Spiced molasses pecan cookies with homemade cranberry jam.
You can’t have the holidays without gingerbread. Normally, I make chewy gingerbread cookies (my favorite), but this year I switched it up a bit. I took regular linzer cookies, added pecans, spices, and some molasses. Sandwiched the cookies around homemade cranberry jam for a tasty spiced jam-filled treat!
Because of the addition of molasses, the cookie dough is very soft, making it difficult to handle. I have a few simple solutions for this. First, I roll the dough between two pieces of wax paper. You can use parchment or silpat mats, but wax paper is best. The wax keeps moisture in the dough from reacting with the paper, preventing sticking.
Second, I cut the dough as soon as it is rolled and cover it. Then I slide a sheet pan under the paper and put it in the freezer. The dough gets divided into four sections. So I repeat this process with each section, stacking the dough sheets on top of one another. Freeze each sheet for at least fifteen minutes. Freezing the dough solidifies the butter, hardening it and making it easier to remove from the paper. The dough can also be frozen overnight if you want to make it ahead or need a break from cookie baking.
Lastly, have the baking sheets and a thin metal spatula ready before you begin. Remove the cookies from the paper one sheet at a time, leaving the rest in the freezer. I use the spatula to release the entire sheet of dough from the paper and transfer the cookies to the baking pan. I work as quickly as possible to transfer the cookies before the dough softens. If your dough gets too soft to work with, just pop it back into the freezer until it is solid again.
There will be scrap pieces of dough and cookies that didn’t quite make it to the pan. The dough can be rerolled multiple times since there is no additional flour used. Just repeat the process until all of the dough is gone. This recipe can make up to 40 cookies depending upon how thick and how many times it is rolled.
Gingerbread Linzer Cookies
- 3 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1/3 cup spiced rum
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 pinch cloves
- 1/8 tsp ginger ground
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup pecans
- 2 sticks butter 1 cup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ginger ground
- 2 tsp cinnamon ground
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp clove ground
- powdered sugar as needed optional
- Combine all ingredients in a pot. Set over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Turn heat to low and cook until all the cranberries are soft. About 30 minutes. Remove from heat and blend with hand blender or food processor. Chill until ready to use.
- Toast the pecans for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degrees oven. Grind in a food processor and mix with the dry ingredients.
- Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Mix in egg, vanilla, and molasses. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Cut 8 sheet pan sized pieces of wax paper. Divide the dough into four and place on four pieces wax paper. Cover with the remaining paper. Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness between the papers. Cut the dough with cookie cutters and cover. Slide the dough onto a sheet pan and place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with silpat or parchment. Remove the dough from the freezer one sheet at a time. Release the cookies from the paper with a spatula and place on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Reroll any scrap dough, cut, freeze, and bake. Repeat until all the dough has been made.
- Spread jam on 1/2 of the cookies. Sprinkle powdered sugar on the other half of the cookies. Place the sugared cookies on top of the jam and gently press together. Store in an airtight container.