Linzer cookies are a combination of buttery orange infused shortbread and jam, as pleasing to look at as they are to eat. These festive treats are perfect for any holiday or special occasion.
These are perfect for the sharing during a cookie exchange! Serve along with other festive cookies such as Grinch Cookies, Perfect Gingerbread Cookies and Best Ever Molasses Cookies for a delicious cookie smorgasbord.
Linzer Cookie Recipe
These elegant cookies are so joyful just to look at, with their top centers cut out in a fun shape to show through the colorful jam. The dusting of powdered sugar adds the perfect touch creating a fancy touch to these morsels of joy.
Perfect for gift giving, cookie exchanges, parties or just because, these will be the star of the table. The buttery shortbread has just enough zest and cinnamon to add flavor coupled with a tart filling is a match made in heaven.
What is a Linzer Cookie?
The linzer cookie is smaller twist and version of a Linzertorte, which is said to have originated in Linz Austria in the early 1700s. The torte traditionally was made of flour, ground nuts, sugar, egg yolks, citrus zest and spices. It was filled with preserves and topped with a lattice crust. The cookie is made with the same ingredients but presented in cookie form with the jam sandwiched between and dusted with powdered sugar. So divine!
Shortbread Linzer Ingredients
- Butter: Make sure this is at room temperature.
- Sugar: granulated
- Orange Zest: brightens the cookie dough flavor
- Egg Yolk: binder for the dough
- Vanilla: sweetness
- Flour: All purpose
- Almond Flour: You can find this with regular flour in the baking section or your local grocery store.
- Salt: Creates balance to the sweetness
- Cinnamon: Just enough spice
Don’t Forget the Jam!
The jam is the best part of the filling for these Linzer Cookies. You will love the burst of flavor that comes in each bite of cookie!
- Jam: Use your favorite jam, strawberry, raspberry, lemon or other.
- Powdered sugar: This is for sifting over the cookies.
Making Raspberry Linzer Cookies
- Beat: Add sugar and orange zest to stand mixer bowl, use a hand whisk or your fingers to rub the mixture together to release the citrus oil. Add softened butter and beat with the paddle attachment until fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract, and beat until combined.
- Whisk: In a small bowl whisk both flours, salt, and cinnamon then add to the butter mixture and beat till combined.
- Refrigerate: Place the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and pat into a disc and wrap well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour till firm.
- Roll it Out: On a lightly floured countertop, roll the dough to 1/4″ thick and cut with 2″ cookie cutter. Use a smaller cookie cutter to make a cutout in the center for half of the cookie dough. Gather the scraps and roll it back out again. Continue cutting until all is gone.
- Refrigerate: Place cookie dough on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1″ apart, refrigerate while waiting for oven to preheat to 350 degrees F.
- Bake: Bake for 10-12 min till edges are just beginning to brown. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 min before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Assemble: Place the cookies with the center cutouts on a separate baking sheet and sift powdered sugar over the top. Place the whole cookies on another baking sheet with the bottom side up. Spoon 1 teaspoonful of jam filling on top, use a butter knife to spread it slightly. Place sugar dusted cookies on top of the jam to complete assembly.
Tips for the Most Stately Linzer Cookies
These aren’t overly complicated but there are a few things to ensure perfection.
- Rolling: Roll the dough out thinly, if it’s too thick you’ll lose the shape in the oven and they can become dry and hefty.
- Making Rolling Easier: If you find rolling out refrigerated dough hard to do, try rolling it out first then refrigerating it covered on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Losing it’s Shape: To avoid the cookies losing their shape in the oven, keep them thin and be sure to refrigerate them after you’ve cut them out so the butter can harden up again. This will reduce any spreading.
- Powdered Topping: If you find the powdered sugar has dissolved into your cookies, dust them again before sandwiching them together. If you want to give another dusting before serving, do it. Use a spoon or knife to dab the jam to help the sugar dissolve into the jam.
- Store: These will keep for a 3-4 days in an airtight container, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Best Linzer Cookie Variations
- Jam: Feel free to use what ever kind of jam you like for a filling. I like tart jams as they have a nice zing with the shortbread like cookie. You can also make a nice curd to go in the center. Lemon is a common flavor. And don’t forget chocolate! Chocolate ganache inside would be perfect too!
- Cutting out: You can use what ever shape of cutters you like, round, square, shaped, the possibilities are endless. You just to need to make sure you have a cutter that is smaller to create the window in the top of the cookie for the filling to shine peek through
- Cookie Dough: Add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder and an extra egg yolk for a chocolaty version. Substitute lemon zest for the orange, or trade out hazelnut flour for the almond flour. Add more cinnamon, or trade out cardamom or nutmeg for a different flavor.
More Cookies to Love
Cookies are the best handheld dessert!
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Cowboy Cookies
- Danish Butter Cookies
- Snow Kiss Cookies
- White Chocolate Cranberry Macadamia Cookies
- 4 ounces unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest or lemon zest
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
- 15 teaspoon jam strawberry, raspberry or your choice
- Powdered sugar for finishing
Make cookie dough
- Add sugar and orange zest to a stand mixer bowl, use a hand whisk or your fingers to rub the mixture together to release the citrus oil. Add softened butter and beat with the paddle attachment until fluffy. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract, and beat until combined.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, almond flour, salt, and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
- Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a piece of plastic wrap, pat into a flat disc or rectangle, wrap well and refrigerate for at least 1 hour until firm.
- On a lightly floured countertop, roll the dough to ¼” thick and cut with a 2” cookie cutter. Use a smaller cookie cutter to make a cutout in the center for half of the cookie dough. Gather the scraps and roll it back out again, continue cutting until all is gone. Place cookie dough on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1” apart. Refrigerate while waiting for the oven to preheat.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until the edges are just beginning to brown. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 – 10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place the cookies with the center cutouts on a separate baking sheet and sift powdered sugar over the top.
- Place the whole cookies on another baking sheet with the bottom side up, spoon 1 teaspoonful of jam filling on top, use a butter knife to spread it slightly. Place sugar-dusted cookies on top of the jam to complete assembly.