Valentine’s Day is next week, and whether you’re of the cheesy holiday-loving persuasion or the my heart bleeds the darkest blood sort, I’ve got something for you: peanut butter and jelly linzer hearts! This grown-up twist on the classic pairing of PB&J is perfect for those of you who are kids at heart… and for those of you who would just rather eat some kid’s heart. Whatever!
Okay, so the truth is that I came up with this recipe a few years ago when I was getting ready to move out of my apartment and realized I still had about 15 jars of jam in the refrigerator. I obviously wasn’t about to throw them out, but a dozen half-empty jars of jam doth not a fresh start make. Additionally, I had a couple of pounds of aging, dumpstered peanuts which I was not exactly inclined to haul along with me. So I came up with these. Romantic, I know!
Anyway, back to fantasy land: this variation on linzer hearts (or drei augen) makes for a sweet gift for your sweetheart. While you’re at it, you might as well make a card that says something like “we go together like peanut butter and jelly” or something equally puke-worthy.
If you don’t have someone to give these to, make them anyway, and eat them yourself. Just think of all the hearts you’ll be breaking… with your teeth. Thanks, I’m here all night!
- 2½ c unsifted all-purpose flour
- ½ c roasted peanuts, finely ground
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ c creamy unsweetened peanut butter
- 1 c vegan butter, softened
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- powdered sugar for decorating
- 1 c raspberry jam
- parchment paper
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together flour, ground peanuts, and salt.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together peanut butter, margarine and sugar.
- Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and stir until dough forms.
- Divide dough into three balls.
- Place each ball of dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll to ⅛″ thickness.
- Refrigerate 1-2 hours, until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Remove one sheet of dough from fridge, leaving the rest to chill.
- Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter*, stamp out all the cookies you can.
- With a smaller heart-shaped cookie cutter, stamp out hearts from the centers of half of the cookies; these will be the tops. (Keep the small hearts, too — you can bake them and then dust them with powdered sugar or make mini heart-shaped sandwiches.)
- Bake a single sheet at a time with cookies ~1″ apart on the second-to-top rack in your oven and bake for 6-7 minutes, or until tops have just turned golden. Be careful not to burn them!
- Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Cool cookies fully.
- Dust the tops (the ones with cut-outs) with powdered sugar.
- In a small saucepan on low heat, bring jam to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t burn.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Spread a thin layer of jam on the bottom of a solid cookie.
- Place one of the powdered cookies on top, and press gently until jam fills the center. Take care not to press down hard; these cookies are fragile and will break with too much pressure.
- Set cookies aside to cool. Best eaten fresh and chilled.
*I didn’t have a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, so I made one instead. You can, too!