These cookies demonstrate how bitters make other flavors pop. In pastry, it is similar to adding vanilla extract; an important addition that you can’t put your finger on but would miss if it wasn’t there. Orange bitters are added to the cookie dough to augment the flavor of the zest, which gives them a lovely citrus zing. A touch of bitters are also added to the layer of jam in the finished cookies which brings adds depth to the strawberry flavor. You can use either Runamok Orange or Floral Bitters with the jam.
Orange Linzer Cookies
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 tsp Runamok Orange Bitters
Zest from 1 orange
¾ cup strawberry jam
1 tsp Runamok Floral Bitters (or Orange Bitters)
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting (about ⅓ cup)
Combine flour, cornstarch and salt in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together. Add the bitters and orange zest. Blend in the dry ingredients until just combined. Wrap in wax paper and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 and line a few cookie sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough in half. Roll out one half to ⅛” and cut out circles using a 2 -3” cookie cutter. Roll out the other half and cut out circles using the same cookie cutter but then cut an additional hole in the middle of the circle. If you have a fun smaller cookie cutter in the shape of a heart, star or half moon, this would be a good opportunity to use it. Bake the cookies for approximately 8-10 minutes or until just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In a small bowl, combine strawberry jam with Floral Bitters until smooth. Take a full cookie and place a small dallop of jam in the middle and then place a cookie with the hole in the middle on top. Repeat with remaining cookies. When finished, put the confectioner’s sugar in a sieve and dust the cookies until covered.