Let’s talk about cookies… Linzer cookies. I love the way cookies make people smile. They’re a universal symbol of good things like holidays, celebrations, and grandmothers. Along with a smile, this Linzer cookies recipe usually gets a “Wow” – quickly followed by “Can I have another?”
These traditional Austrian sandwich cookies are stunning with their cut out centers and jam filling, but they don’t just look pretty. These Linzer cookies taste amazing! The thought of the sweet cookie mixing with tart jam makes my mouth water.
They remind me of thumbprint cookies with the way the flavors pop as the cookie and center come together. Turn on the oven.
It’s time to make some cookie magic!
This Linzer cookies recipe does take a bit of time and effort, but it’s so worth it in the end! Here are just a few reasons why!
- Their eye-catching presentation
- The tart raspberries combined with the sweet cookie- YUM
- The cookie’s super smooth texture
- Lots of ways to put your own spin on them
Linzer cookies may look difficult to make, but they’re really just a fancy sandwich cookie! Here are a few tips to help!
Toasting the nuts: I use hazelnuts in this Linzer cookies recipe because I love their rich flavor. Toasting hazelnuts allows you to rub the skins off easily. I like the oven method, though you can roast nuts on the stovetop and microwave as well.
Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet and pop them in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes. Stir them every five minutes or so. When they smell yummy, and the skins have split open, they’re done!
Put them in a bowl lined with a kitchen towel and let them cool a bit. Pull the towel closed around them like a bag. Rub the nuts around until the skins have pulled off. Remove the nuts from the towel, but leave the husks behind.
Baking: I suggest baking the cookie tops on one sheet and the bottoms on another. Since the tops have less cookie dough, they cook faster. You don’t want to overcook these cookies. They’ll become brittle and dry.
Cookie cutters: Linzer cookies are traditionally made with a circle in the middle. You can use whatever shapes you have. Hearts and stars are always popular.
Hazelnuts: Hazelnuts can be a little pricey and not always available. Almonds make a great substitute!
Raspberry jam: Linzer cookies are traditionally made with red or black currant jam, but I love the tartness of raspberry alongside the sweetness of the cookies. You can use whatever jam you prefer!
Confectioners sugar: Powdered sugar makes the consistency of the cookies super smooth. It’s the secret to their velvety texture. Don’t be tempted to substitute granulated!
Be gentle when packing these cookies. The tops can be fragile. I suggest putting a layer of wax paper between layers of cookies. Make sure you’re using a tightly sealed container to maintain their freshness.
Can You Freeze This?
I suggest freezing these cookies without the jam. Freeze the tops and bottoms after they are completely cooled in a freezer container. They break easily, so I’d avoid ziplock bags.
Allow them to thaw before you finish assembling them. They can be frozen in their sandwich form, but the jam can soften the cookies in the freezer. They will hold in the freezer for several months, according to food handling guidelines.
Make Ahead Tips
This Linzer cookies recipe stores well in the fridge. It’s good dough to let sit for a couple of days. Just make sure you’ve wrapped it well in cling wrap, so it doesn’t dry out.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
This Linzer cookie recipe is one of several variations on this traditional cookie. They always put me in the mind of Thumbprint cookies! Here are some other ideas to change it up!
Can I Add Chocolate?
I really can’t think of a cookie that chocolate wouldn’t improve! You could incorporate a bit of cocoa into the dough or perhaps use a chocolate spread like Nutella in the middle. They would be like chocolate thumbprint cookies crossed with sandwich cookies!
Another fantastic combination would be caramel, pecans, and chocolate-like in turtle thumbprint cookies. What a fun spin on the popular candy!
Can I Add Peanut Butter?
I can think of a couple of ways you can use peanut butter in this Linzer cookies recipe. You could add it to the dough, but you’d need to decrease the amount of butter to maintain the right fat to flour ratios. You’d have something like peanut butter thumbprint cookies.
With a jam filling, you’ve got a peanut butter and jelly cookie! You could also mix peanut butter and a bit of confectioners sugar together to make a filling similar to peanut butter cups.
Can I Use Peppermint Kisses Instead?
Peppermint kisses are so festive with their red and white stripes and minty flavor. You could use them in the center of your cookies instead of jam, but I think a better idea is to make my Godiva peppermint thumbprint cookies. They are so yummy and pretty as a picture!
What Other Thumbprint Cookies Can I Make?
I love Thumbprint cookies with their yummy, colorful centers! That burst of flavor, like what you get with this Linzer cookies recipe or a Jammie Dodgers, really sets these cookies apart.
One of my favorites is jam thumbprint cookies. Another unique twist on the thumbprint theme is hamantaschen. These traditional Jewish cookies are served during the Feast of Purim, are triangle-shaped, and are absolutely delicious!
- 2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
- 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- In a small saucepan, simmer the raspberry jam over medium heat, stirring often until it's reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes; set aside and let cool completely.
- Add the hazelnuts and sugar to the bowl of a food processor and process until nuts are finely ground, about 20 seconds. Add flour, salt, and butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Add egg yolk, cream, vanilla, and almond extract and pulse until the mixture forms a ball of dough. Remove from food processor and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thick. Use a 2-inch linzer cookie cutter and cut out cookies, half with center cutouts and half solid. Reroll scrap only once.
- Bake in preheated oven 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking. Allow cookies to cool 5 minutes on baking sheets then remove to a wire baking rack and cool completely.
- Spread 1 teaspoon of thickened jam on the bottom of each solid cookie then top with cookies with the cutout. Gently press halves together to adhere. Allow cookies to set.
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This lovely Linzer cookies recipe makes a beautiful presentation and taste as good as they look. I just love the velvety texture and sweet-tart flavors. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I have! Be sure to leave a comment below and tell me what you think!