Linzer cookies are a Christmas classic and the perfect addition to your Christmas cookie repertoire!
Linzer cookies are probably the most popular Austrian Christmas cookies of all time. Their soft and buttery texture makes them a popular treat for the season. They are simple to make and incredibly delicious.
While I will always be a traditionalist when it comes to Linzer cookies, I decided to adapt the classic recipe slightly and use non-traditional cookie cutters for this recipe. (I hope my Austrian readers can forgive me!) Linzer cookies are typically small, round and have 3 holes in the middle. They are most often filled with red currant jam, which is sandwiched between two cookie layers and gives the cookie its typical soft texture.
Today, I am using my beloved snowflake cookie cutters which I found at a Christmas market a few years back. While I unfortunately cannot link to them, I found these cookie cutters which are very similar to the ones I used.
Linzer cookies are typically made with blanched almond flour to add more flavor to the dough. If you do not have any blanched ground almonds hand, feel free to use whole almond flour. The cookies will be slightly darker but they’ll still taste great. If you’d rather make your own almond flour, simply process blanched (or unpeeled) almonds in a strong blender or food processor until the texture resembles flour. Make sure to sieve the homemade almond flour before adding it to the rest of the ingredients to get out any clumps.
The dough is suited well for cut-out cookies. When baking, the cookies hold their shape and the edges stay nice and sharp. Due to them not spreading much, they can be placed fairly close together on the baking sheet.
The baking time is dependant on the size of your cookies, the thickness you roll your dough out, as well as your oven. So please keep in mind that the named baking time is just an estimate. My 7cm cookies (2.6 inches) needed exactly 10 minutes to bake. If you are working with smaller cookie cutters, be sure to cut away from the baking time. The cookies are done when they are slightly browned on the edges.
I prefer to always do a test run whenever I bake cookies. To do so, simply bake 1 cookie and see how long it takes until the edges turn golden brown. Then set the timer accordingly for the rest. Note: The cookies will still be quite soft when removed from the oven but will firm up as they cool.
Linzer cookies make wonderful Christmas gifts since they store incredibly well and thus are perfect for making ahead of time. They stay fresh for about 3 weeks when stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place. I usually make 2 large batches in the beginning of December and use them for gifts throughout the month.
Soft baked Linzer cookies with a delicious jam filling.
- 200g cold butter or cold vegan butter, (7 oz)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- pinch of salt
- 150g white granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
- 1 egg or vegan egg replacer for 1 egg
- 200g flour* (1 and 1/2 cups)
- 100g almond flour (1 cup)
- extra flour for rolling
- seedless raspberry or red currant jam for filling
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Add the butter, vanilla extract, lemon zest and salt to the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix everything together for 1 minute.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything together on low speed until you have a homogenous dough.
- Divide the dough into two parts and shape into discs. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a floured surface, roll out the dough and cut out the cookies with your cookie cutters.** Keep the surface and rolling pin well floured as you work. Always cut out two pairs- one bottom cookie and one top cookie (with a hole).
- Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely.
- Once the cookies have completely cooled, dust the top cookies (the ones with a hole) with powdered sugar. Place a small dollop of jam into the center of a bottom cookie and gently press a top cookie onto it.
*I prefer making these cookies with spelt flour (type 700; not wholegrain) for the best flavour, but wheat flour works well too.
**If the dough is still too cold, let it warm up slightly for about 10 minutes on the kitchen counter or knead it a bit with your hands. If the dough starts to become too soft as you are cutting out cookies, place the dough back into the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature (or more ideally in a dry cold place, e.g. cellar) for up to 3 weeks.
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