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Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies are simple 5-ingredient cookies filled with your favorite fruit jam. Such beautiful cookies!

Linzer Cookies on a white napkin

Nut-Free Linzer Cookies

I not so recently bought a set of Linzer cookie cutters and, much like my madeleine pan, let them sit in a kitchen drawer untouched for far too long. Now, I have something else to cross off my list!

I took the easy approach to these and used the recipe that came with the cookie cutters. It is a very simple recipe with only a handful of ingredients. While it doesn’t make that many cookies, it could easily be scaled to make more if you need treats for a crowd or for sharing.

Linzer Cookies originated in Austria, and they’re closely related to the classic Linzertorte. While traditional Linzer Cookies are often made with ground nuts in the dough, this is a nice nut-free version that I like very much.

I love how these cookies can be made with a short list of ingredients. And you can easily use different jams to make a variety of different cookies. Plus, they’re just so pretty with that bit of color from the jam peeking through the top of the cookies!

What You’ll Need

Can you believe it only takes FIVE ingredients to make these beautiful cookies?

  • Unsalted butter – Set out the butter about half an hour before baking to allow it to soften properly.
  • Confectioners’ sugar – There’s confectioners’ sugar in the dough and also dusted on top of the finished cookies.
  • Orange extract – The hint of orange is really good here along with the jam. For something a little different, you can use most any flavor extract.
  • Cake flour – This helps make these cookies perfectly soft and tender. Don’t forget to sift!
  • Jam – I like raspberry or apricot, but use whatever kind you like or use a variety. You can also fill them with a fruit curd, but be sure to refrigerate any leftover cookies.

How to Make Linzer Cookies

This cookie dough comes together quickly and easily. You’ll need a rolling pin to roll out the dough, and, of course, cookie cutters! Remember to plan for the chilling time.

Make the dough. Beat the butter, sugar, and orange extract with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until well-mixed. Gradually add the flour and mix well.

Chill the dough. Shape the dough into a rectangle. Wrap it well and chill for at least 2 hours.

Roll out the dough. Take half of the dough, and roll it to 1/4-inch thickness. Chill again for 30 minutes.

Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Cut out the dough for the bottoms of the cookies. Use a 2-inch or 2 & 1/2-inch cutter to cut out the rolled dough.

Bake the bottoms of the cookies. Place the pan in the oven, and bake 10-12 minutes or just until the edges are browned.

Roll and cut out the dough for the tops of the cookies. Roll out the remaining dough to 1/4-inch thickness, and chill for 30 minutes. Then, using a Linzer cutter, cut out the dough.

Bake the tops of the cookies. Remove from the oven just when the edges are browned (about 10-12 minutes). The tops can tend to bake a little faster than the bottoms, so keep an eye on them.

Assemble the cookies. After the cookies have cooled, dust the tops with confectioners’ sugar. Spread about 2 teaspoons of jam on each of the cookies for the bottom of the cookie sandwich. Place the cookies with the cut-outs on top of the jam.

Tips for Success

  • Measure accurately. These types of cookie doughs are especially sensitive to measurements, so take care to measure well.
  • Don’t skip the chill time! It will help the cookies keep their shape and not over-spread.
  • Change the shapes for the occasion! While these cookies are often associated with Christmas, they’re great year-round. Use different cut-out shapes for various holidays or basic shapes for an anytime treat.

How to Store Linzer Cookies

Layer the cooled cookies between sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper in an airtight container. While they’re best when they’re fresh, they will keep up to 3 days.

If you want to make them a few days in advance, wait to fill and assemble them until you’re ready to serve. That will keep them from getting too soft; plus, the unfilled cookies will keep a few days longer at room temperature.

The cookies can also be stored in the refrigerator to extend their shelf-life by a few days. Just be sure they’re tightly sealed so they don’t get dry or stale.

How to Freeze Linzer Cookies

For best results, freeze the cookies without the filling. When you’re ready to serve the cookies, bring them to room temperature, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and assemble with the jam filling.

While you can freeze the assembled cookies, they won’t hold up nearly as well. The jam will make them overly soft. If you do freeze the assembled cookies, be sure to layer them between sheets of waxed paper.

Find more cookie recipes in the Recipe Index.

Linzer Cookies

Yield 10-12 sandwich cookies
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 37 minutes

Linzer Cookies are simple, sweet cookies filled with your favorite fruit jam!

Linzer Cookies on a white napkin

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (55g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract*
  • 2 cups (240g) sifted cake flour
  • raspberry or apricot jam**
  • more confectioners’ sugar for dusting, if desired

Instructions

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, and orange extract. Gradually add the flour and mix well. Form the dough into a rectangle. Wrap the dough and chill at least 2 hours.
  2. Roll out half of the dough to 1/4-inch thick. Chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut out the dough for the bottoms of the cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Roll out the other half of the dough. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Cut out the dough for the tops of the cookies, using a Linzer cutter. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  6. When the cookies have cooled, dust the tops with confectioners’ sugar. Spread about 2 teaspoons of jam on each cookie bottom. Place the cookie tops on top of the jam.

Notes

*Substitute lemon extract, vanilla extract, or most any flavoring.

**I like raspberry, but use whatever flavor you like! You can also use a fruit curd, but the cookies will need to be kept refrigerated.

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    15 Comments on “Linzer Cookies”

  1. What a sweet coincidence! I bought a linzer cookie cutter not long ago and have just made a batch of linzer cookies for Christmas. (Although mine is filled with nutella. :D) This is the second recipe we have in common this Christmas, other than the rugelach!!
    I really enjoy reading your Christmas cookies posts.

  2. This is one of those things that I fear will be a dreaded “uni-tasker”. I mean, there are many times where you come across a good cookie recipe and you buy the pan spend an hour putting it all together and say “Yes, it’s good, but I’m just not feeling the hour of labor…”

    How did you feel about the pay-off? Worth the uni-tasking pan?

  3. I cannot even imagine how you manage to bake so many goodies. Hats off to yr patience, Jen.

  4. I got a set years ago and used it once then someone bought me a Fall themed one this past October and you reminded me to take it out. Hazelnuts are great for Linzer cookies and torte.

  5. Jen, linzer cookies are great with ground nuts so you’ll have to make sure you take those cutters out again. I normally make them with almonds but Helene’s idea of hazelnuts is great too. These cookies look like a dream!

  6. These are such a beautiful cookie. Perfect for a sophisticated gift!

  7. Mandy, great minds bake alike! I must check out your cookies with Nutella… Mmmmm……

    Lewis, Alton Brown has certainly taught me to be wary of unitaskers. However, in baking, I think you have to concede a few. I didn’t have any reservations about these cookie cutters. Well worth it.

    Suganya, I have the time this month because I’m barely working. I think I’m working a total of 24 hours all month. That leaves all kinds of time for baking!

    Tartelette, I don’t need much encouragement to use hazelnuts. I’ll keep that in mind for next time.

    Meeta, thanks! I am trying not to be devastated that I didn’t put nuts in these. I know they’d be great.

    Thanks, Patricia! They’re great for gifts, plus they look wonderful on a cookie tray.

  8. Here is my favorite Linzer tart recipe, they are fantastic, with nuts (I use hazelnuts)!

    2 3/4 cup SIFTED all purpose flour (sift before measuring)
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
    3 oz. cream cheese, softened
    1 cup sugar (keep a little of the sugar for grinding up almonds
    1 egg
    3/4 cup almonds, ground or use hazelnuts
    1 jar (12 oz) raspberry preserve
    Confectioner’s sugar

    1. Sift flour and baking powder onto wax paper

    2. Beat butter, cream cheese, sugar and egg in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy.

    3. Add flour mixture, blending thoroughly. Stir in ground almonds or hazelnuts. Turn dough onto 2 plastic wraps (it will be quite sticky). Shape into an oval, roll it out to about 1 inch to 1/2 inch thickness and chill several hours or overnight. (When grounding almonds, add in some of the sugar from recipe to prevent nuts from going into an oily paste)

    4. Roll dough 1/2 at a time, out into 1/4 inch thickness (don’t make them too thin) onto a lightly floured pastry board with floured rolling pin. Cut out, with 2 inch round cookie cutter, as many circles from the dough as you can. Place circles onto ungreased cookie sheet. Refrigerate scraps for second rolling.

    5. Repeat with other half of dough, cutting out equal number of circles as first batch. place on cookie sheet. With 1/2 hinch cookie cutter or thimble, cut out center of each circle. Use all scraps of dough for second rolling, cutting out EQUAL number of solid and cut-out circles.

    6. Bake in 350 oven for 8 minutes or until edge of cookies are lightly browned. Remove cookie sheet from oven and let sit for one minute, then place on wire racks.
    Cool well. Sprinkle top cookies with confectioners sugar (do this before putting it on the bottom half of cookie).

    7. If jam is very thick, then heat raspberry preserves in a small saucepan until slightly loosened, easier to spread the jam this way (not really necessary). Spread each of the solid cookies (put jam on underside of bottom of cookie) completely, to edge with a thin layer of preserves. Top each with a cutout cookie. Press together gently to make a sandwich. Place on wire rack. Let preserves set lightly. Store between wax paper-lined layers in an airtight tin. Can put in fridge for awhile till help jelly set.

  9. Good grief…I’m adding more requests to my Christmas list! Loved the photo, too!

  10. jjob80, thanks so much for the recipe! I’ll definitely be making these again WITH nuts!

    Thanks, JEP. If you’re like me, you can always find a way to justify more kitchen gear.

  11. My linzer cookie set just arrived in the mail yesterday and these are on my to-do list for tomorrow! I cannot quite figure out how to use that little set but I’m sure I’ll manage when I get down to it. These are so pretty, can’t wait to try! The recipe I’ve picked out does contain nuts (almonds). We’ll see how it goes.
    -S

  12. Sabra, you’ll figure it out. Those cutters aren’t as complicated as they look.

  13. I have had a set of these cookie cutters in my pantry, unused, for a year now. You have inspired me 🙂

  14. I made these for the first time yesterday and they were great. I immediately went to Kitchen Kapers and bought additional cutters-Christmas and Valentines. Can’t wait to try them again.

  15. BTW, you have to keep a close eye on them cause they brown pretty quickly!

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