Pistachio Praline Linzer Cookies

Pistachio Praline Paste:

1 Cup Granulated Sugar

1/4 Cup Water

2 Cups Shelled, Skinned and Toasted Pistachios

3/4 Teaspoon Salt

1 Tablespoon Olive oil

Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Allow the sugar to cook until it caramelizes to a deep amber color; about 10 - 15 minutes. Quickly add in the pistachios, stir to coat with the hot sugar, and immediately transfer everything out to a silpat or piece of parchment paper. Let cool completely before breaking it into chunks, and tossing the pieces into your food processor, along with the salt and oil. Pulse to break down the brittle to a coarse consistency, and then let the motor run until very smooth. It may take as long as 10 minutes, so be patient. Let cool before using, or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Linzer Cookies:

1 Cup Non-Dairy Margarine

1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed

1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar

2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1/2 Cup Almond Meal

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Zest of 1 Orange

1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

1/3 Cup Plain Vegan Greek-Style "Yogurt" or "Sour Cream"

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line three baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper. Set aside.

Cream together the margarine and both sugars until homogeneous and fluffy pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt, zest, and ginger, starting the mixer slowly to prevent the dry goods from flying out. Mix briefly before introducing the "yogurt" and vanilla as well. Mix just until a cohesive, smooth dough is formed, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Press the dough into an even round and roll it out to 1/8th of an inch in thickness.

Use a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter to cut out the shapes. Cut out the centers of half of the rounds with a smaller shape of your choice. Transfer the cookies to your prepared sheets, and chill them for 15 minutes before moving them right into the oven. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, until just barely golden around the edges. Let cool.

Assemble the linzer cookies by spreading 1 teaspoon of the praline paste on a whole cookie, and topping it with a cut-out cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies, and enjoy.

Makes 52 - 60 Cookies; 26 - 30 Sandwiches

©Hannah Kaminsky http://www.bittersweetblog.com