Delicate almond cookies cut into pretty shapes are sandwiched together with lemon curd, raspberry preserves, or chocolate hazelnut filling.
These crispy cookies can be cut using a Linzer cutter or round, daisy, or heart-shaped cookie cutters so the filling shows through.
If you have never tried a Linzer Cookie, you are really missing out.
If you ask my family which cookies they want me to bring to any family function, the list is short. It includes my Gumdrop Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and these Linzer Cookies.
What are Linzer Cookies?
- They are delicate, buttery, nutty cookies traditionally sandwiched together with black currant or raspberry preserves or jam and dusted with a bit of powdered sugar.
- Linzer Cookies are actually a dessert created to taste similar to an Austrian Linzertorte which has a crust made of flour mixed with ground almonds, sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest, and cinnamon and is filled with black currant preserves and is topped with a lattice crust.
- The top cookie has a cut-out which allows the fruity preserves to show through, also making these cookies really pretty and festive.
- The filling helps to soften the crisp cookies making them melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Linzer Cookie Video
You can find special Linzer Cookie Cutters for just about every holiday. The cutters are made up of two cutters of different sizes. The first is typically around 3 inches in diameter and the other is between 1/2 inch and 1 inch.
You cut the bottom cookie using the large cutter then the top cookie gets cut using the large cutter and the small cutter.
But you don’t need to use special Linzer Cookie Cutters. You can just use standard cookie cutters and a smaller cookie cutter to make just any shape.
I love that I can create festive Linzer Cookies for any occasion just by changing the shape I cut them into.
Linzer Cookie Shapes
- A traditional Austrian Linzer Cookie is round and has a circle cut out of the center.
- You can make simple daisy Linzer Cookies by:
- using a 3-inch daisy cutter then cutting a 3/4 inch daisy out of the center of the top cookie,
- by using a special Daisy Linzer Cookie Cutter.
- or by using a large 4 or 5-inch daisy cutter and a teardrop-shaped cutter to cut holes in the petals.
- You can see my detailed step-by-step tutorial for making Linzer Cookie Daisies, here.
- Or make adorably cute Teddy Bear Linzer Cookies using a bear cookie cutter and a small heart cookie cutter. These would be wonderful cookies to make for Valentine’s Day, a Baby Shower, or Christmas.
- Have fun personalizing large heart-shaped Linzer Cookies using alphabet cutters.
- See the tutorial and video for the “I ♥ Mom” Linzer Cookies, on my Hungry Happenings blog.
- Use holiday Linzer Cookie Cutters to make cookies for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or Easter.
You can find some Linzer cookie cutters on Amazon. I earn a small commission for sales at no extra cost to you when you use the links in this post.
Cookie Dough Ingredients:
- butter – Use softened unsalted butter to make this dough. You can set the butter out on your counter about an hour before you plan to make the dough or cut it into small pieces and place the pieces into your mixing bowl about 30 minutes before you plan to make the dough.
- sugar – Granulated sugar will add sweetness and structure to your cookies.
- egg yolks – Egg yolks help to tenderize the cookie dough so that these crispy cookies aren’t dry and hard. They also add a wonderfully rich flavor.
- vanilla – I like to use vanilla bean paste whenever I make cookies because it imparts a more robust vanilla flavor but pure vanilla extract works well too.
- almonds – Almonds add a nutty flavor and nice crunch to these cookies.
- flour – Use all-purpose flour for structure.
- salt – Table salt balances the sweetness.
- lemon zest – Use a Microplane grate to zest a lemon, grating just the bright yellow peel, avoiding the bitter white pith.
- powdered sugar – Dust the tops of your Linzer Cookies with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. This looks pretty and adds a little sweetness.
Linzer Cookie Fillings:
- Black Current Preserves or Jam is the traditional filling for Austrian Linzer Cookies.
- Red Raspberry Preserves or Jam is a more traditional filling in the United States.
- Any fruit-flavored preserves or jam can be used based on personal preference.
- Lemon Curd is an alternative filling that adds a lovely tart flavor that pairs beautifully with the almond cookie.
- Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (Nutella) is an unconventional filling but it tastes amazing inside the crisp almond cookies.
What is the difference between a fruit preserve and a jam?
- Jam is a cooked mixture of fruit and sugar with the option of adding pectin. The fruit is then puréed for a smooth texture.
- Preserves are also a cooked mixture of fruit, sugar, and pectin, but the preserves contain chunks of fruit.
Either jam or preserves make great fillings for Linzer Cookies but jam is a little easier to spread. If you use preserves and the fruit chunks are too large, simply chop them a bit more.
Almonds are a key component in the Linzer Cookie Dough. They add flavor and a bit of crunch. Roasting them helps to bring out their flavor.
- Roast 1 cup of blanched almond slivers (blanched nuts have their skins removed) in a 350-degree F (177° C) oven for about 5-6 minutes (or in a skillet set over medium-low heat) to bring out their nutty flavor.
- Allow them to cool.
- Then grind them in a food processor with 1/4 cup of granulated sugar until they become fine crumbs.
Almonds vs. Almond Meal vs. Almond Flour
- You can grind raw, blanched, slivered almonds with a bit of sugar in a food processor or blender rather than buy a bag of expensive almond meal for this recipe.
- It is best to add sugar to the food processor along with the almonds in order to prevent the ground almonds from turning into nut butter.
- You can use also use almond slices for this recipe. Just be sure to really keep an eye on the slices as they toast in the oven. They can burn really easily.
- You can even use whole almonds with the skin on if you don’t mind your cookies having flecks of brown in them.
- If you use raw almonds, you can roast them in the oven to bring out their nutty flavor or you can simply buy roasted unsalted nuts.
- You can also use almond meal or almond flour if you have it on hand.
- Almond meal is made by processing raw and unsalted almonds that still have their skin. Once again your cookies will have tiny flecks of brown in them.
- Almond flour is made by processing blanched almonds and it works great in this recipe.
- If you use either almond meal or almond flour you can simply add all the sugar with the butter in the recipe.
- You can even toast the almond meal or flour if you like. Spread it on a baking sheet and pop it in a warm 300-degree oven for about 4-5 minutes until you just start to smell the nutty aroma.
- Be sure to allow it to cool completely before adding it to the cookie dough.
How to make Linzer Cookie Dough:
- Roast 1 cup of almonds (using the instructions above).
- Grind them into fine crumbs along with 1/4 cup of sugar in a food processor.
- Cream one cup (2 sticks) of butter and 1/2 cup of sugar together.
- Then add 2 egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract.
- Add the almond/sugar mixture and stir just to combine.
- Whisk together a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 cups of all-purpose flour, then stir it into the dough just until it’s combined.
- If you like, you can add a teaspoon of cinnamon too.
- Roll the dough into a ball.
- Divide it in half and place each half in a zip-top bag.
Chill the dough.
- It’s important to chill the dough in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes before you roll it out.
- Linzer Cookie dough is a bit dryer than cut-out cookie dough and it will hold together better once chilled.
Roll out and cut the dough.
You can roll the dough out onto a cutting board that has been dusted with flour or you can roll it out on a silicone baking mat without using any flour (this helps to keep the dough from getting dry). Just be sure to flour your rolling pin so that it doesn’t stick.
- Roll out the dough on the silicone mat or cutting board.
- Use Linzer Cookie Cutters or regular cookie cutters to cut out your cookies.
- You will cut out all of your cookies using the larger cookie cutters then cut a smaller shape out of the center of half of the cookies.
- Once you have as many cookies cut from one sheet of dough, remove the excess dough and place the silicone mat in the freezer for 5-10 minutes, just long enough for the cookies to firm up.
- Then you can simply peel off the perfectly shaped Linzer Cookies and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- If you have several silicone mats you can simply bake the cookies right on the mat. You don’t even have to transfer them.
- If you use a cutting board, you will need to transfer the cut-out cookie dough to a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet using a thin metal spatula.
- Bake the cookies, one tray at a time, in a 350-degree Fahrenheit (177° C) oven for 8-12 minutes depending on the size.
- Bake the whole cookies on one sheet and the cookies with the holes cut out on a separate baking sheet. The cookies with the holes will bake a bit faster than the whole cookies.
- Allow the baked cookies to cool completely.
- I like to allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then I transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- If you plan to serve the cookies that day then you can go ahead and fill them otherwise you might want to wait.
- The baked cookies are rather crispy and once you fill them with preserves or jam they will soften.
- I really like the Linzer Cookies once they have softened so I will fill mine up to a day in advance.
- If you prefer a crispier cookie wait until an hour before serving to fill them.
How to store Linzer Cookies
- Linzer Cookies taste best when eaten within a day or two of being baked and filled.
- You can safely store Linzer Cookies filled with fruit preserves or jam or shelf-stable, store-bought lemon curd at room temperature for up to a few days.
- The fruit in the preserves will eventually spoil if left at room temperature but the high sugar content acts as a temporary preservative making it safe to store at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- If you have filled your cookies with Nutella you can store them for up to a week at room temperature.
- It’s important to store Linzer Cookies in an airtight container like a metal cookie tin, a glass jar, or a plastic container.
- You can also just store the un-filled cookies at room temperature for up to a week then fill them a few hours before serving.
Can I refrigerate or freeze Linzer Cookies?
- Yes, you can refrigerate the cookies if you really want to.
- Refrigerating almost any baked goods causes them to dry out and they can even develop a stale taste.
- But if you feel more comfortable storing your filled Linzer Cookies in the refrigerator then layer them with wax or parchment paper and store them in an airtight container.
- Allow refrigerated cookies to come to room temperature in their container for about an hour before serving them for the best flavor.
- I suggest freezing the cookies unfilled.
- Place the cookies in a large zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Remove from the freezer and set the package on the counter for 2-3 hours to thaw before opening.
- Remove the cookies from the bag then dust the tops with powdered sugar and fill them.
- The cookies must be completely thawed before dusting with powdered sugar otherwise the sugar will melt into the cookie.
- Filled cookies can also be frozen, but the jam will not freeze solid which can make the cookies much softer once thawed.
- Be sure to layer the cookies with sheets of parchment paper in between to keep the cookies from sticking together.
- Place the frozen cookies in the refrigerator overnight to thaw then bring them out and set them on the counter for a few hours before opening the bag.
- The cookies may need a fresh dusting of powdered sugar too just be sure to cover the jam-filled hole with something like a small jar lid so that the jam doesn’t get covered in the white powdered sugar.
more cookie recipes you might like
If you love cookies with a fruit flavor, you’ve got to try this Gumdrop Cookie Recipe. Fruit-flavored gumdrops are baked into a soft sugar cookie.
You might also enjoy these soft and chewy Chocolate Chip Cranberry Orange Cookies. Each large cookie is loaded with orange-infused dried cranberries, orange zest, and lots of chocolate chips.
If you’d like to make a quick and easy cookie, be sure to check out our Cake Mix Cookie recipe.