Linzer Cookies

December 12, 2021  ·  Published January 22, 2014

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Beautiful Austrian Linzer Cookies! Made with a buttery, nutty, tender and crisp cookie, a sweet, fruity and colorful jam filled center, and finished with a final snowy dusting of powdered sugar to highlight them. They’re easily one of the ultimate holiday cookies!

Linzer cookies with a star center that's layered with jam.

A Favorite Holiday Cookie!

If you haven’t made Linzer cookies before I’d say it’s due time! They are reminiscent of the Knots Berry Farm cookies / jammy Pepperidge Farm cookies but easily a thousand times better because they are homemade and fresh. Plus they have much more flavor.

They are similar to thumbprint cookies, butter cookies and shortbread. But they have the addition of preserves sandwiched between the center and finely ground nuts in the dough (here we go the easier route with pre-ground almond flour).

These are such a fun cookie to make and they are great for parties and gifting (just be mindful and careful to not give to those with nut allergies).

You can use various shapes of cookie cutters here. I recommend rounds, squares, stars or hearts, and you’ll just need to have a smaller cookie cutter to cut the mini shape from their centers.

Once you make these decadent sandwich cookies quickly hide them away. They’ll disappear in no time if you don’t!

No one can resist the layers of flavor, that nutty goodness, the perfect blend of textures and that tempting jammy goodness? It’s one dangerously delicious cookie!

Linzer cookies on a wire cooling rack.

Linzer Cookies Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cups (283g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
  • 1 cup (106g) almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1/3 cup (68g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 cup thick fruit jam or preserves

 

Photo of ingredients used to make linzer cookies.

How to Make Linzer Cookies {Making the Dough}

  1. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, almond flour and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter, powdered sugar and brown sugar until well blended. Scrape down bowl.
  3. Mix in one egg yolk. Then blend in second egg yolk with vanilla and almond extract. Scrape down bowl.
  4. Add in flour mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Divide dough into two equal portions and shape into round balls. Flatten each ball to a 6-inch disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until more firm to roll, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Collage of six photos showing how to make linzer cookie dough in a stand mixer bowl.

How to Shape and Bake Linzer Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees towards the end of dough is chilling (about the last 10 minutes). Line two 18 by 13-inch baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Dust a clean work surface with a fair amount of flour. Remove one portion of dough from the fridge. Place on floured surface sprinkle top of dough with flour and roll to 1/6-inch thickness.
  3. Cut into desired shapes using a cookie cutter (something like a circle, square, or heart works well here. The size should be about 2 1/4 to 2 3/4-inches).
  4. Transfer cut shapes to prepared baking sheet spacing 1-inch apart. Using a small star or heart cookie cutter (that’s about 1 1/4-inches across) cut the shape from the center of half of the cookies on the cookie sheet (these will be the top, the other half should be left whole for the bottoms).
  5. Chill cut cookies on baking sheet in fridge 10 to 15 minutes so they hold their shape well.
  6. Bake in preheated oven 9 – 11 minutes until edges are lightly golden brown. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Repeat this process of rolling, cutting and baking with the second disk of dough.

Collage of six photos showing how to shape linzer cookie dough for chilling then shows how to roll the dough on a floured surface and cut.

How to Fill and Top Linzer Cookies

  1. Once cookies are completely cool spread jam over the whole cookies (the half without a shape cut from the center).
  2. Place the cookies with shape cut centers on a baking sheet or over a sheet of parchment paper. Dust them with powdered sugar.
  3. Place those powdered sugar dusted cookies over over tops of the jam topped cookies.

Possible Variations

  • It’s a fun recipe where you can use different flavors of jam for flavor options and color variation.
  • You can use hazelnut flour in this recipe in place of almond flour.
  • Unblanched flour is fine, it’s doesn’t have to be blanched.
  • Cinnamon can be added to the dough, adding 1/2 to 1 tsp with the flour. Personally for me it depends on the jam flavor I’m using if I opt to use it or not.
  • You can use up to 1 tsp almond extract for more sweet almond flavor.

Collage of four photos showing how to back linzer cookies on cookie sheets, then finish with powdered sugar on top and jam in centers.

Recommended Storage for Linzer Cookies

  • Linzer cookies store best (and longest) – without the jam filling in the center. Once jam is added keep them in the fridge.
  • Also keep in mind once jam is added they’ll store okay the texture of the cookies will just soften slightly.
  • The unfilled cookies freeze very well up to 3 months. Remove from the freezer and thaw at room temperature then fill with jam.

Powdered sugar dusted linzer cookies filled with fruit jam shown on a dark brown plate.

Helpful Tips for the Best Linzer Cookies

  • Chill the dough for easier handling. The dough has a bit of a different consistency to work because of the addition of almond flour (there’s not as much gluten), so it can seem quite solid or quite soft to roll out.
  • It may need to soften a little at room temperature if it’s too cold.
  • Be sure to dust work surface with a fair amount of flour. The dough can soften quickly and this ensures the dough doesn’t stick and is still easy to transfer.
  • You may also find a bench scraper is helpful to transfer the cookies to the cookie sheets.
  • Keep the dough cold so it doesn’t spread while baking. This is why a second chilling is recommend in the fridge before baking.
  • Use parchment paper or even silicone mats for baking rather than greasing the baking sheets. Greased baking sheets make cookies spread more.
  • Be sure to us a thick jam. It’s a tip here I can’t stress enough. It really makes a big difference in having a cookie that’s not a mess to eat. Plus the presentation will be better too.
  • Only add a little jam to each cookie (refer to the step photos), you don’t want it to run over when the tops are gently pressed on.
  • Dust the cookies with powered sugar before you add them over the jam topped cookies. Otherwise you’ll have powered sugar dusted all over your jam filled shape if you do it after.

Overhead photo of almond linzer cookies.

More Tempting Christmas Cookies to Try

Linzer cookies
5 from 8 votes

Linzer Cookies

A tender, buttery, nutty cookie filled with sweet fruit jam and finished with a dusting of snowy powdered sugar. They are a family favorite and a perfect cookie for the holidays!
Servings: 24 - 36 (depending on size cut)
Prep45 minutes
Cook30 minutes
Chill1 hour
Ready in: 2 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (283g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
  • 1 cup (106g) blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1/3 cup (68g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2/3 cup thick fruit jam or preserves*

Instructions

  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, almond flour and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together butter, powdered sugar and brown sugar until well blended. Scrape down bowl.
  • Mix in one egg yolk. Then blend in second egg yolk with vanilla and almond extract. Scrape down bowl.
  • Add in flour mixture and mix until combined.
  • Divide dough into two equal portions and shape into round balls. Flatten each ball to a 6-inch disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill until more firm to roll, about 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees towards the end of dough is chilling (about the last 10 minutes). Line two 18 by 13-inch baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Dust a clean work surface with a fair amount of flour. Remove one portion of dough from the fridge. Place on floured surface sprinkle top of dough with flour and roll to 1/6-inch thickness.
  • Cut into desired shapes using a cookie cutter (something like a circle, square, heart or star works well here. The size should be about 2 1/4 to 3-inches wide).
  • Transfer cut shapes to prepared baking sheet spacing 1-inch apart. You may find a bench scraper is helpful to transfer cut shapes to baking sheet.
  • Using a small star or heart cookie cutter (that's about 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inches across) cut the shape from the center of half of the cookies on the cookie sheet (these will be the top, the other half should be left whole for the bottoms).
  • Chill cut cookies on baking sheet in fridge 10 to 15 minutes so they hold their shape well.
  • Bake in preheated oven until bottom edges are barely golden brown, about 9 to 11 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Repeat this process of rolling, cutting and baking with the second disk of dough (also save scraps. Shake off excess flour, press them together and knead with your hands a little. Then chill as needed, re-roll and use up the dough. Scrapes can be reused once).
  • Once cookies are completely cool spread about 1 tsp jam over the whole cookies. Dust cookies with heart or star cut centers with powdered sugar then place those cookies over jam topped cookies.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Tip: I like to wait to add the jam within a few hours of serving so the cookies are more crisp.

Notes

*Jam Notes
  • Good flavor options here include strawberry, raspberry, blueberry or apricot (strawberry freezer jam is my personal favorite).
  • Keep in mind you need to use a thick jam or it will just seep from the cookies (I've tried several brands here and those like Bonne Maman are too runny, Smuckers simply fruit is a tasty option thats nicely thickened).
  • If using raspberry jam I recommend using seedless.
Possible Variations
  • You can also add 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon or a bit of nutmeg to the cookies. This would be tasty combo with blueberry jam.
  • The vanilla extract can be replaced with seeds of 1 vanilla bean (add these at the beginning with the butter and sugars).
  • For stronger sweet almond flavor you can increase almond extract up to 1 tsp.
Nutrition estimate based on a yield of 24 sandwich cookies.
Nutrition Facts
Linzer Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 187 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 36mg12%
Sodium 54mg2%
Potassium 28mg1%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 256IU5%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
Recipe modified and improved 12/11/21. Recipe previously included a whole egg and more flour but in re-testing the recipe I found I preferred egg yolks instead and less flour. It made for a crisper cookie with less floury taste.

 

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118 Comments

  • Christy

    I noticed you updated the recipe -didn’t the previous version have chopped almonds (where your process them in the food processor until the are finely chopped)?

    • Deb

      I just noticed that the other day! I downloaded the previous version on 10/8/2015 at 9:52 am (LOL — that info is on the recipe I printed out).

      I’m sure there is nothing wrong with the latest/different version, but I’ve gotten raves from the one I downloaded in 2015, so am going to stick with that one. I visited this page about a week ago because I was going to download the recipe again, but then noticed it was not the same one.

      The one from 2015 has some differences. Uses 3/4 cup slivered almonds which you put in food processor with 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar. So, no almond flour. There are also some differences in a few other ingredients.

      • Jaclyn

        Jaclyn Bell

        I’m sorry for the late reply! Here’s the previous version.

        2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
        1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
        1/2 tsp salt
        1/2 tsp baking powder
        3/4 cup slivered almonds
        1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
        1 cup unsalted butter , softened
        1/2 cup powdered sugar , plus more for dusting
        1 large egg
        1 tsp vanilla extract
        1/4 tsp almond extract
        8 oz strawberry or raspberry jam , seedless if preferred (preferably freezer jam)

        Instructions
        In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder, set aside. In a food processor, pulse almonds with brown sugar until finely ground, set aside.
        In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and powdered sugar on low speed until combined, then increase to medium-high and whip until creamy, about 1 minute. Mix in egg, then blend in vanilla and almond extract.
        Mix in almond mixture, then with mixer set on low speed, slowly add in flour mixture and mix until combined. Form mixture into a ball and drop onto a sheet of plastic wrap, then flatten into a 6-inch round disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator 2 hours.
        Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dust work surface with flour, cut disk in half and then evenly roll out each portion into 1/8 to 1/6-inch thickness.
        Cut into heart shapes using a cookie cutter, then using a smaller heart shape cookie cutter, cut smaller hearts into the centers of half of the hearts.
        Carefully transfer to Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets (you can run a sharp knife or pastry scaper under cookies to help lift them if needed. Also, chill dough that’s not currently being rolled or baked, the hearts hold their shape better when cold), spacing cookies 1-inch apart.
        Bake in preheated oven 10 – 12 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

        Spread strawberry jam over whole hearts, dust cookies with heart cut centers with powdered sugar then place those cookies over over tops. Store in an airtight container.

  • Sophie

    Hi there!

    I don’t have an electric stand mixer, only a hand mixer with just a beater attachment. I was wondering if that would work? If not could I do this by hand?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      You could use the hand mixer then mix in a portion of the flour mixture with the hand mixer and if it gets heavy you can switch from the hand mixer to mixing in the remaining flour by hand.

      • Sophie

        The hand mixer with the beater definitely worked! I made them for Christmas and everyone was impressed and loved them! Great recommendation of the jams.

        They’re not too hard to make the instructions we’re straight forward and ways to understand.
        One thing was that I probably put too much flour on the table and I wasn’t able to use all my dough as it was becoming crumbly and wouldn’t stick together.

        Other than that it was great!

  • Charlene

    Super good! Super intense to make (but fun!) I struggled with finding the right kind of jam to use – but next time will use the red currant jelly when I can find it in the stores.
    Why do you have to keep these in the fridge? (I guess I will find out now that I have made them).

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Hi Charlene – I store them in the fridge because of the jam (though it’s probably not completely necessary). I’m so glad you liked them!

  • GLORIA SCHADT

    i have a stand up mixer but cant find my paddle attachment . just have the big beater attachment… Will i be able to use this ?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Like a whisk attachment? You’d probably have better luck with a food processor if you’ve got one it won’t work very well with the whisk attachment unfortunately.

  • Duncan Edwards

    These cookies have always been some of our favourites, we love them😛

  • Don

    I used to get these delicious linzer tarts at this bakery and they were a little softer then the crunch effect love the cookie part softer! Is there something you do different to get a softer cookie with these/
    Thank You
    Don

  • althea

    i baked these for my whole class! They all really enjoyed them like we were school children :))