No holiday is complete without these tempting Linzer cookies!
The traditional Austrian treat is something to be celebrated.
Like raindrops on roses or kitten whiskers, Linzer cookies are one of my favorite things. And what’s not to love?
These classic cookies are buttery, perfectly crunchy, and delicately spiced.
Plus, they come with warm memories of baking with family and friends. You can’t get better than that.
So, whip up a batch of these delicious Linzer cookies and get cozy.
Then, turn on a movie like The Sound of Music and make some memories.
What Are Linzer Cookies?
Even if you’ve never heard the name Linzer before, you’ve probably seen Linzer cookies.
Heck, if you’ve ever been to the Midwest around the holidays you’ve probably eaten them.
Or perhaps you’ve been to a Christmas market in Austria or Germany?
I guarantee you’ll have seen Linzer cookies there. Because these delicious little treats come from Austria.
They’re a jam-filled, almond shortbread sandwich cookie with a fun-shaped cutout in the center.
You often see them with a heart or star cutout. But any shape will do!
They have a nutty, buttery crust, and they are scrumptious.
And they have a long history.
Back in the 1600s, the recipe was discovered in the cookbook of an Austrian countess.
The original recipe was for a pie-like tart. It was made with an almond crust and filled with jam.
Then in the city of Linz, Austria, the cookies as we know them were created.
Bakers took the pie dough and cut it into fun shapes. Half of the dough would also get a center cutout.
After baking, the whole cookies were slathered in jam.
Then, a cutout cookie was placed on top. And that is how the Linzer cookie came to be.
In the 1800s, Austrian and German immigrants took the recipe with them to the States.
They’re especially popular in Wisconsin but you can find them all over.
Linzer cookies take a bit of time to make. But every second is worth it because they are so yummy!
And if you make them with family, you’re also making special memories.
And that’s pretty cool, too.
- Almond Flour- The original recipe used ground almonds, so today we use almond flour.
It imparts a delicate almond flavor and makes the texture of the cookie amazing. It will literally melt in your mouth.
- All-Purpose Flour- All-purpose flour provides extra structure. So the cookies aren’t too crumbly.
- Spices and Extracts- This recipe uses ground cinnamon and cloves to delicately spice the dough. And vanilla extract adds a lovely deep flavor.
- Salt- Salt adds balance to every dessert. These cookies are no exception. Plus, salt makes all of the flavors taste stronger.
- Egg– Eggs bind the dough, provide structure and leavening, add moisture, and enrich the dough.
- Butter– Because you can’t have a buttery cookie without butter. Butter is a necessary fat that adds flavor, moisture, and structure to the dough.
- Sugars– This recipe uses two types of sugar. You use granulated (white) sugar in the dough. Aside from sweetness, sugar also helps with moisture and structure.
And you use powdered sugar to garnish the cookie.
A dusting of powdered sugar looks like fresh snowfall. And that adds extra festiveness to these cookies.
- Jam– It’s not a Linzer cookie without jam. The original recipe used blackcurrant jam. This recipe uses raspberry jam, but you can use whatever kind you like best.
The fruitiness of the jam is a bright and fresh counterpoint to the buttery cookie.
How To Make Linzer Cookies
Step One- Make the dough. Some Linzer recipes use a traditional shortcrust dough. This one does not, so prepare the dough as directed.
Step Two- Roll out the dough. Shape the dough into two disks and place them between sheets of parchment paper. Roll each disk out until it’s 1/8 inch thick all around.
Step Three- Chill the dough. Put the rolled-out dough onto a baking sheet or cutting board. Put it in the fridge for at least two hours.
Step Four- Cut out your cookies. Use your favorite cookie cutter. Half the dough should be a whole cookie. Half the dough should have a smaller shape cut out of the center.
Step Five- Bake. Transfer the cookies onto a clean, parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for about 7-9 minutes until they are lightly golden. Pay close attention, so they don’t burn.
Step Six- Assemble the cookies. Slather the whole cookie with jam and dust the cutout cookie with powdered sugar. Sandwich the two together, with the cutout cookie on top.
Now, it’s time to eat!
Tips for the Best Linzer Cookies
- Let all of your ingredients come to room temperature before you start baking. This way, all of the ingredients can blend together more smoothly.
- This is a universal rule of baking unless a recipe specifically states otherwise. For example, you need cold butter for pastry dough.
- The thinner the cookie, the better. Rolling the dough to 1/8 inch thickness is recommended. Otherwise, the cookie-to-jam ratio will be out of balance.
- If you’re making multiple batches, keep the dough cold. Immediately roll out all of the dough you have, but then keep any dough you’re not working on in the refrigerator.
- Along the same lines, keep cutout dough cold between baking batches. This keeps the butter cold and keeps the cookies from spreading too much.
- Roll out your dough between sheets of parchment paper instead of using flour. This makes cleaning up so much easier.
If you do prefer the flour method, don’t use too much flour to roll out your dough. Use only enough to keep it from sticking. Too much flour will make the cookies dry.
- Fun Variations– Linzer cookies can be completely customizable!
- Use fun cookie cutters! Hearts, stars, snowflakes, trees… whatever you have on hand will work just fine.
- Use a different filling. Apricot, blackberry, and strawberry jams are all fantastic options. Orange marmalade is also delicious!
Fruit curds are also super tasty, plus they add extra tartness. Chocolate ganache or Nutella also taste amazing!
- Make them chocolate. You can do this by making the dough chocolate, filling them with chocolate ganache, or both!
If you want to make the dough chocolate, replace 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
Add the cocoa powder to the wet ingredients.
- Skip the vanilla extract and use almond extract in the dough. It makes the cookies super almondy and delicious.
- Add tea leaves! Yep, instead of the spices add tea leaves. Earl Grey is a perfect choice. But matcha is also delicious.
How to Store Linzer Cookies
Store Linzer cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
They’ll last for 3 days. You can store them in the fridge and they keep a little longer.
They may lose some of their crispiness, though.
You can freeze both the dough and the completed cookies.
Cookie Dough- Wrap the dough disks in plastic wrap. Put the wrapped disks into a freezer bag. Don’t forget to label and date them!
You can do the same with the rolled-out dough. Keep it in the parchment and then wrap it.
The dough will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw the dough on the counter overnight.
Baked Cookies- Wrap each individual cookie in plastic wrap. Then, add all of them to a freezer bag with a label and the date. Freeze them for up to 3 months.
Unwrap the cookies to thaw. They’ll be ready in about 1 hour.
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