Strawberry Lemongrass Linzer Cookies

This blog post is dedicated to fiercely protecting the things in life that make you feel fulfilled and light.  Like these Strawberry Lemongrass Linzer Cookies!

Do what you love.

I think this is a statement that both motivates and plagues millennials.  We’re prompted to find a job we’re passionate about, because we’ll be plugging every waking hour into it. There is little to no “clocking off.” Nothing is ever as finished or as polished as it could be if you just spent more time with it.  Working in digital media, work duties extend to the weekend and after-hours at home. 

I had this on my mind recently, as I was tasked with putting together a staff bio for myself at the agency where I work.  Before even beginning the process, I had the sinking feeling that everything that makes me “me” has been fading away. 

It’s difficult to balance a relationship and friendships on my current schedule, let alone pursue the silly and fun extra things that have contributed to forming the unique individual who was drawn to the energy of New York almost three years ago.  

I’ve found that it’s important to understand the distinction that doing what I love as a career won’t necessarily make me feel fulfilled, even if it is a key part of the equation.  The fun side projects and shenanigans are just as important for well-rounded contentment.  

My big New Year gift to myself will be truly carving out time for one or two things that are just for me… like updating this blog, which I haven’t done since October! 

These Linzer Cookies are laden with sweet Brins Strawberry Lemongrass Jam and have a crumbly-yet-chewy consistency that only gets better as the cookies age. I adapted this recipe from a King Arthur Flour recipe that includes both AP flour and almond flour. 

These little cookies pack a fruity punch. I suggest adding orange zest to the dough for an even more flavorful cookie. 

Scroll down for the recipe! 

Strawberry Lemongrass Linzer Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Brins Strawberry Lemongrass jam

Instructions:

  1. In a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and cinnamon until light and fluffy.
  2. Incorporate egg yolk and vanilla, and beat until combined
  3. Whisk together flour, almond flour, and salt.  Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the whipped butter mixture.
  4. Form dough into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Roll out dough until about 1/4″ thick. Cut into circle shapes. Using a smaller flower-shaped cookie cutter, cut flower windows in half of the circles. 
  7.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown. 
  8. Let cool.  Once cool, dollop some jam onto the cookies and sandwich with the flower halves.  They taste great immediately, but taste even better if you let them sit for a few hours.  Give the jam some time to soak into the cookie!

 

 

Daruma Cake

Have you seen a Japanese daruma doll before?  I’m obsessed with them, and guilty of having quite a few nestled here and there in my apartment.  When you first become the proud owner of a daruma, you fill in one of its eyes and set a goal for yourself.  When the goal or wish is fulfilled, you fill in the second eye.  You’ll be motivated to make  that wish come true, if only so that the little guy can see again!

This is a three layer tahini cake with tart citrus curd.  Tahini, made from toasted ground sesame seeds, has a mild, nutty taste which is a dream pairing with the tangy mingling of lemon and grapefruit flavors.  Add a cloak of tahini cream cheese frosting, and this cake makes wishes come true.  As someone who likes their cake not on the supersweet side of the spectrum, this was the ideal treat for me.  To create the daruma design, I used strawberries, chocolate shortbread cookies, and edible copper glitter.

This cake is ideal for serving at any occasion… it signifies the mouthwatering beginning of a new wish or goal.  It’s perfect for the new year, a wedding, or really any new phase of life that you want to celebrate.  What better time for an uplifting baking project than the beginning of 2018?

Scroll down for the recipe!

Daruma Cake

For the Tahini Cake (I used Molly Yeh’s tahini sheet cake recipe, but divided it between two round 6 inch cake pans)

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1/2 c flavorless oil, like canola
  • 1 c tahini
  • 1 1/2 tb vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c water

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 6 inch cake pans with parchment and nonstick cooking oil and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, buttermilk, oil, tahini, vanilla extract, and water.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well-combined. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Begin checking the cake after 30 minutes.
  4. Let cakes cool.  Torte both cakes into two separate discs.  Use to make a three or four layer cake.

Fort the Lemon Grapefruit Curd

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/4 cup grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp grapefruit zest
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Instructions:

  1. Combine the grapefruit and lemon juices in a saucepan. Simmer until reduced by about half, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a different container, add the grapefruit zest and let the juice cool for about 30 minutes.
  2. In the same saucepan, whisk together sugar, egg yolks, and whole egg. Add the citrus juice and whisk again to combine.
  3. Place the pan over a double boiler and cook, whisking frequently until the mixture thickens and a few large bubbles break the surface.
  4. Immediately remove from heat, add butter, and stir until melted.
  5. Strain the curd through a fine mesh sieve, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours.
  6. When assembling the cake, use a piping bag to distribute between layers.

For the Tahini Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 c unsalted butter
  • 1 c cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 tb vanilla
  • 1/4 cup tahini

Instructions:

  1. Cream together the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer until combined.
  2. Mix in the powdered sugar, salt, tahini, and vanilla.  Beat until light and fluffy.