Ahoy hoy! Actually, in the spirit of this post, we should say “Ahoj.” That’s “hi” in Czech, and as all you smart foxes have already figured out by now, we’re making some traditional Czech Christmas cookies called “Linecké Koláčky” (that’s lin-ehts-kay ko-lah-ch-key). These are cookies we make every year with our grandmother. It seems like every year the recipe is slightly different, but they always taste good. If the Czech is too much of a mouthful for you, feel free to call them Shot glass and Thimble Cookies…you’ll figure out why they’re called that in a few short pictures.
This is the kind of recipe where you gather all your ingredients, throw them together, take off your rings, and dig in. If you have a kitchen scale, use it (in the recipe…1 dkg=10 g)! I converted the measurements into common units for everyone’s ease, but your flour might be heavier than mine. I don’t know…I wouldn’t judge it if it were. All flour is beautiful to me.
I’m showing all the ingredients in a bowl here, but it’s really better to work directly on your counter. Put down the flour first and make a well in the middle for the eggs, lemon juice, and zest. The butter can be worked in. It takes a few minutes to knead it all together, but when you do, the dough is so nice and shiny and smells like lemon zest. It’s wonderful. Then comes the rolling, which is really a breeze.
Just flour a surface and roll the dough out as thin as it goes. Well not THAT thin…but no thicker than 1/8″ and try to have it all uniformly thick. Then comes the fun part–taking a shot glass and punching the little babies out. After you’ve punched out all your dough, take your thimble and punch out a smaller circle in half of the circles you’ve created (this will be the top of the cookie and the solid circles the bottom). Then gather the scraps, reroll, punch some more, gather the scraps, reroll, punch, etc, until you have no more dough. Be sure to get a skinny skinny spatula and scoop the circles up CAREFULLY and place them on a buttered baking sheet. These will burn easily in the oven so keep your eye on them.
A little jam on each and you’re good to go. We used apricot, blackberry, and red currant jams. Red currant is probably my favorite, and the most Czech-y. A little sifted powdered sugar if you so please and….
Enjoy! Oh, and feel free to halve the below recipe unless you want to make like…a million of these cookies. Which you should! But I don’t know, maybe you have other things to do. I certainly don’t.
(Yes, sharp reader…you are right. We didn’t get to the 3 1/2 sticks of butter recipe. Don’t worry, that is next! I’m not holding out on you…I was just so excited by all the different jam colors and I had to share. Your patience shall be rewarded shortly)
from Kniha Kucharských Předpisů
48 dkg mouky (3 2/3 cups flour)
24 dkg másla (2 sticks butter [room temp])
20 dkg cukru (1 cup sugar)
4 žloutky (4 egg yolks)
citronové kůry (zest of 1 lemon)
citronové štávy (3 tbsp lemon juice)
Assorted jams for filling
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Mix flour and sugar into a mound on a clean working surface. Make a well in the center and add egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice. Carefully mix together and add the butter. Work the dough for a few minutes until it is shiny and holds together into a ball nicely. Wrap in plastic and let rest in the fridge at least an hour.
Take dough out and let it warm for about 15 minutes. Flour a working surface and rolling pin and roll the dough out to at least 1/8″ thick, thinner if possible. Using a shotglass, cut out as many circles as possible. On half of those circles, use a thimble to cut out a smaller circle in the center. Gather the scraps, reroll the dough, and continue to cut circles, rerolling as necessary, until there is not dough left. Carefully, using a thin metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, but do not take my word for it. WATCH YOUR COOKIES. As soon as there are hints of golden around the edges, take them out. Let them cool.
Empty a few tablespoons of jam into a small dish and add a squirt of lemon juice. Mix the jam to warm it. Using a small spoon, spread about a 1/4 tsp of jam onto the solid round of each cookie. Top with the ringed circles. Dust with sifted powdered sugar.