Austrian and German/ Christmas/ cookies/ Dessert/ Valentine's Day

Linzer Cookies

3 December 2020 By Aleksandra

Linzer cookies are tender and perfectly crumbly cookies filled with raspberry jam. They’re delicious, nutty, and buttery – we really love these cookies! They can have many shapes – for example, star shape for a Christmassy feel, heart shape for Valentine’s Day, or flower/round shape for any other occasion. Traditional Austrian Linzer cookies (Linzer Augen) have three small dots in the middle (the photo is at the bottom of the post). They are beautiful but really simple to make!

A stack of Linzer cookies. Heart-shaped Linzer cookies scattered around.

What are Linzer cookies?

Linzer cookies are popular Austrian cookies. They are called Linzer Augen (Augen means eyes) or Linzer Kekse (Kekse means cookies) in the German language. They are named after a Linzer Torte (Linzer Cake) which is basically a tart made with a shortbread dough with ground hazelnuts, filled with red currant jam, and topped with a lattice and flaked almonds. Its name comes from the city of Linz, which is located in the North region of Austria. I have actually eaten the original Linzer Torte in Linz – it’s only a 2-hour drive from Vienna, where I live – and I must admit I didn’t like it that much. It was good, but a little bit too dry, I think the dough to filling ratio was not really to my liking. The Linzer Torte that we ate is pictured below. Sorry for the photo quality, but I snapped with my phone! So, I’m not a fan of the cake, but I absolutely love the cookies! Linzer cookies are considered Christmas cookies, but you can buy them all year round.

A picture of Linzer Torte on a white plate.
Linzer Torte
Linzer cookies on a blue background.

Ingredients:

Here’s what you need to make raspberry Linzer cookies: (+ raspberry jam which I hasn’t pictured!)

Ground nuts – I like ground almonds best, but ground walnuts, hazelnuts, or pistachios would also work well.

I actually searched through Austrian recipes for Linzer cookies and about 2/3 of them didn’t have any ground nuts in them, just flour (so standard shortbread cookies recipe). About 1/3 called for ground nuts. I was a little bit surprised as these cookies are based on a famous Austrian cake – Linzer Torte which is made with hazelnuts. I thought since the original cake is made with nuts, it’s only right to add the nuts also to the cookies. I think the cookies are even more delicious thanks to that! The nuts add a wonderful flavor and make the cookies more moist.

If you can’t get ground nuts, you can always purchase whole nuts and ground them yourself. You can additionally toast your nuts to make them more aromatic. To toast the nuts in a pan: place them in a dry pan and heat until they are lightly brown and fragrant, take them off the pan immediately as they can burn very easily and be bitter. You can also toast the nuts in the oven at 350°F/180°C for about 8-10 minutes until lightly brown. Take them of the pan immediately.

Aromatics: lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and.. salt. These cookies won’t taste lemony, or like cinnamon or vanilla cookies, but all those ingredients, including salt, make them taste good and not ‘flat’.

Egg yolk – we need 2 large egg yolks for this recipe. You can substitute them for 1 small egg, but the cookies taste better with the egg yolks.

All the other ingredients – flour, butter, and powdered sugar are standard ingredients for cookies.

Jam – you can use any jam that you like but I like raspberry jam best with these cookies. The sweet and tangy raspberry jam perfectly balances out these nutty shortbread cookies. You could also fill your cookies with lemon curd, dulce de leche, or nutella.

How to make it step by step:

Ingredients for Linzer cookies in a bowl. Dough crumble in a bowl.

It’s really super easy to make Linzer cookies, there’s no creaming of butter and sugar, the dough comes together in about 2-3 minutes (in a stand mixer). You just have to:

STEP 1: Prepare your ingredients: cut the butter into very small cubes, separate the eggs into egg yolks and egg whites, zest the lemon (the best for that is microplane). Add all the ingredients (except from jam, of course) into the mixing bowl.

A little reminder – how to measure flour:

How to measure flour: if you will use a kitchen scale to measure out all the ingredients, it all goes easy breezy! But if you’re using measuring cups, remember that 1 cup of flour can weigh 120-150g, depending on how you’re filling your cup. Don’t scoop the flour directly into the measuring cup, which can compact it! 1 cup of flour in my recipes weighs 125g. To correctly measure the flour, you need to:

  1. Fluff the flour by stirring it in the bag/flour container with a spoon.
  2. Spoon the flour and sprinkle it into your measuring cup.
  3. Sweep off the excess flour with the back of a knife.

STEP 2: Mix the ingredients using a paddle-shaped attachment over low speed. It will look like a crumble first…

Dough for Linzer cookies in a bowl. Two flat discs of dough wrapped in plastic foil.

STEP 3: …but it should quickly come together.

NOTE: The dough will be a little bit crumbly are more difficult to roll out than the classic shortbread dough – it’s because of the almonds, but they also add amazing flavor and make the dough more moist and tender.

You can also use a hand mixer or make the dough in a food processor or by hand (rub the butter pieces with flour, almonds, and all the other ingredients until a smooth dough is created).

STEP 4: Divide the dough into two parts, flatten it into discs, wrap in plastic foil and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Linzer cookies cutters. Rolled out dough on a silicone mat.

STEP 5: Linzer cookies cutters – these are the two cutters that I own, the bigger one, with the three dots in the middle makes traditional Linzer cookies, and the smaller one has a different type of shapes (the middle part, the heart, can be removed and switched to a star, circle, or flower). You can purchase these cutters on Amazon (this is not an affiliate link nor have I tried this product, it just looks similar to the cutter I own), or just purchase a cutter set, for example, star-shaped, in different sizes, cut out the cookies with the biggest one and the ‘windows’ inside with the smallest one.

STEP 6: Take one part of the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until between 1/4-1/6-inch (4-6 mm) thick. Sprinkle the dough with flour as you’re rolling it out. Use Linzer cookies cutter to cut out the cookies – half of the cookies should have a ‘window’ cut out. You can also use regular cookie cutters in different sizes (and different shapes, it could be circles, hearts, stars, or flowers), cut out the cookies with a large heart-shaped (for example) cookie cutter, then cut smaller hearts into the centers of half of the hearts. If the dough gets a little bit sticky, sprinkle it well with flour. If it gets more sticky, put it back in the fridge to chill for a bit. Gather the scraps, knead them again into a ball of dough, re-roll and cut out the cookies until all the dough has been used.

I highly recommend using a silicone mat for rolling out the cookies. I use it all the time, for all my cookies. The dough doesn’t stick to it and is much easier to work with. If you don’t have a silicone mat, you can roll out the cookies between two sheets of wax paper.

A cut out cookie is being lifted with a knife. Ready to be baked cookies on a baking sheet.

STEP 7: Transfer the cookies to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. You can use an offset spatula to do that or a large sharp knife (this is what I prefer, if the dough gets sticky, a sharp knife helps to loosen the dough).

STEP 8: Bake the cookies. Bigger cookies will need about 11 minutes and smaller cookies about 10 minutes at 350°F/180°C. The cookies should be soft, pale, and golden at the edges. Leave them on the baking tray until cool.

The baking time may vary depending on the oven (every oven runs a little bit differently). The cookies should be soft, pale, and golden at the edges. They will finish baking on the baking sheet while cooling.

Raspberry jam is being spooned over cooked Linzer cookies. Linzer cookies assembly.

STEP 9: Spread raspberry jam over whole cookies then place the cookies with cut-out centers over them. Dust the cookies generously with powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

Storage:

For me personally, these cookies taste best 1-2 hours after filling them – they are more tender but also still a little bit crunchy.

Store these raspberry Linzer cookies in an air-tight container for up to 4 days at room temperature.

Cookie dough can be frozen. Thaw it in the fridge. It should be cold before you plan on rolling it out. I haven’t tried freezing baked cookies, I think they would be too soft.

You can store cookie dough in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Linzer cookies on a blue background.
Bigger cookies with three dots in the middle are classic Linzer cookies.

Other cookie recipes you may like:

Linzer Cookies

Linzer cookies are tender and perfectly crumbly cookies filled with raspberry jam. They’re delicious, nutty, and buttery – we really love these cookies!
Pin This Recipe! SAVE THIS RECIPE
Raspberry Linzer cookies on a blue background.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
chilling time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 26 minutes
Servings 35 sandwich cookies
Calories 136kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the cookies:

  • 1 cup (110g) ground almonds, spooned and leveled
  • 1 cup (230g) butter, soft and cut into small cubes
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
  • 2 1/3 cup (290g) flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • zest grated from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

additionally:

  • 1 cup raspberry jam
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

Make the cookie dough:

  • Add all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients using a paddle-shaped attachment over low speed. It will look like a crumble first but it should quickly come together.
  • You can also use a hand mixer or make the dough in a food processor or by hand (rub the butter pieces with flour, almonds, and all the other ingredients until a smooth dough is created).
  • Divide the dough into two parts, flatten it into discs, wrap in plastic foil and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Cut out the cookies:

  • Take one part of the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until between 1/4-1/6-inch (4-6 mm) thick. Sprinkle the dough with flour as you're rolling it out.
  • Use Linzer cookies cutter to cut out the cookies – half of the cookies should have a ‘window’ cut out. You can also use regular cookie cutters in different sizes (and different shapes, it could be circles, hearts, stars, or flowers), cut out the cookies with a large heart-shaped (for example) cookie cutter, then cut smaller hearts into the centers of half of the hearts.
  • If the dough gets a little bit sticky, sprinkle it well with flour. If it gets more sticky, put it back in the fridge to chill for a bit.
  • Gather the scraps, knead them again into a ball of dough, re-roll and cut out the cookies until all the dough has been used.
  • Transfer the cookies to parchment paper-lined baking sheets. You can use an offset spatula to do that or a large sharp knife.

Bake the cookies:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / Gas Mark 4, no fan (if you have a convection oven reduce the temperature by about 20° or follow the manufacturer's instructions).
  • Bake bigger cookies for about 11 minutes and smaller for 10 minutes. The cookies should be soft, pale, and golden at the edges.
  • Leave them on the baking tray until cool.

Assemble:

  • Spread raspberry jam over whole cookies then place the cookies with cut-out centers over them. Dust the cookies with powdered sugar.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • The cookies will be crunchy after baking and then will soften after being filled. For me, they taste best about 2 hours after baking and filling them.
  • This recipe yields 12 large sandwich cookies + 23 small sandwich cookies.
  • Instead of ground almonds, you can use ground hazelnuts, walnuts, or pistachios.
  • The dough will be a little bit crumbly are more difficult to roll out than the classic shortbread dough – it’s because of the almonds, but they also add amazing flavor and make the dough more moist and tender.
  • Instead of jam, you could also fill your cookies with lemon curd, dulce de leche, or nutella.
  • Storage: Store the cookies in an air-tight container for up to 4 days at room temperature. You can store cookie dough in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • How to measure flour: Fluff the flour by stirring it in the bag/flour container with a spoon. Spoon the flour and sprinkle it into your measuring cup. Sweep off the excess flour with the back of a knife (1 US cup is 240ml).
  • Calories = 1 cookie (1/35 of the recipe). This is only an estimate. The whole recipe is 4743 kcal.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, austrian
Keyword almond Linzer cookies, Linzer cookies, raspberry Linzer cookies

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

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