?
Andouillette – and boy have I tried and tried and tried.
Most memorable meal?
A spinach-and-egg crepe (called Le Popeye) and a bowl of hard cider upstairs in a small studenty restaurant on the rue Dauphine in Paris. I’d had better food before and much, much better food after that dinner, but this was my first meal in Paris, the city that changed my life, and for that reason it will always be special.
Favorite object in your kitchen?
My 5-quart KitchenAid mixer – no question.
What are you scared of in the kitchen?
Oh, I wouldn’t say I’m scared of my mandoline, but I do say a little prayer every time I start to work with it.
Do you prefer to cook alone or with others?
I love to cook and bake with people – I love the camaraderie, the inspiration that comes from sharing ideas and the fun of sitting down to eat what we’ve made together.
What country would you travel to for the food?
I travel to Paris often for the food, my friends (all of whom are foodlovers) and the beauty of the city, but I’m longing to go back to Vietnam to eat and eat and eat some more.
If you were to come back as a fruit or vegetable, what would you be?
I’ve never thought about this before, but the first thing that came to mind was an apple and I think it might be just right. I love an apple’s look, its polish, its crunch and its versatility. Not bad for a fruit and great for a personality – who wouldn’t want polish and crunch?
What’s for dinner?
‘tis the season, so I’m stuffing a pumpkin with rice and sausage and onions and garlic, chard and cream. A perfect sit-by-the-fire dish.
These Linzer Sablés are remarkably easy to make. The dough is a real pleasure to work with and the final cookie is nutty, spicy, buttery—pretty much everything that you could ask for in a cookie. The addition of raspberry jam really pushes it over the top. I know that some of you avoid cookies that require rolling—but do not avoid these. If you don’t already own all of Dorie’s cookbooks, go get them. She also maintains a lovely blog, where you can follow her adventures in New York and Paris. Many thanks to Dorie for her contribution to the 12 Days of Cookies!
See everyone back here tomorrow with a favorite cookie of mine!
Linzer Sables (Dorie Greenspan)
- 1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam or strained apricot jam plus 1 teaspoon water
Whisk together the ground nuts, flour, cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Using a fork, stir the egg and water together in a small bowl.
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together at medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the egg mixture and beat for 1 minute more. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough. Don’t work the dough too much once the flour is incorporated. If the dough comes together but some dry crumbs remain in the bottom of the bowl, stop the mixer and finish blending the ingredients with a rubber spatula or your hands.
Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, put the dough between two large sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap. Using your hands, flatten the dough into a disk, then grab a rolling pin and roll out the dough, turning it over frequently so that the paper doesn’t cut into it, until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Leave the dough in the paper and repeat with the second piece of dough. Transfer the wrapped dough to a baking sheet or cutting board (to keep it flat) and refrigerate or freeze it until it is very firm, about 2 hours in the refrigerator or 45 minutes in the freezer. The rolled-out dough can be wrapped airtight and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to 2 months. Just thaw the dough enough to cut and go from there.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Peel off the top sheet of waxed paper from one piece of dough and, using a 2-inch round cookie cutter—a scalloped cutter is nice for these—cut out as many cookies as you can. If you want to have a peekaboo cutout, use the end of a piping tip to cut out a very small circle from the centers of half the cookies. Transfer the rounds to the baking sheets, leaving a little space between the cookies. Set the scraps aside—you can combine them with the scraps of the second disk and roll out and cut more cookies.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden, dry, and just firm to the touch. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the second disk of dough, making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches. Gather the scraps of dough together, press them into a disk, roll them between sheets of waxed paper and refrigerate until firm, then cut and bake.
Place the jam in a small saucepan or in a microwaveable bowl and stir in the 1 teaspoon water. Bring to a boil over low heat or in the microwave. Let the jam cool slightly, then turn half of the cookies flat side up and place about 1/2 teaspoon jam in the center of each cookie; sandwich with the remaining cookies.
Just before serving, dust with confectioner’s sugar.
Makes about 25 sandwich cookies.
Previously on the 12 Days of Cookies:
December 2nd, 2009 at 8:59 am
I started my blog to participate in Tuesdays w/ Dorie and Baking really is a wonderful cookbook for a first time baker :)
Great interview! I love her answer about the mandoline. So funny!
December 2nd, 2009 at 8:59 am
I love her, too! And I think it was your links list that turned me on to her. Now I check her blog daily. Great stories and recipes. Gorgeous cookies Tim! x
The Purple Foodie says:
December 2nd, 2009 at 9:26 am
Very cool! So happy to read her interview. i just posted a Dorie recipe too! She is truly a baking guru. Love her book.
December 2nd, 2009 at 9:27 am
It’s hard to write a comment when you’re blushing as much as I am right now. Thank you so much for this kind, sweet and yes, way over-the-top post.
Your cookies are absolutely perfect and I’m so happy that you liked them. I always love the way you photograph your food, but I was tickled by the way you photographed the cookies on top of my book. Adorable.
Thank you and ‘merci’, too — Dorie
Beth T. says:
December 2nd, 2009 at 9:44 am
GORGEOUS! And I love Dorie!
If you roll up in here with an interview from Ina Garten, I’m moving in with you.
December 2nd, 2009 at 9:55 am
Wow, great idea, and so exciting that you got Dorie on board! These look fabulous – but really, doesn’t everything she bakes? I’m such a fan. Of both of you!
David T. says:
December 2nd, 2009 at 10:34 am
Viva Dorie Greenspan! May she outlive us all.
molly z says:
December 2nd, 2009 at 10:40 am
gorgeous. reminds me of the huszarcsok (hussar’s kisses) i grew up with, but more delicate. can’t wait to try these!
December 2nd, 2009 at 11:17 am
These look beautiful! I may have to set my usual recipe for Linzer cookies aside and give this one a whirl. I’m a huge fan of Dorie and it was such a nice surprise to see this post.
Lu B. says:
December 2nd, 2009 at 11:27 am
WOW, what a blog (Thanks, Dorie, for posting this link on Twitter). And, the pictures are amazing and I have just put a post-it note on that page in Dorie’s book. Holidays, here we come!
Heather @ chik n pastry says:
December 2nd, 2009 at 1:34 pm
Awesome! way to start out with a bang for sure :) and these cookies – they look fabulous!!
December 2nd, 2009 at 4:37 pm
oh my god these look fabulous. i used to work in a cupcake bakery and during the holidays we’d always whip ourselves up a batch of linzer cookies to munch on yummmm
Dawn in CA says:
December 3rd, 2009 at 12:47 pm
I’m giddy at the thought of Dorie on your site… can only imagine how you must feel! The cookies look scrumptious.
December 3rd, 2009 at 3:51 pm
This is such a delightful questionnaire. I adore the “come back as a fruit or vegetable” question.
December 4th, 2009 at 12:35 am
I ordered her book, and I already have a linzer cookie cutter that’s just waiting to be used. Thanks for reminding me to put the two together!
Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says:
December 5th, 2009 at 4:16 pm
I’d certainly be as excited to have Dorie on my site! She does sound as wonderful as I expected. Thanks for sharing her words and these marvelous cookies with us!
December 6th, 2009 at 9:15 pm
I have linzers (“drei augen”) in the oven as I type, and the scent is intoxicating. I love them rolled thin (a hassle, but lovely), and filled with red currant jelly – stunning good. Thanks, Dorie!
December 11th, 2009 at 3:09 pm
i’m so bummed… every cookie i’ve liked the look of on your blog contains nuts (which i love, but my partner is highly allergic to.) any ideas on what i could substitute?
December 11th, 2009 at 4:03 pm
Hi Yvette! Sorry about the nut allergy. This truly was not the cookie collection for folks with nut allergies. The Linzers are hard to replicate because the flavor really relies on the combination of nuts. You could easily use a butter cookie dough and flavor it with some cinnamon and allspice and make little sandwiches. Also, the walnut shortbread are great without the walnuts! I would definitely give them a try. Tomorrow’s recipe is also nut-free, so stay tuned.
December 21st, 2009 at 8:32 am
Hi! I made these and they taste awesome, but they got soggy in the container! Any tips on why and how I can salvage them? Thaks!
December 21st, 2009 at 8:43 am
Hi Ariel, They’ll keep longer if you don’t fill them with jam. Keep cookies in airtight container at room temperature and then fill with jam before serving. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do once they get soft. These are really best eaten within a couple days of baking.