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