Be still my heart… linzer cookies are the way to my heart, especially when the classic buttery cookie is stepped up with brown butter, vanilla bean paste, and a hint of lemon. Filled with sweet raspberry preserves and dusted with a fine shower of powdered sugar, these cookies are nothing short of a Valentine’s Day dream.
While a bit more labor intensive than a sugar cookie (though not at all difficult!), the resulting sandwich cookies are well worth the endeavor and perfect to share with someone you love.
Brown Butter Linzer Heart Cookies
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 2/3 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 1/3 cup raspberry preserves
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- Cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Pour browned butter into a large mixer bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
- Add sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla bean paste to mixer bowl with brown butter. Beat at medium speed for 1 minute, until well combined. Beat in egg yolks. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture just until incorporated. Add milk and mix on low speed until dough comes together in large pieces. Divide dough in half and scrape out onto two pieces of plastic wrap. Shape dough into disks and wrap well. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Roll out one disk of dough to 1/8-inch thick on a floured board, rotating dough frequently to keep from sticking (if dough is too cold to roll easily, let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes). Use a floured 2 1/2-inch heart cookie cutter to cut out hearts. Gather scraps, re-roll, and cut until you have 16 hearts. Repeat with remaining disk of dough; use a floured 1-inch round cutter to remove centers from 16 hearts. Place hearts on baking sheets and chill for 15 minutes.
- Bake, rotating pans halfway through, for 9 minutes, until lightly golden and edges are set. Cool for 4 minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Place raspberry preserves in a small bowl and microwave briefly (about 10 seconds); whisk to loosen. Turn over whole heart cookies and use an offset spatula to spread the center of each with 3/4 teaspoon preserves. Dust cutout heart cookies with powdered sugar and sandwich cookies together. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.