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Alexander cake cookie from Latvia

Posted by on 10 January, 2016
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Alexander cake cookie from Latvia

This sweet, layered cookie – almost a pastry – can be seen in many pastry shop windows in Latvia. According to the stories, it was made especially in honor of a visit of the Russian Tsar Alexander 1 to Riga at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The cookie is mostly eaten during the holidays and other festive occasions. Its classic filling is raspberry, which remains the firm favorite of the Latvians, but you can find Alexander cakes made with other kinds of jam too. Finland and Estonia also claim this cookie as their own, telling again of visits by Tsar Alexander as the first occasion it was made. The truth may never be known, but regardless of its origin, this pretty cookie with crisp, buttery pastry and a fresh jam filling is really worth the effort of working with its brittle layers, sticky jam and dripping icing.


Alexander cake cookie from Latvia

For about 15 cookies

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the ingredients

400 grams (3¼ cups) flour
150 (¾ cup) grams of sugar
350 grams (1½ cups) cold butter, cubed
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
225 grams (2¼ cups) icing sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
for the jam (or use ready made jam)
400 grams (2 cups) raspberries + extra to garnish
400 grams (2 cups) jelly sugar
juice of half a lemon





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flour, sugar, butter and salt


Place the flour in a bowl with the sugar, butter and a pinch of salt.







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crumbly mixture


Mix with the pulse button in the food processor until crumbly or rub the butter with your fingertips into the flour mixture until crumbly






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divide in three and leave to rest


Add the vanilla extract and bring together into a ball. Divide into three, cover with cling film and leave to rest in the refrigerator for about 1½ hours.






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sugar, raspberries and lemon juice




Bring the raspberries, jelly sugar and lemon juice to the boil in a saucepan and leave to boil for about 4 mins.




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leave to cool



Let the jam cool completely.








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roll out into 3 rectangles


Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper into three rectangles of 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 inches). Bake in the middle of the oven for 10-12 min. until light brown and done.





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spread the jam


Leave to cool and spread the jam over 2 rectangles.





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spread the icing


Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice spread the glaze over the last rectangle. Stack the slices with jam and cover with the glazed slice with glaze.

Leave to rest for ± 1 hour and cut with a sharp knife into 15 pieces. The pastry is very brittle, so it’s difficult to keep everything whole! Garnish with the rest of the raspberries.

This post is also available in: Dutch

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