Chocolate Embossed Linzers

If at first you don’t succeed — try, try again.”

When I retired from my position as a middle school librarian, I was gifted with a beautiful OmaMarta handcrafted embossed rolling pin from Estonia. I was so excited to begin using it but had no idea that embossing pastry would be challenging. However, as an experienced teacher, I understand that mistakes offer an opportunity to learn. With this in mind, I decided to explore recipes and techniques that might retain decorative imprints.

Having experimented with various recipes for embossing dough, I eyed with interest this Valentine Linzer Cookie recipe by Gingerhouse Springerle. This recipe is used with many gorgeous Springle molds, used traditional almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill), as well as All-Purpose Flour (King Arthur), and had minimal rising agents. As a result, I decided to go ahead and try making them.

From my past experiences with embossing, I decided to chill the dough for 30 minutes before rolling it out. I also knew to roll the dough with the embossed rolling pin only once. If the dough is rolled more than once, it loses the design. After rolling and cutting the dough, I put the cookies into the freezer for 30 minutes before baking them in the oven. This is important because the cold retains the design. After baking the cookies, I carefully lifted them off the cookie sheet because lifting them carelessly also removes the design.

To make the cookies extra special, I melted Baker’s 100% unsweetened cacao chocolate into a small pyrex open jar set in a double boiler. I added just a bit of confectionary sugar, butter, and oil because adding fat to the melted chocolate makes it shiny and more liquid. Then I practiced dipping the cookie leftover pieces in the melted chocolate for practice before trying it on the embossed cookies. Success!

These chocolate embossed Linzer cookies are a bit time-consuming, but worth the effort especially for my sweet Valentine. — Carole

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