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Crunchy, nutty, jam-filled Linzer Cookies are such a beautiful and fun cookie from Austria. You can make them with hazelnuts or almonds and fill them with your favorite fruit preserves, lemon curd, or nutella spread!
I’m going to admit that I was skeptical about making this linzer cookie recipe at home.
Linzer cookies seemed like one of those cookies that look pretty but involve more trouble than they’re worth and the end result is just so-so. But I couldn’t have been more wrong!
These Linzer cookies may just be one of my new Christmas favorites. I’m seriously obsessed! And I’m going to have to make again at Valentine’s Day using heart-shaped cookie cutters.
Other classic Linzer shapes are circles, flowers, stars, and hearts, but you could really make these with any cookie cutters as long as you have a large and small size. I think they would be cute as trees or gingerbread men.
What is a linzer cookie?
Linzer cookies were created in the town of Linz, Austria, which was already famous for another dessert that inspired these cookies – the Linzer torte.
The classic Linzer cookie is filled with black currant preserves, although those are hard to find in the U.S., so raspberry preserves have become more commonplace here. But I couldn’t resist swapping in a jar of lingonberry jam that I had from when we had Swedish meatballs the other night, and it was wonderful!
We tried some with raspberry and strawberry preserves, but we all definitely agreed that the lingonberry jam version was our favorite. So the next time you are at Ikea, pick up an extra jar and make these cookies with it!
You don’t just have to fill linzer cookies with raspberry or lingonberry jam though. Lemon curd, nutella, cherry preserves, or other fillings would all be delicious in the crunchy cookies.
Linzer cookies can be made with either hazelnuts or almonds. I happened to have a massive supply of hazelnuts in my freezer and needed my almonds for making english toffee, so that decided it for me.
The hazelnuts were absolutely delicious and gave these cookies a wonderful flavor, but I’m sure almonds are equally delicious.
How to Make Linzer Cookies
1. To make linzer cookies, start by pulsing hazelnuts or almonds with a little sugar in a food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light. Then beat in egg yolks, vanilla, and the zest of one lemon.
3. Whisk the flour and ground nuts together and gradually add to the butter and sugar mixture. Beat until the dough comes together when you squeeze it, then shape it into 4 balls, flatten into discs, and wrap each disc in plastic wrap.
4. Chill the dough for 1 hour.
5. Roll out the dough, one disc at a time, on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/4-inch to 1/6-inch thick. I love this rolling pin because it has measurement guides that help me know when the dough is thin enough and gives consistent results! I tend to go with the thinner 1/6-inch because I like the crunchier cookie and ratio of dough to jam it gives.
6. Cut out shapes using a large cookie cutter, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cut out smaller shapes in half of the cookies to create windows in the top cookies. I have these star cookie cutters , but you can use any shape as long as you have one large and one small.
7. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until golden around the edges, then cool completely on a wire rack.
8. To assemble the cookies, first dust the top “window” cookies with powdered sugar. Then spread a little fruit preserves or other filling on each bottom cookie before topping with one of the top cookies. You can even spoon a little more filling in the opening, if you want to.
Storing and Freezing Linzer Cookies
If you keep these cookies in an airtight container, they will last for several days at room temperature and up to a week in the refrigerator. However, the crunchy cookies will absorb some of the moisture from the filling after a day or so. They will still taste fantastic and have an element of crunch from the nuts, but they won’t be quite the same as when these are freshly made.
You can freeze linzer cookies on a baking sheet in a single layer, then transfer to a freezer-safe container in layers with wax paper between them. Thaw on the counter until ready to serve.
These also won’t be as crunchy, and the powdered sugar dusting will be mostly absorbed into the cookie, but they still taste pretty darn wonderful!
More Cookie Recipes
- Perfect Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Best Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
- Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Mexican Wedding Cookies [aka Russian Tea Cakes]
- Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies
- Easy Jam Thumbprint Cookies
- The BEST Soft & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Double Lemon Glazed Cookies
- Lime Meltaway Shortbread Cookies
- Homemade Iced Oatmeal Cookies
- Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies
- 1 cup whole hazelnuts or almonds
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar divided
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup salted butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large egg yolks
- Zest of one small lemon
- 2/3 cup lingonberry jam or raspberry jam, black currant preserves, cherry preserves, etc.
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toast the nuts on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes until fragrant. Cool completely, then add them to a food processor with 1/4 cup of the sugar and process until finely ground.
- Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, and ground nut mixture together in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon zest, then beat again to combine.
- Gradually add the flour/nut mixture, about 1/3 at a time, mixing just until combined.
- Divide the dough into 4 pieces, and press each piece into a disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to two days.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll out each disc of dough on a lightly floured surface, one at a time, until between 1/4- and 1/6-inch thick. Cut out into shapes using 3-inch cookie cutters in star, heart, or circle shapes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, then use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out windows in half of the cookies. Repeat with the remaining dough, re-rolling scraps until all of the dough has been used. If the dough gets too soft, set it back in the fridge to chill for a bit to help the cookies keep their shape.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are just beginning to turn a nice golden brown around the edges. I prefer these cookies crunchy since they will soften slightly when filled. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Dust the top halves of each cookie with powdered sugar, then spread the bottom halves with the fruit preserves or other filling. Sandwich the top and bottom halves together. You may want to carefully spoon a little additional jam into the window on the top, although I usually skip this. You should end up with about 24 completed cookies.
- Store the finished cookies in an airtight container on the counter or in the fridge for 4-5 days, or freeze for longer storage (up to 2 months). If frozen, you may want to dust the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar again after thawing.
- I have also seen Linzer cookies filled with Nutella and lemon curd, which both sound delightful. But black currant preserves is traditional.
- If you prefer not to toast and grind the nuts yourself, you could replace the nuts with 3/4 cup of almond flour. Just add the full amount of sugar to the butter when creaming and proceed with the recipe as written.