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Linzer cookies are traditional Austrian jam-filled sandwich cookies! This classic recipe is simple to whip up at home.

Linzer Cookies

When it comes to Christmas cookies, here’s one type we can’t resist: Linzer cookies! This classic Austrian sandwich cookie stars buttery almond shortbread with fun cutout window to show a layer of fruity preserves, making a treat that’s nuanced and just sweet enough. This recipe spells childhood nostalgia for us, and here we’re sharing a traditional recipe for this classic cookie!

Ingredients in linzer cookies

Linzer cookies are a shortbread jam-filled sandwich cookie based on the Austrian dessert Linzer torte, a tart made with ground nuts and fruit preserves. Linzer cookies bring in those signature flavors by making a shortbread with both all-purpose flour and almond flour, which gives it a complex, nutty flavor. The traditional shape features cut-out windows where the jam shows through.

This recipe comes from my dear Austrian friend Milena’s mother: Milena currently lives in Vienna, but we grew up together in Minnesota eating Linzer cookies at the holidays. This recipe has the nostalgia of childhood all over it for us, and it’s perfect for the holidays, Valentine’s Day, or any time you need a sweet treat. Here’s what you’ll need for classic Linzer cookies:

  • Flour
  • Almond flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Fine sea salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Raspberry jam or other fruit preserves
  • Powdered sugar

Tip: use almond flour, not almond meal!

Avoid using almond meal for Linzer cookies: look for almond flour when you are shopping. You should be able to find it at your local grocery, depending on your location.

  • Almond flour is made from blanched almonds, or almonds with their skins removed. It’s ground very finely, resulting in a fluffy texture in baked goods.
  • Almond meal contains the skins, making it darker brown in color instead of off-white like almond flour. It has a coarser grind than almond flour and results in denser, chewy texture in baked goods.
Linzer cookies

Linzer cookies are a cutout cookie with a twist! Instead of cutting out just one cookie, you’ll need two: a cookie with a window and a solid cookie. There are special cookie cutters just for this purpose, but you can also use a alternative based on what you have at home.

  • Option 1: Use a Linzer cookie cutter. We like this Linzer cookie cutter. It comes with various cutout window shapes: hearts, stars, flowers, etc. It is worth buying if you plan to make Linzer cookies multiple times!
  • Option 2: Use a 2-inch circular cutter and a smaller shape for the window. If you happen to have both of these shapes on hand, it’s easy to make your own version of cutout cookies!
Linzer Cookies

Tips for making the cookies

Linzer cookies are a fun baking project that results in visually-stunning, sugar dusted cookies with bright shapes of jam. There are a few notes for how to put together this recipe:

  • Chill the dough 1 to 3 hours. This is important with a cutout cookie dough: you’ll want it nice and cold to get uniform shapes.
  • Gently roll the dough slightly less than 1/4-inch thick. This makes just the right thickness for the finished cookie.
  • Simple cutout window shapes (like circles and hearts) are easier to cut out. The stars were a little trickier to cut, and they became more distorted when baked. But, they still turned out great.
Linzer Cookies

Once you’ve made your linzer cookies, you probably won’t be eating all 30 at once. How to store them? Here are some tips and notes about storage:

  • The cookies taste crisp the first day, then soft after storage. They’re delicious both ways, but we like the soft version best!
  • Store in a container with a few layers of parchment paper or foil between each. The powdered sugar on the bottom layer of cookies after a few days, so it’s good to protect between each layer.
  • Store at room temperature for 2 days or refrigerated up to 2 weeks. With room temperature storage, the powdered sugar can start to melt on the cookies that are stacked in layers beneath other cookies. We recommend storing them refrigerated for longer term storage. 
  • Or, freeze for up to 3 months. The powdered sugar topping is a little fragile, so keep in mind the cookies look best when they are fresh.
Linzer Cookies

Love a good batch of cookies? Here are a few more fun cookie recipes to enjoy:

This Linzer cookies recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes (plus 1 hour chill time)
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 30 to 32 cookies 1x

Description

Linzer cookies are traditional Austrian jam-filled sandwich cookies! This classic recipe is simple to whip up at home.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups (240 g) flour, sifted
  • 1 cup (120 g) almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ⅓ cups raspberry jam
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, almond flour, cinnamon and salt. 
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the butter and sugar. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix on low speed until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture and continue mixing on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Divide the dough into two disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Take one disc of dough out of the fridge and place it on a floured surface. Using a light touch, roll the dough out until it is slightly less than 1/4-inch thick. Use plenty of flour on the counter and the rolling pin to prevent sticking. Moving quickly so the dough remains chilled, use a linzer cookie cutter (or a 2-inch round cutter and smaller heart-shaped cutter) to cut an equal number of cookies with and without a hole in the center. Place excess dough back in the refrigerator and re-roll it after it’s chilled again (after baking the first sheet). Place the cookies on a baking sheet and refrigerate the sheet for 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer the baking sheet directly to the oven and bake for 11 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool the cookies for 1 minute on the cookie sheet. Then transfer to a cooling rack.
  6. Repeat with remaining disc of dough and re-rolled scraps of dough.
  7. Cool the cookies completely, at least 15 minutes. Then sift powdered sugar the cookies with the cutout centers. On the bottom cookies, spread a layer of jam about 1/8” thick (about 2 teaspoons per cookie), not quite to the edges of a cookie. Then very gently press on the top cookie to sandwich the jam. 
  8. Repeat for all cookies to make 30 to 32 sandwiches. Store room temperature with several sheets of parchment paper between the cookies for up to 2 days*, or refrigerated for 2 weeks. You can also freeze for up to 3 months. The cookies taste crispy the first day, and become softer after storage (both delicious, but we prefer the softer version!).

Notes

*With room temperature storage, the powdered sugar can start to melt on the cookies that are stacked in layers beneath other cookies. We recommend storing them refrigerated for longer term storage. 

  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Austrian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Linzer cookies, linzer cookie recipe

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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2 Comments

  1. These were a huge hit! Delicious! I need to roll the dough thinner next time I make them. I didn’t measure, so it is user error on my fault. :-)

  2. I swapped the all purpose flour for a gluten free substitute and the butter for vegan butter – these came out great! I took them to work the day after Christmas and they were a huge hit there too. :)