I made these for my coworker, Lydia, whose father passed away last week.
As is the nature of my office, we all decided to do something for her when she returned to work. The first thing was decorating her desk with a forest of flowers. Since Lydia loves Zelda, anything Triforce-related and dessert, it was almost too good to pass up combining the three of those things into one. The birth of these cookies came to me in a moment of pure joy and excitement and I knew I just had to make them come to life. I think it's actually pretty perfect that Lydia was born the year the first Legend of Zelda game was released and that her dad knew that game through and through. Kind of crazy how the universe is like that sometimes.
For me, my knowledge of Zelda is actually quite limited. I never had the opportunity to play it as I was off sneaking away from trolls and fighting goblins and spiders in this Hobbit game. I loved that game so much so I guess it is okay that I missed out on Zelda. My first encounter of it was watching an ex-boyfriend play it back in 2009. It looked like fun but I didn't really get the chance to participate. Fast forward to present day and with the new Switch release suddenly everyone is talking about Zelda. It's pretty cool to have coworkers who nerd out on this sort of things and to have coworkers who don't nerd out on it actually support it. Needless to say, my knowledge of Zelda is limited to Link, cooking things, guardians and Triforces (which are more than just a hipster looking triangle thing, I had to look it up). But I'm all for making food that is interesting looking and delicious tasting. Throw in a little nerdism and I am totally game.
I made linzer cookies once before and really enjoyed the process it took to get to the end result. There's something about cutting out a center and having some sweet jam or curd poking through that makes them both attractive and more 3-dimensional than your average cookie. With the preponderance of fig jam lurking both in the fridge and in the back of my mind, I knew if I was going to make Triforce cookies, they would definitely be linzer based. I mean the shape is just asking for it. These cookies also brought back a memory of being bored in college and doodling. I used to be obsessed with drawing triangles and drawing triangles in patterns that would form hexagons. And well, these cookies are kind of the ultimate real life version of that.
To make these, you can use an equilateral triangle cookie cutter but that wasn't something that was at my disposal. I did have a mini triangle cookie cutter which was incredibly helpful when cutting out the centers but not necessary as I made you all a template! See below. Attempting to figure out how big to make the outer triangle based on the size of the smaller triangle was a doozy. I will admit, I don't remember my trig. I remember enjoying trig but not the exact details of it. I think food pushed all of that knowledge out through my ears. After trying to sketch out the larger triangle, I remembered I am a graphic designer and that Illustrator Illustratorcan do the whole thing for me. I still had to hand draw the larger triangle because I don't have a printer but it worked out nicely in the end.
The really awesome thing about cutting out equilateral triangles is that you can just start creating lines until the whole sheet of dough is all cut out. I found that a knife actually works better than a pastry/ravioli wheel because the lines came out cleaner. Also, rolling out cookie dough between two pieces of wax paper is a lifesaver for these. A kind of greasy lifesaver in the end but it helps with the cookie dough sticking as you can just peel it straight off of the wax paper.
For cutting out the center triangle, it is important to leave a little bit of room so that the top cookie stays connected. My template should compensate for that, but you want to make sure that the top cookie stays all in one piece. Cutting out the smaller triangle directly on the cookie sheet helps a lot with that as well.
After dusting the top triangles, assembly is really easy. Just spread some jam (any flavor of your choice!) on the bottom cookies and then sandwich with a powdered sugar top triangle. And the result is a pretty bad ass Triforce or a hipster's triangle obsession come true.
Still super pleased with how these turned out even though they are all happily eaten up.
Triforce Linzer Cookies
Cookie dough from Bridget at Bake at 350.
Yields: about 30 cookies.
This cookie dough does not need to be chilled before using. However, you can chill or freeze it if you are making it ahead. Let it come to room temperature before rolling it out.
- 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter, cold & cut into chunks
- 1 egg
- ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- powdered sugar for dusting
- ¼-½ cup jam of your choice
To make the cookie dough, combine flour and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until it just comes together. Be sure to scrape down the bowl.
The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl until it comes together.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Roll the cookie dough between two sheets of wax paper until it is 3/8-inch thick. Using the larger triangle from the template, begin cutting large triangle shapes from the dough. A ruler and a sharp knife to create clean and sharp lines is particularly helpful. Continue making lines and triangles until all of the dough is cut out.
Gently peel twelve triangles from the wax paper and place on a baking sheet. On six of those large triangles, cut and remove the smaller center triangle to create your "window". Be sure that there is enough of the dough connecting to keep the shape together. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the corners are just lightly browned. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and carefully transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack. Continue to cut out the rest of the dough until it is all used up.
When the cookies are completely cool, separate the bottom triangles from the top triangles. Lightly dust the tops of the top triangles with powdered sugar.
To assemble, spread a layer of jam onto the bottom triangle cookie. Be sure to leave at least an ⅛-inch around the edge so the jam doesn't squeeze out when sandwiched. Carefully place on the top triangle cookie. Continue with the rest of the jam and cookies.
These cookies are best eaten within 5 days of making and can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.