Almond Linzer cookies are one of the most popular cookies of all time, especially around Christmas. They are buttery, soft, and melt in your mouth with just the right amount of nuttiness. Paired with raspberry jam, it is the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
When we lived in Louisiana, our neighbor always gifted us cookie boxes for Christmas. One of the cookies they always included were Linzer cookies. The subtle nuttiness along with the wonderful buttery, sweetness, easily made those cookies a favorite of ours.
This year, I'm also making Linzer cookies with raspberry jam for our family and friends. Hopefully, they'll enjoy these nutty cookies as much as we do!
Where did Linzer cookies come from?
What we know today as one of the hallmarks of Christmas, Linzer cookies are an adaptation of the classic Austrian dessert, Linzertorte. This torte is a pastry with a bottom crust made of wheat and nut flour, filled with preserve, usually red or black currants, and a lattice top. As you can see, the torte's resemblance carried over to the cookies with two nut and flour crusts filled with fruit jam peeking through the cookie "windows".
It is also said that Linzer cookies were adapted and well loved by Austria's neighboring countries, such as Switzerland, Hungary, Germany, and Italy. Because of it's huge popularity in Germany, Linzer cookies made their reputation in America as well, particularly in Pennsylvania due to many of the amazing German bakeries located there. This article by the Philadelphia Inquirer tells a quick but interesting story of how the author discovered that the city's well loved Germany cookies had an Austrian history.
Linzer cookies with almond flour
As you probably already know, Linzer cookies are made of a combination of wheat flour and nut flour. The most common nut flour used to make Linzer cookies is almond flour. However, any nut flour can be use, hazelnut and walnut flour being the next two most popular options.
Which to use: almonds, almond slivers, or almond flour?
If you use almond flour often like us, it's probably better for you to make these almond Linzer cookies with almond flour. However, if this recipe is the only reason you need almond flour, maybe consider making your own almond flour with almond slivers or whole almonds. Aysegul, from Foolproof Living, has a great, detailed post on how to make your own almond flour.
Just a note: if you are making your own almond flour, you will need a good food processor or a high-power blender. You'll also want to decide whether you want brown flecks in your cookie dough or a clean, fleck-free look. This will determine whether you should use skin-on almonds or blanched almonds.
Linzer cookie fillings
It is classic to fill Linzer cookies with raspberry or currant jams and lemon curd. However, feel free to sandwich it with whatever fillings you like. Some popular choices are hazelnut chocolate spread like Nutella, fruit preserves, and chocolate ganache.
How to store Linzer cookies
These almond Linzer cookies are best eaten fresh. If you prefer crispy cookies, I recommend assembling and enjoying them immediately. For soft, melt in your mouth Linzer cookies, store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature.
If you wanted to make these Linzer cookies ahead of time but prefer them crispy, don't assemble them until you're ready to serve. Don't dust the cookies after baking. Instead, store the unfilled cookies in an airtight container, up to 1 week. Dust the cookies with powdered sugar and fill them when you're ready to serve.
Can you freeze Linzer cookies?
The answer is yes, but not recommended. However, you can make the dough ahead of time without compromising the quality. To freeze the Linzer cookie dough, wrap it well in plastic wrap and freeze it up to 2 months. When you're ready to use the dough, move it to the fridge and let it thaw overnight.
Using parchment paper to help roll out Linzer cookie dough
Personally, I'm a huge fan of using parchment paper for any cookie dough that requires rolling out and cutting, especially doughs that are stickier. This method will require less cleaning and easier transferring/ storing. I highly recommend investing in a box of these commercial size parchment paper. They are made to fit full sheet pans, which are 16" x 24".
1.After making the dough, divide the dough in two. Sandwich each half of the dough between 2 sheets of parchment, or 1 sheet folded in half. Roll both of the doughs to ⅛ inch thick and transfer to the fridge to chill. This means less chill time and you can make your cookies faster!
2. After chilling, peel the parchment off both sides of the cookie dough, but don't discard the parchment. Work directly on the parchment so that there's less cleaning, and it'll be easier for you to transfer your cut cookie doughs. Lightly flour both sides of the cookie dough if needed.
3. Cut out your cookie dough and transfer them to a sheet pan. Reroll the leftover cookie dough between the parchment. I recommend chilling the leftover cookie dough until it hardens before cutting them.
Happy Linzer cookie making!
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Almond Linzer Cookies
- 113 gram unsalted butter , softened (1 stick)
- 160 gram granulated sugar (¾ cup)
- 1 large egg (56g with shell on)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt , a little less if using fine salt
- 120 gram all-purpose flour (1 cup, spooned & leveled)
- 90 gram almond flour (¾ cup)* see notes for alternative
- ½ teaspoon baking powder (about 2g)
- ½ cup raspberry jam , more or less for the filling (feel free to use your preferred filling like lemon curd, Nutella, or other flavored jams/ preserves)
- Powdered sugar , for dusting
To make the dough:
- In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until it's pale and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and salt and beat till incorporated.
- Sift in the all-purpose flour, almond flour, and baking powder. Mix on low speed or by hand until the cookie dough is just combined and no more dry ingredients are visible. DO NOT overmix.
- Divide the dough into two and wrap them in plastic wrap. Flatten each into discs and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.*Alternatively, you could place each half of the dough in between two sheets of parchment paper and roll them out to ⅛ inch before refrigerating. I recommend using 12x16 inch parchments.*
- Working with one dough at a time, flour your work surface and roll the cookie dough into ⅛ inch thick. Reapply flour to your work surface and rolling pin as needed.*If using the alternative method, simply peel away the parchment paper from both sides of the cookie dough to unstick the parchment paper. Lightly flour both sides if needed and work directly on the parchment. You can reuse these parchment paper to roll out leftover dough or if making multiple batches.*
- Using a 2½ inch cookie cutter, cut out the dough as close to each other as possible and place them one inch apart on a parchment lined sheet pan. Roll up the leftover dough and repeat. You should have 18 cookies at this point. Chill these in the fridge for 10 to 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- While waiting on the first half of the cookie dough to chill, work on the second half of the dough. Roll and cut out the dough as you did for the first disc of dough. Do the same for the leftover dough. This should give you another 18 cookies. Using a mini cookie cutter or a piping tip, cut out the centers of these cookies to create "windows". Chill the cookies in the fridge for 10 to 20 minutes.
- While the second tray of cookies are cooling cooling in the fridge, bake the first tray of cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies just start to turn golden. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool completely before filling or assembling. Repeat with the second tray of cookies once they are chilled and stiff.
- Once the second tray of cookies (the ones with "windows") are baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool for just a few seconds, then dust them with powdered sugar. Let them cool completely before handling.
- When the first tray of cookies (without the "windows") are completely cooled, flip them over so the flat side is up. Fill each cookie with about a teaspoon of raspberry jam and spread the jam slightly. Top each cookie with a powdered sugar dusted cookie.
- Enjoy the cookies immediately for crispy cookies or store them in an airtight container to enjoy later for soft, melt in your mouth cookies.
- Use use these fluted cutters for our almond Linzer cookies and the mini heart cutters for the "windows.
- We use full size baking sheets to accommodate 18 cookies per tray. If you are using a smaller baking sheet, you can separate the shaping and baking into 3-4 sessions.
- If the dough at any point becomes too stick or soft to handle, stick it in the fridge fo 10 to 20 minutes, or until it becomes stiffer, so it's easier to work with.
- The baked cookies will be VERY soft when they first come out of the oven. Do let them cool completely before handling.
- For photo references, tips, and FAQs, please refer to the post above!