While traveling in Idaho, I came across a cooking store that sold linzer tart cookie cutters. I had no idea that this product even existed. As soon as I saw the Jewish star one, I knew it was going to make an appearance in my Chanukah cupcakes.
A bit of education, compliments of Joy of Baking:
Linzertorte is “one of Austria’s most famous desserts. Believed to have originated from the City of Linz, written recipes began to appear in the early 1700s. Traditionally this torte consisted of a crust made with flour, ground nuts (traditionally almonds), sugar, egg yolks, spices and lemon zest that was filled with preserves (traditionally black currant) and then topped with a lattice crust. ”
Linzer tarts are the cookie form of Linzertortes. Linzer cupcakes are the cupcake version of linzer tarts, a mere two degrees of separation from the real thing.
Despite the fact that I did not read Joy of Baking prior to baking my Linzer cupcakes, I randomly selected black current jam as the cupcake topping. I was shocked and excited to find that that is the traditional one used. I picked it simply because it wasn’t red. I thought if Chanukah cupcakes had red jam they would look too Christmasy.
It really bothers me when colors get taken over.
Pink = Breast Cancer (Pink used to mean girly and feminine. Now it means save our boobs. I’m all for saving boobs, but I don’t want to push a campaign every time I wear the color.)
Red = Christmas (I wear lots of red. I happen to look good in the color, some redheads don’t. Whenever I wear it around the holidays, I feel like I’m in the Christmas spirit. Holiday cheer is great, but I don’t always want to walk around promoting a holiday I don’t celebrate just by wearing a color I like.)
Green = Irish (I have red hair and I wear green. I must be Irish, right. Not.)
Rainbow = GLB (I love rainbows and I love gay people, but why can’t I wear a rainbow without it meaning something other than my awe of the amazing natural phenomenon?)
My initial Chanukah cupcake idea was to make a jelly doughnut cupcake as seen at Coconut and Lime. These are like traditional Chanukah sufganiot (doughnuts) but in cupcake form. They are really a perfect Chanukah cupcake. However, I couldn’t quite work in the linzer thing and I had to use my new cookie cutter.
Then, I saw these linzer cupcakes at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody and decided to put the jam on top of the cupcake rather than in it to create a linzer effect.
For the cake, I used the same recipe as my strawberry cupcakes except I used blackberries instead of strawberries. Despite the “black” in the title, the batter for these cupcakes looked play-doh purple and when they were done baking they were a nice shade of blue. Blue is not all that appetizing, however as it turns out, it is a color that has been taken over by Chanukah. Perfect.
BTW, it would be so easy to adapt these for Christmas by using a Christmas cookie cutter and sticking with strawberry cupcakes and strawberry jam. The cake is adapted from ABC News.
The Linzer Tarts are from allrecipes