Peanut + Cherry Linzer Valentine Cookies

Peanut + Cherry Linzer CookiesAh the sweet, sweet days before Valentine’s Day. When we’re extra nice and loving to those around us, leaving notes, and gifting chocolates and sweet treats to our loves. And these linzer cookies are for lovers…peanut butter and jelly lovers that is!Peanut + Cherry Linzer CookiesPeanut + Cherry Linzer CookiesIs there a more perfect pair than peanut butter and jelly, I think not. No matter you’re age, they just go perfectly together. But these linzer cookies aren’t the afternoon snacks you grew up eating. These linzer cookies, unlike their traditional form which are made with with hazelnuts, use ground peanuts. So no actual peanut butter. I originally wanted to call these PB+J Linzer Cookies, but feeling like it was a bit kitchy I choose otherwise, but at the end of the day, or should I saw each bite, it is exactly what these cookies taste like. But on a side not did you know it’s National Peanut Butter Day today too, yes this recipe was totally on purpose…Peanut + Cherry Linzer CookiesPeanut + Cherry Linzer CookiesPeanut + Cherry Linzer CookiesThese are buttery, crumbly, nutty cookies, but that’s why linzer cookies need jam, and a dusting of sugar. It moistens the cookies, making them even more pleasant to eat. I mean can you beat peanut butter and homemade cherry jam. The bits of crunchy peanut bits are the best! You don’t taste them, but when you get a peanut bit that’s bigger, it’s quite a nice surprise! Peanut + Cherry Linzer Cookies

Another untraditional ingredient, I used half whole wheat flour because it naturally adds a nutty flavor to anything it’s baked into. It’s a subtle flavor difference than regular flavor, but I especially love using in recipes with nuts. This isn’t the first time I’ve paired peanuts and cherries either, remember this ice cream. Yes, it’s one of my favorites too… You know WHAT?! How amazing would this ice cream be sandwiched between two large linzer cookies. Oh, I think a match made in heaven! Peanut + Cherry Linzer Cookies

Peanut + Cherry Linzer CookiesNow back to the homemade cherry jam. It’s good, I mean it totally makes these cookies. It’s so simple to make you’ll want to make several jars of it. And yes I know it’s not cherry season, but there are several organic frozen brands that are just as good. I’ll be sharing my recipe for cherry jam next week, but feel free to use you favorite jarred brand in whatever fruit flavor you like, or whip up a small batch of your go to. 

Peanut + Cherry Linzer CookiesOf course I had to make these Valentine’s day cookies a bit festive. A dashing of pink and red heart sprinkles atop the jam heart shall do it. Aren’t they so cute! Peanut + Cherry Linzer CookiesPeanut + Cherry Linzer CookiesPeanut + Cherry Linzer CookiesIf you’re feeling extra loving, eat these peanut and cherry linzer cookies cozied up with your love, sipping hot cocoa and watching your favorite movie. Whether they’re displayed at a wedding dessert buffet, or bagged and given to your child’s classmates and teachers, your coworkers, family and friends, your love, or just yourself, these peanut and cherry linzer cookies are the sweetest ways to show your love this Valentine’s Day!Peanut + Cherry Linzer Cookies

Peanut + Cherry Linzer Cookies

Peanut + Cherry Linzer Cookies

Ingredients {Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies}

2/3 cup {3 oz} – Shelled Peanuts {unsalted}

1/2 cup packed – Brown Sugar

1 1/4 cups – All Purpose Flour

1 1/4 cups – Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 teaspoon – Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon – Salt

1/4 teaspoon – Ground Cinnamon

1 cup {2 sticks} – Unsalted Butter {room temperature}

1 large – Egg

1 teaspoon – Pure Vanilla Extract or Almond Extract

1/4 to 1/2 cup – Cherry Jam {use your favorite or make your own}

Confectioner’s Sugar, for dusting

Holiday Sprinkles, optional 

Recipe {Adapted from Love and Olive Oil}

In a food processor, pulse the peanuts with 1/4 cup of brown sugar, until finely ground, making sure not to over process or you’ll end up with peanut butter. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.

In a bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining brown sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy {about 3 to 4 minutes}. Add the peanuts and mix until just combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla until mixed completely. Add the flour mixture, in two batches, and mix on low speed until just combined.

Place dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead to smooth slightly. Divide the dough in half and shaped into flat disks. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours until firm or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F, and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out one of dough disks to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out as many cookies with desired cookie cutter, placing 1 1/2″ between each onto the baking sheet. {For the bottom sandwich cookie, remember to use a cutter shape without holes. For the topper sandwich cookie, remember to cut out a center space so the jam is seen.} Bake until cookie bottoms are light golden brown, rotating halfway {about 10 to 15 minutes}, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before assembling with filling. Repeat with remaining dough.

Lightly dust tops with confectioner’s sugar. Fill jam centers with sprinkles, if using. Enjoy right away, or store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerated for up to 1 week. 

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