Linzer Bars are a simpler spin on traditional Linzer Cookies. There’s a lot less rolling and cutting cookie dough with these!
Every holiday season, I always have more baking ideas than I have time to bake and share with you. I save up all these ideas all year long and then realize that I’m completely overwhelmed with delicious choices.
For the last few years, Linzer Bars have been on my list. A few years ago, I made some lovely Linzer Cookies, but I thought converting them to bar form would be every bit as delicious but a bit simpler with a lot less rolling and cutting.
Instead of cutting out all of those cookies, just spread most of the dough into a baking pan, spread your favorite preserves on top, and then top with some cutouts made from the remaining dough. A little oven time, and you’re done!
I am generally not a cut-out cookie kind of girl, so my cookie cutters collection is more than a little slim. I used a couple of my biscuit cutters to make different size circles to go on top. To make them a little more festive, you could use snowflakes or whatever else strikes your fancy.
I used two different varieties of preserves for these. I chose two colors for a fun look. If you’re like me, you already have so many kinds of preserves in your kitchen that finding some to use in these bars will be simple.
Linzer bars and cookies are often made with apricot or raspberry preserves. I went a little different route and used cherry and golden plum preserves. The flavors work really well together and offer a nice color contrast to each other.
I have to say that these are now a permanent part of my holiday baking. I am seriously enamored with them, and I think you will be, too!
More Cookie Bar Recipes
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Yield: 54 2-inch squares
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Sugar cookie dough and your favorite preserves make these Linzer Bars an irresistible favorite!
- 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (71g) almonds, finely ground
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 & 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 & 1/2 cups fruit preserves or jams*
- sanding sugar
- Whisk together the flour, ground almonds, and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the sugar, butter, and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. If the dough is sticky, you can add up to another 1/4 cup of flour.
- Set aside about a cup of cookie dough. Shape it into a ball, and then flatten into a disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Transfer the remaining dough to a lightly greased 13″x 18″ half sheet pan. Spread evenly. Place the pan in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Remove the pan from refrigerator. Spread the preserves over the cookie dough, leaving about a 1/4-inch border around the edges. If you’re using different varieties of preserves, dollop them over the cookie dough randomly and spread so that the different preserves just touch each other but don’t overlap.
- Remove the wrapped cookie dough disc from the refrigerator. Unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Gather the dough and re-roll as necessary.
- Place the cut-out dough over the top of the preserves. Sprinkle each cut-out with sanding sugar.**
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the edges are browned.
- Cool in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars.
*I used two different flavors of preserves. You can use as many as you’d like.
**The sanding sugar is theoretically optional, but it does add a nice crunchy sweetness.