I had so much fun making these cookies. Three years ago when I was baking with the Tuesdays With Dorie group, I made lovely Linzer Sable Cookies. They quickly became a family favorite. My oldest daughter has been begging me to make them for Valentine's Day. So we did. The recipe was easy to adapt to gluten-free and vegan. No one, not even my husband, could detect any difference between these and the "regular" ones. Success!
They went quickly. We filled them with homemade peach rosemary, spiced plum jam, and homemade chocolate hazelnut spread. I've been trying to come up with a homemade dairy-free Nutella to put in the center. I think I'm going to need to keep trying. Tasty, tasty experiments, but still not perfect. :)
Gluten-Free Vegan Linzer Sable Cookies
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Note: the buckwheat, brown rice and GF flour mix can be replaced with all-purpose wheat flour for a non-gluten free cookie.
8 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance, can use pure use vegetable shortening or butter)
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. ground flax seed mixed with 3 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. water (or 1 large egg)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups finely ground hazelnuts (can use almonds or walnuts)
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup all-purpose GF flour mix, plus a little more for rolling
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground cinnamon
your favorite jam, strained or chocolate hazelnut spread
powdered sugar, optional, for dusting
Beat butter and evaporated cane juice with an electric mixer until well combined. Add in the flax/water mixture or egg. Continue beating and add in the vanilla extract. Add the ground hazelnuts, flours and salt. Mix just until combined. Form into a disk and wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour before rolling out the dough and cutting it into shapes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Roll chilled dough out on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper to 1/4" thickness. (I rolled the dough out onto parchment and then carefully lifted the paper onto the baking sheet.) Use 2-3" cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes. Use small cookie cutters to cut holes in the centers of half the cookies. (I used the the large and small ends of a large piping tip.) Gather dough scraps and roll the rest of the dough and cut into shapes. Carefully place cookies onto the baking sheets. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
To assemble cookie sandwiches:
After the cookies are completely cooled, turn over the cookies without the holes. Spoon a little jam on each of the cookie bottoms and place the cookies with holes on top and gently press down. Dust tops with powdered sugar using a mesh sieve.
Yield: varies depending on size of cookies, but will make about 24, 2" sandwich cookies
The kids like theirs topped with powdered sugar, but I preferred them plain. However you choose to serve them, they're sure to be a huge hit.
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