Blueberry Linzer Cookies
I’m a boy mom. A boy mom three times over. They’re 2, 4, and 12. My boys are wild. Messy. Mischievous. Rambunctious. Exhausting. Unpredictable. Everything involves wrestling. They’re eating me out of house and home. My bathroom floors are covered in pee, you’d think the toilet was a moving target. They have no concept of volume control. They burp and fart at the dinner table. They blow their noses into their sleeves. In spite of my efforts, they’re not civilized. But my goodness are they adorable. They’re the most adorable things you’ll ever see. I’m completely in love with them, and they complete me.
Being a boy mom has forced me to re-evaluate what’s important in life, like the cleanliness of my house. I’ve spent the majority of my existence being a perfectionist. I liked my throw pillows fluffed, my counters spotless. Everything had its place. You could eat off my floors. I was kind of like Monica on Friends. I had issues. I got a lot of eye rolls from friends and family.
Not anymore, though. That part of my life is over. Not the eye rolling. That still happens. I’m simply too busy wiping boogers off my sofa to notice. I’m a boy mom now. My throw pillows are literally throw pillows, thrown all over the house. My counters are permanently sticky, smeared with peanut butter and jelly, sometimes unknown substances mixed with dirt and snot. Everything has its place, and it’s ALL OVER the place. But you could eat off my floors…my boys do. I don’t even know why I bother with plates, it all ends up on the floor.
Being the only female in the house, aside from my chickens, I don’t have anyone asking me to braid their hair or paint their nails. No dolls to dress up, no pink ribbons, no princess movies. I live in the land of pirates, dinosaurs, and super heroes. Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails. It’s often a challenge for me to find things in common with my boys. I don’t want to play with nerf guns anymore than they want to watch Bridget Jones’s Diary. But one thing I’ve managed to get them excited about is baking. In our home, cupcakes and cookies are common ground.
They LOVE baking. Getting the ingredients out, playing with the mixer, watching the oven, and enjoying the end result. It beats play-doh any day. If you’ve never baked with your kids, you should. It’s become one of my favorite activities. It teaches them creativity, life skills, math, and patience. And it teaches me to relax and focus on what matters. Them. My boys don’t share my desire to have our home look like a Pottery Barn catalog. They couldn’t care less if something comes out perfect. They want to create, to be involved, and to play with their mom. If batter falls on the floor, five second rule! Cookies are burnt, oh well, still tastes pretty good to them. We may measure wrong or forget the vanilla. It’s ok. Having fun, laughing, connecting with my boys, building memories, this is what they’ll remember. Not that our house was always clean and organized.
So get them in the kitchen and get messy! But do make sure you wash their hands. If your kids are anything like my boys, their hands are covered in pond scum and elk poop.
Our creation today was Blueberry Linzer cookies. Linzer cookies are old fashioned shortbread cookies with a fruity jam filling. They’re buttery, crumbly, and delightfully colorful. This cookie is especially fun to make with kids because it’s simple, hands-on, and craft-like. It gives them a chance to learn new skills, like rolling the dough, using cookie cutters, and making sandwiches. They’ll love picking unique shapes, matching them up, and dusting them with powdered sugar.
All you need are cookie cutters in varying sizes and a rolling pin and you’ve got an art project your kids will love and will taste divine.
Any type of jam will do for the filling. The classic choice is raspberry, but feel free to try strawberry, apricot, blackberry, even lemon curd. Or Nutella! Oh, that sounds good. We happened to have some leftover homemade blueberry jam, which was heavenly.
Blueberry Linzer Cookies
Makes about 30-36 cookies
- 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 jar of fruit jam, your choice
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Cookie cutters in varying shapes and sizes
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar till just combined.
- Add the vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, sift flour and salt.
- On low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Mix till the dough comes together.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough onto a floured surface, about a 1/4" thick and cut into desired shapes. Half should be whole cutouts and half should have center cutouts.
- Place on cookie sheets and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Bake the cookies for 20-25 minutes. Let them cool completely.
- Spread jam on the surface of the whole cookie. Place cookie with center cutout on top, press cookies together gently.
- Dust generously with powdered sugar.