Linzer Cookies

Linzer cookies are a twist off the linzer torte, originating from Linz, Austria. The linzer torte is one of the oldest tortes in the world, found in an Austrian abbey in the early 1700s. Luckily for us, the linzer torte was brought to the US around 1850s. The torte's crust is a buttery pastry with ground nuts (traditionally hazelnuts or almonds), egg yolks, spices and lemon zest; the filling was made from black currant preserves with a lattice crust.  
Linzer cookies use the same ingredients as a linzer torte, excepted it's an almond cookie sandwich with jam filling. In America, raspberry is the most common filling. The top cookie has a small cutout in its center called "Linzer eyes." Traditionally, the cutout is a circle but any shape can be used - diamonds and hearts are very popular. (Joy of Baking, Foodreference)
These are traditionally Christmas cookies in Austria/Europe, I also think they're perfect for Valentines, especially with the heart shape <3
Because I didn't learn from my last pasty attempt, this is also another bake-at-midnight-because-I-didn't-plan-ahead-of-time dessert. The recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour. The first chilling made the dough very difficult to work with since it was so hard; I would probably try skip that step. The dough can be tricky to roll, so add flour as needed. However, do not skip chilling the dough after your make the shapes, just prior to baking. This helps the cookie cutouts retain their shape - which I learned the hard way - as I attempted to pair fat heart cookies with normal heart cookies.
Since this was a gift, I chose to double batch the recipe below. While this cookie takes some patience, you'll be well rewarded with happy people gobbling up your cookies. Happy Valentine's :)

Linzer Cookies



INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
grated rind (zest) of 1 lemon, or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
raspberry jam for filling

DIRECTIONS
Beat the butter, sugar, and zest until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the yolk and vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until just combined. Don't over-beat. Divide the dough in half, and form two discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm.

To assemble, roll one disc of dough out about 1/4"-thick on a well floured surface. Using the cookie cutter shape of choice, cut out cookies and cookie cutouts until dough is used up. Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill the cut cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

While the first half of cookies is chilling, cut cookies and cookie cutouts from the remaining dough. Place cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.

Bake the first batch of cookies for 10 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn brown (do not let the cookie turn too dark). Bake the second batch as well. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the pan before transferring to a rack.

To fill the cookies, place the cookies with the cutouts on a cookie sheet and sift confectioners' sugar over the top. Spoon jam into the center of the remaining cookies, spreading it slightly. Don't fill all thw way to to the edges or they'll ooze out then sandwiched. Top with the sugar-dusted cookies.

29 comments

  1. these are definitely ideal for valentine's day! they look lovely and delicious. thanks for the tasty history lesson. :)

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  2. They're almost too pretty to eat!

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  3. These are too cute!!!! Love it!!!!!

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  4. These look amazing!! I can't wait to make them for my husband!

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    1. my fiance at this time of baking now husband wishes the same too lol

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  5. oh MAN these are my favorite type of cookies. I love the super easy instructions, the whole ingredients, and the pictures....beautiful post! Pinned!

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    1. awesome, hope you enjoy making them! A bit of time but worth the effort!

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  6. These are so beautiful! I love all of the powdered sugar with the jam.
    Kari
    www.sweetteasweetie.com

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  7. These look amazing! Delicious and cute!

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  8. These are almost too pretty to eat. Almost! Even though Valentine's Day is over, I'd love to whip up these for my kids. We all need heart shaped foods just because, right?!?

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    1. Love and cookies are everyday causes for celebration :)

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  9. These are so cute, and they look easy to make. Thanks!

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  10. These look just divine -- and I'm sure they taste that way, too! I'll be trying these soon I hope!

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  11. Looks lovely and delicious! I made some for Valentine's Day last year and they were a hit! Soo good! :-)

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  12. Valentine's Day or not, these beauties would hit the spot any day! So pretty <3

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  13. These are so gorgeous! I made Linzer cookies for the first time this Christmas and they were a total pain in the butt, but they tasted great so I guess the outcome was worth the effort ;) Thanks for sharing these beauties!

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    1. Yes, I hope to actually make them for Christmas too - perfect for gifts :)

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  14. Not only are these gorgeous, they sound delicious!!! ❤️

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  15. These are so beautiful! They look incredible!

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  16. Yum! these are so pretty, and Valentine's super appropriate :)

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  17. You'd never know you had a problem with these cookies - they're beautiful! And what a great story to know where they came from.

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    1. The art of food photography is to pretend the food appeared like this and the struggles aren't there ;) you don't want to see the kitchen mess behind each of my recipe posts haha

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  18. Natalie, these look like they came from a first class bakery. I am not sure I could pull those off! They would be amazing to take to a function though.

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    1. Thank you! They were a gift for boss of the office of my parents, so I'm glad you thought they were first class!

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  19. We made a linzer torte in my baking program, but I love the twist you did with the cookies! They look delicious :)

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    1. One day I'd like to take a baking course and learn the proper way of doing everything, but right now I'm moving along ok with learning for mistakes haha :)

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