Delicate almond cookies cut into pretty shapes are sandwiched together with a filling of raspberry preserves, lemon curd, or chocolate spread. Linzer Cookies can be cut into daisies, hearts, rounds, and even teddy bears.
If you have never tried a Linzer Cookie, you are really missing out.
If you ask my family which cookies they want me to bring to any family function, the list is short. It includes my Gumdrop Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and these Linzer Cookies.
What are Linzer Cookies?
- They are delicate, buttery, nutty cookies traditionally sandwiched together with black current or raspberry preserves or jam and dusted with a bit of powdered sugar.
- Linzer Cookies are actually a dessert created to taste similar to a Austrian Linzertorte which has a crust made of flour mixed with ground almonds, sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest, and cinnamon and is filled with black currant preserves and is topped with a lattice crust.
- The top cookie has a cut-out which allows the fruity preserves to show through, also making these cookies really pretty and festive.
- The filling helps to soften the crisp cookies making them melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
I love that I can create festive Linzer Cookies for any occasion.
You can find special Linzer Cookie Cutters for just about every holiday. The cutters are made up of two cutters of different sizes. The first is typically around 3 inches in diameter and the other is between 1/2 inch and 1 inch.
You cut the bottom cookie using the large cutter then the top cookie gets cut using the large cutter and the small cutter. But you don’t need to use special Linzer Cookie Cutters. You can just use standard cookie cutters and a smaller cookie cutter to make just any shape.
Linzer Cookie Shapes
- A traditional Austrian Linzer Cookie is round and has a circle cut out of the center.
- The cut-out is known as “Linzer eyes” or in Austrian it’s “Linzer Augen”.
- The cut-outs do not have to be round, however, other shapes like hearts work great too.
- You can make simple daisy Linzer Cookies by:
- using a 3 inch daisy cutter then cutting a 3/4 inch daisy out of the center of the top cookie,
- by using a special Daisy Linzer Cookie Cutter.
- or by using a large 4 or 5 inch daisy cutter and a tear drop shaped cutter to cut holes in the petals.
- You can see my detailed step-by-step tutorial for making Linzer Cookie Daisies, here.
- Have fun personalizing large heart shaped Linzer Cookies using alphabet cutters.
- See the tutorial and video for the “I ♥ Mom” Linzer Cookies, here.
- Use holiday Linzer Cookie Cutters to make cookies for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or Easter.
- Or make adorably cute Teddy Bear Linzer Cookies using a bear cookie cutter and a small heart cookie cutter. These would be wonderful cookies to make for Valentine’s Day, a Baby Shower, or Christmas.
There are just so many possibilities for shapes and sizes and fillings too.
Linzer Cookie Fillings:
- Black Current Preserves or Jam is the traditional filling for Austrian Linzer Cookies.
- Red Raspberry Preserves or Jam is a more traditional filling in the United States.
- Any fruit flavored preserves or jam can be used based on personal preference.
- Lemon Curd is an alternative filling that adds a lovely tart flavor that pairs beautifully with the almond cookie.
- Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (Nutella) is an unconventional filling but it tastes amazing inside the crisp almond cookies.
What is the difference between a fruit preserve and a jam?
- Jam is a cooked mixture of fruit and sugar with the option of adding pectin. The fruit it then puréed for a smooth texture.
- Preserves are also a cooked mixture of fruit, sugar, and pectin, but the preserves contain chunks of fruit.
Either jam or preserves make great fillings for Linzer Cookies but jam is a little easier to spread. If you use preserves and the fruit chunks are too large, simply chop them a bit more.
Almonds are a key component in the Linzer Cookie Dough. They add flavor and a bit of crunch. I prefer using raw, blanched almond slivers (blanched nuts have their skins removed) because I can roast the nuts in a 350 degree oven for about 5-6 minutes (or in a skillet set over medium low heat) to bring out their nutty flavor, allow them to cool, then grind them in a food processor.
Almonds vs. Almond Meal vs. Almond Flour
- You can grind raw, blanched, slivered almonds with a bit of sugar in a food processor or blender rather than buy a bag of expensive almond meal for this recipe.
- You need to add sugar to the food processor in order to prevent the ground almonds from turning into a paste.
- You can use also use almond slices for this recipe. Just be sure to really keep an eye on the slices as they toast in the oven. They can burn really easily.
- You can even use whole almonds with the skin on if you don’t mind your cookies having flecks of brown in them.
- If you use raw almonds, you can roast them in the oven to bring out their nutty flavor or you can use roasted unsalted nuts.
- You can also use almond meal or almond flour if you have it on hand.
- Almond meal is made by processing raw and unsalted almonds that still have their skin. Once again your cookies will have tiny flecks of brown in them.
- Almond flour is made by processing blanched almonds and it works great in this recipe.
- If you use either almond meal or almond flour you can simply add all the sugar with the butter in the recipe.
- You can even toast the almond meal or flour if you like. Spread it on a baking sheet and pop it in a warm 300 degree oven for about 4-5 minutes until you just start to smell the nutty aroma.
- Be sure to allow it to cool completely before adding it to the cookie dough.
How to make Linzer Cookie Dough:
- You’ll cream butter and sugar together.
- Then add 2 egg yolks and vanilla.
- I like to use vanilla bean paste whenever I make cookies. It doesn’t evaporate out like vanilla extract and it imparts a lovely pure vanilla flavor to the cookies.
- Add the almond/sugar mixture and stir just to combine.
- Whisk together a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest, salt, and flour then stir it into the dough.
- If you like, you can add a teaspoon of cinnamon too.
Cut out Linzer Cookies
- It’s important to chill the dough before you roll it out.
- Linzer Cookie dough is a bit dryer than cut-out cookie dough and it will hold together better once chilled.
- You can roll the dough out onto a cutting board that has been dusted with flour or you can roll it out on a silicone baking mat without using any flour. Just be sure to flour your rolling pin so that it doesn’t stick.
- I LOVE using a smooth silicone baking mat to make any cut-out cookies especially because I don’t have to add extra flour to the dough.
- Roll out the dough on the silicone mat and cut out your cookies.
- Then remove the excess dough and place the mat in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, just long enough for the cookies to firm up.
- The you can simply peel off the perfectly shaped Linzer Cookies and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- If you have several silicone mats you can simply bake the cookies right on the mat. You don’t even have to transfer them.
- Then bake the cookies in a 350 degree oven for 8-12 minutes depending on the size.
- Bake the whole cookies on one sheet and the cookies with the holes cut out on a separate baking sheet. The cookies with the holes will bake a bit faster than the whole cookies.
- Allow the baked cookies to cool completely.
- I like to allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then I transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- If you plan to serve the cookies that day then you can go ahead and fill them otherwise you might want to wait.
- The baked cookies are rather crispy and once you fill them with preserves or jam they will soften.
- I really like the Linzer Cookies once they have softened so I will fill mine up to a day in advance.
- If you prefer a crispier cookie wait until an hour before serving to fill them.
How to store Linzer Cookies
- Linzer Cookies taste best when eaten within a day or two or being baked and filled.
- You can safely store Linzer Cookies filled with fruit preserves or jam or shelf stable, store bought lemon curd at room temperature for up to a few days.
- The fruit in the preserves will eventually spoil if left at room temperature but the high sugar content acts as a temporary preservative making it safe to store at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- If you have filled your cookies with Nutella you can store them for up to a week at room temperature.
- It’s important to store Linzer Cookies in an airtight container like a metal cookie tin, a glass jar, or a plastic container.
- You can also just store the un-filled cookies at room temperature for up to a week then fill them a few hours before serving.
Can I refrigerate or freeze Linzer Cookies?
- Yes you can refrigerate the cookies if you really want to.
- Refrigerating almost any baked good causes them to dry out and they can even develop a stale taste.
- But if you feel more comfortable storing your filled Linzer Cookies in the refrigerator then layer them with wax or parchment paper, place them in a large zip top bag and remove as much air as possible then place them in an airtight container before placing them in the fridge.
- Allow refrigerated cookies to come to room temperature in their container for about an hour before serving them for the best flavor.
- I suggest freezing the cookies unfilled.
- Place the cookies in a large zip top freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Remove from the freezer and set the package on the counter for 2-3 hours to thaw before opening.
- Remove the cookies from the bag then dust the tops with powdered sugar and fill them.
- The cookies must be completely thawed before dusting with powdered sugar otherwise the sugar will melt into the cookie.
- Filled cookies can also be frozen, but the jam will not freeze solid which can make the cookies much softer once thawed.
- Be sure to layer the cookies with sheets of parchment paper in between to keep the cookies from sticking together.
- Place the frozen cookies in the refrigerator overnight to thaw then bring them out and set them on the counter for a few hours before opening the bag.
- The cookies may need a fresh dusting of powdered sugar too just be sure to cover the jam filled hole with something like a small jar lid so that the jam doesn’t get covered in the white powdered sugar.
Linzer Cookie Video
Linzer Cookie Recipe
Crispy almond cookies sandwiched together with a filling of raspberry preserves, lemon curd, or chocolate hazelnut spread. The filling shows through a hole in the top cookie that is also dusted with powdered sugar.
- 1 cup blanched almond slivers
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 2 cups all purpose flour (260 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 2 large egg yolks
- optional 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- powdered sugar to dust over cookies
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup raspberry jam or preserves, lemon curd, or Nutella
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread almonds out on a baking sheet, and toast for 5-6 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove and pour nuts into the bowl of a food processor and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and pulse until the nuts become finely ground.
Whisk the flour, salt, lemon zest, and cinnamon, if using, together then set aside.
Cream the butter and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar together in a large mixing bowl just until it becomes pale yellow.
Beat in vanilla and the egg yolks until well combined.
Mix in the ground almonds.
Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Remove the dough from the bowl, divide in half, then flatten into two discs and place each half into a zip top bag or wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate the dough for about 15-20 minutes.
Dust a cutting board with flour or use a silicone mat.
Roll 1 disc of chilled cookie dough out to 1/8 inch thickness onto the cutting board or silicone mat.
Cut out as many shapes as you can using Linzer cutters or cookie cutters.
Remove excess dough, re-roll and continue to cut out shapes.
Chill cut-outs in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
Move cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. (see tutorial for tips)
Bake for 8-12 minutes until lightly golden brown. The time will depend on the size of the cookies.
Roll the remaining disc of dough and cut out the same number and same shapes as before re-rolling as needed using the Linzer cutter fitted with the small cutter (which will cut the hole at the same time) or using traditional cookie cutters.
If needed, cut a smaller hole in the center of each cookie using 1/2 inch to 1 inch cutters.
Remove excess dough re-roll and cut out more cookies.
Freeze the cut-out dough for 5-10 minutes then move to parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake for about 8-12 minutes until lightly golden brown.
Allow all the cookies to cool completely.
Dust the cookies with the holes in the middle with powdered sugar.
Spread preserves, jam, curd, or chocolate spread on the whole cookies.
Place one powdered sugar dusted cut-out cookie on top of the jam and gently sandwich the cookies together.
Linzer Cookies are best if served the day they are filled. See the tutorial for storage instructions.
Recipe adapted from the Joy of Baking.