Valentine’s Day Cookies
Preheat oven to 350°. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6-8 minutes. Cool slightly.
In a food processor, process the almonds and ¼ cup of the brown sugar until the almonds are finely ground.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, cream together the butter and the remaining ¼ cup of brown sugar until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the almond mixture, then the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Do not over mix.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, approx. 3 hours.
Heat oven to 350°. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. Using a heart shape cookie cutter, cut out and even number of solid heart bottoms and hearts with inner heart cut outs. For each finished cookie you will need two pieces. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing then 1″ apart. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Cool thoroughly on a rack.
To make sandwich hearts: Sprinkle confectioner’s sugar on the top half of the cookie (the part with the center heart cut out). Spread a teaspoon of preserves over the bottom half of the solid cookies, keeping away from the edge. Carefully place the top half over the jam.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Place wax paper between the layers.
NOTE: If you don’t have time to make this linzer cookie dough, buy and cook a basic sugar cookie dough.