The Good Biscuit : Linzer Thumbprint Cookies

From Sherry Yard’s latest cookbook, comes this gorgeous nutty, spiced biscuit dough which can be used as a tart shell, or formed into cute thumbprint cookies. For a little hint of something extra, I substituted the normal honey with Tasmanian leatherwood honey. I still have half the dough which I’m keeping well wrapped in the freezer, for a rainy day when nothing but a quick, homely biscuit will do.

The following is just the recipe for the basic dough. I’m sure you know what comes next, if you’re planning on making thumbprint cookies – pinch off little portions of dough, roll into balls, indent with your thumb and bake until golden. Cool, then fill with a jam of your choice. Here, I have opted for a homemade strawberry jam by Christine Ferber.

Linzer Dough :
(from Desserts by the Yard, by Sherry Yard)

1 cup plain flour
1 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
170g hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and ground
226g unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Vietnamese [I used normal ground cinnamon]
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon honey
1 large egg
1 tablespoon grated orange zest

Sift together the plain flour, cake flour and salt. Stir in the ground hazelnuts and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until lemony yellow, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and five-spice powder and continue creaming the mixture on medium speed until it is smooth and lump-free, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

Add the honey, egg and orange zest and beat on low speed for 15 minutes, or until they are fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. On low speed, add the flour and hazelnut mixture. Beat slowly until the dough comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix for 15 seconds, until an even-textured dough is formed.

Remove the dough from the bowl. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Wrap in plastic wrap, pressing the dough into a square, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.


  1. Lorraine E said,

    May 18, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

    Wow, you’ve been a rather busy biscuit baker of late! These look really cute and the jam looks interesting. I thought it was a rhubarb jam at first!

  2. Cakelaw said,

    May 18, 2008 @ 9:57 pm

    These look delicious!

  3. Y said,

    May 19, 2008 @ 8:33 am

    Call it instant gratification, but I love baking biscuits. It’s all very homely. I should probably make a ritual out of it and put on a frilly apron at the same time!

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