It’s Sunday, which means more goodies for the church coffee cart. Every Sunday I offer something completely different. Sometimes I buy the goodies I serve, but I try to make most everything if I can. The way I look at it, it’s a good way to get to try a lot of new recipes without having a bunch of sweets around for me to eat. This time, one of the selections I made was a delicious batch of cherry Linzer squares that I served along with some mini cinnamon rolls and more of my black chocolate & peppermint cake Black Chocolate and Peppermint Cake. One of the ladies commented that I must really like cherries since I make things that feature cherries quite often. I do. I LOVE cherries. 🙂
The Linzer torte is one of the oldest cakes in the world and has been around since 1696. The Linzer torte is a traditional Austrian pastry, that is a form of shortcake topped with fruit preserves and sliced nuts and is decorated with a latticed design on top. The recipe was created by using nuts, mostly almonds or hazelnuts, in the crust and the topping because at the time, nuts were more readily available than wheat or flour.
The name Linzer simply means it comes from the town of Linz, Austria. These tortes are usually singled layered tortes or pies. Linzer tortes are a holiday treat in the Austrian, Hungarian, Swiss, German, and Tirolean traditions, often eaten at Christmas. Linzer tortes came to America during the 1850’s as part of the Austrian and German traditions that were brought with the immigrants who came over to the United States at that time.
I have made made many versions of Linzer tarts or tortes or cookies over the years. I love them. They are so tasty and festive. This time, I made them as bite-sized bars which are easier to serve when serving a lot of people. Usually I make them with raspberries, but this time I used cherries instead. Both are favorites of mine.
Cherry Linzer Squares
Preheat the oven to 350* F or 175* C.
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
2 TBSP water
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup almonds or hazelnuts
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp lemon peel
1 12-oz jar cherry jam or preserves
powdered sugar for dusting
Add the water to the cherries and place in the microwave to cook on high for 1 minute. Then let sit for a few minutes before using.
Combine the flour, cinnamon, nuts, sugars and lemon peel in a food processor and blend until the nuts are finely ground and it resembles a fine sand.
Add the egg and the butter and blend again until it all forms together as a dough. Divide the dough into two. Firmly press about 2/3 of the dough into a 9×13 baking pan to completely layer the bottom of the pan.
Mix the cherries with the cherry jam and spread evenly over the crust layer on the bottom.
With he remaining dough break off small balls of the dough and gently roll them out into long ropes. Add the dough ropes to the top of the fruit preserves in a lattice design.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until the dough rope are lightly browned.
Allow the bars to cool then slice and allow to cool completely again before dusting with powdered sugar.
Whether you make these as a tart or a torte or as cookies or as a bar, with either cherries or raspberries, or another fruit of your choice, these are going to be a bit hit with everyone. Mine all disappeared this morning. There were none left to bring home. I take this a s a very good indicator that they were enjoyed by all.
Enjoy your days and make the most out of everything that you do. Stay safe and stay well. ‘Til next time.