Psst: These matcha-cranberry Linzer cookies will be the star of the cookie swap. Matcha powder gives the cookies a gorgeous green hue and adds a delicious toasty edge that’s perfectly complemented by the cranberry jam filling. Use a small star-shaped cutter to punch out the middle of each cookie and up the festive ante.
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons culinary-grade matcha powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1½ cups cranberry jam
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
2. Add the egg, vanilla extract and almond extract; mix until combined, about 1 minute.
3. Add the flour, matcha powder and salt; mix until combined. Scrape the side of the bowl well and make sure the dough is evenly mixed.
4. Divide the dough in half. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
5. Unwrap one piece of the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface to ¼ inch thick. Cut out the dough using a 1½-inch round cutter. (These will be the bottom cookies.) Transfer the dough rounds to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them about half an inch apart. Refrigerate while you work with the second piece of dough.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining dough to ¼ inch thick. Cut out the dough using the same cutter; transfer the rounds to another parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a small cutter (round is fine, or you can use a fun shape like a star) to cut out the center of each cookie. Refrigerate the second baking sheet for 10 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake the cookies (working in batches, if necessary) until they’re lightly golden at the edges, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool completely.
8. Flip the bottom cookies over and dollop 1 tablespoon of the jam in the center of each one. Dust the top cookies lightly with confectioners’ sugar and then place on top of the bottom halves. The cookies will keep for up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature.