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This Linzer Cookies recipe is made with your choice of jam sandwiched between simple almond-flavored shortbread cookies. Easy to make and fun to customize with different shapes and flavors of jam!
It’s the Year of the Linzer Cookies here in our casa! ♡
Each holiday season, there always tends to be one cookie recipe that ends up being the new fave that we can’t stop baking. And this year, my husband and I are officially obsessed with these classic, lovely, buttery, jam-filled little delights.
Linzer cookies originally hail from Austria, where they are said to have become popular hundreds of years ago (basically as a mini version of their famous Linzer torte). They traditionally feature a sandwich of simple buttery shortbread cookies made with almond flour, which are then filled with a colorful window of raspberry jam poking through.
Nowadays, you can find variations on Linzer cookies all around the world made with all different kinds of nut flours (or nut-free), different types of fillings (jams, lemon curd, Nutella, you name it), or cut out into all sorts of different shapes and sizes (I’ve included lots of cute cookie cutter recommendations for you below). So there are lots of fun ways to get creative with these cookies! Here in our house, we’re definitely partial to the more traditional-style Linzer cookies made with almond flour, and especially love mixing a generous amount of orange or lemon zest into the dough as well. (You’re also welcome to add in some ground cinnamon if you’d like.) I also love that the shortbread recipe here is not overly sweet, so the cookies balance the jam quite nicely and really let its fruity flavor shine through. Plus they always look so fun and festive this time of year!
Anyway, I know that there are probably already a million Linzer cookie recipes out there on the internet. But after baking — oh — nearly a dozen batches of the cookies already this season (like I said, we’re a bit obsessed), my husband and I have decided that this is the Linzer cookie recipe we officially love best. So today I wanted to pop in and share it with you too!
Linzer Cookie Ingredients:
Before we get to the full Linzer cookie recipe below, here are a few important notes about the ingredients you will need to make them:
- Flour: I tested both a traditional all-purpose flour and a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend for this recipe, and both worked beautifully.
- Almond flour: As I mentioned above, we also love using traditional almond flour in the shortbread cookies, which you can either buy pre-ground or you can purchase about 120 grams of blanched almonds and then toast and ground them yourself.
- Butter: You will just need unsalted butter that is room temperature, so that it will mix well with the sugar.
- Salt: I also used 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt in this recipe. But if you only have iodized table salt on hand, you will only need to use 1/2 teaspoon.
- White sugar: I made these cookies with traditional white granulated sugar, but feel free to experiment with any other sweeteners that you prefer.
- Vanilla extract: I also love a generous amount of vanilla extract in the shortbread.
- Egg: To bind all of the shortbread ingredients together.
- Lemon or orange: I would say that citrus zest is optional for this recipe, but honestly it adds so much that I really believe it’s essential! We’re partial to making the shortbread with orange zest, but lemon is more traditional and also quite lovely.
- Ground cinnamon + almond extract: These are both optional add-ins that you can mix into the dough if you would like. I’m personally not a huge fan of cinnamon in this dough, but really love the almond extract.
- Powdered sugar: For dusting the tops of the cookies.
- Jam: For filling the cookie sandwiches. We’re quite partial to Bonne Maman jams in our house (they are absolutely everywhere here in Europe!), but any favorite brand/flavor of jam that you love will do.
Linzer Cookie Cutters:
So you can totally make Linzer cookies with any type of cookie cutter or biscuit cutter that you’d like. If you’d like to make things easy, there are pre-made Linzer cookie cutter “sets” you can purchase that have interchangeable shapes for the smaller “windows” inside. Or alternately, you can just use any sort of round or larger cookie/biscuit cutters (ideas below) plus a mini cookie cutter that you already own. Here are a few suggestions:
- Linzer cookie cutter sets: I used this set for the heart cookies pictured just below, which yields small 2-inch round cookies with traditional window shapes. I also love these small 2-inch cookie sets, which you can purchase with either traditional, Christmas, Halloween, winter, or springtime window themes.
- Themed cookie cutter sets: You could also use a nesting set of cookie cutters in the same shape, such as these sets for snowflakes, hearts, stars, gingerbread people, etc.
- Round cookie cutters: You could select the size you’d like from a straight-edged round cookie cutter set or a biscuit cutter set, or a scalloped round cookie cutter set or biscuit cutter set.
- Mini cookie cutters: There are lots of fun mini cookie cutter sets online, such as these mini assorted, alphabet, Christmas, or dogs cookie cutter sets. (I just recommend double-checking the size of any mini sets that you order online to be sure that they will fit inside your larger outer cookie cutter, as sizes for “mini” cutters seem to vary considerably.)
How To Make Linzer Cookies:
Detailed instructions for how to make Linzer cookies are included in the recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the process:
- Make the shortbread dough. Prep the dough as directed.
- Chill the dough. Shape the dough into disks, wrap tightly in beeswrap or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30-60 minutes until chilled.
- Roll out the dough. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is uniformly about 1/4-inch thick. Then use your preferred cookie cutters to cut out the dough — 50% shapes that are solid, 50% shapes with “windows” cut out in the center. I also like to bake the little window cut-outs too.
- Bake. Transfer the cookies to a parchment-covered sheet and bake until lightly golden, keeping a close eye on the cookies as different shapes/sizes may cook more/less quickly. Remove from the oven and transfer cookies to a wire baking rack to cool.
- Assemble the cookies. Then the fun part! Dust the window cookies with powdered sugar. Spread a dollop of jam on the other cookies and gently place a window cookies on top to form cute little Linzer cookie sandwiches. And enjoy!
Here are a few more ideas for how to customize this Linzer cookies recipe if you’d like:
- Make them gluten-free: As mentioned above, this recipe would also work with a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend, if you would like to make gluten-free Linzer cookies.
- Make your own DIY almond flour: Simply measure out around 120 grams of unblanched almonds and ground them (in a food processor or coffee grinder) to make almond flour. I also recommend lightly toasting the almonds in the oven before grinding them for better flavor.
- Use a different kind of nut flour: Instead of almond flour, you could alternately toast around 120 grams of raw pecans or walnuts and ground them (in a food processor or coffee grinder) to make pecan or walnut flour. I also recommend lightly toasting the nuts in the oven before grinding them for better flavor.
- Use a different filling: In place of jam, you could fill the Linzer cookies with lemon curd (or any type of citrus curd), Nutella, or any other fillings that sound fun.
More Cut-Out Cookie Recipes:
Looking for more delicious cookie recipes to bake this season? Here are a few of my favorite cut-out cookies:
This Linzer Cookies recipe is made with your choice of jam sandwiched between simple almond-flavored shortbread cookies. See notes above for possible ingredient variations plus cookie cutter recommendations!
- Combine the dry ingredients. Combine the all-purpose flour, almond flour, salt, and cinnamon (if using) in a medium mixing bowl, and stir until evenly combined.
- Combine the wet ingredients. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer (or you can use a hand mixer with a large mixing bowl) and beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, almond extract (if using), egg and zest to the butter mixture and beat on low speed for 30 seconds until combined.
- Add in the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredient mixture and beat on low speed for 1 minute or so until combined, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl at any point if needed.
- Chill the dough. Shape the dough into a disk about 1-inch thick, wrap tightly with beeswrap or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes or until chilled.
- Prep the oven and baking sheet. Heat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- Roll out the dough. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and using a rolling pin to roll it out until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Cut out your desired shapes with your cookie cutters (half solid shapes, half with cut-out “windows”) and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll out any dough scraps that remain and repeat the process to make use of all of the dough. At this point, if the cut-out cookie dough seems soft and warm, it’s best to pop the entire cookie sheet in the fridge for 10 minutes to re-chill the dough. Otherwise, proceed immediately with the next step.
- Bake. Bake the cookies for about 11-13 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden around the edges. Different sizes/shapes of cookies may require different amounts of cooking time, so I recommend keeping a close eye on the cookies during the final minutes or baking to be sure that they do not overcook.
- Cool. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies rest for a few minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack until they have cooled completely to room temperature.
- Assemble the cookies. Transfer the cut-out window cookies back to the baking sheet and use a fine mesh strainer to dust them with powdered sugar. Then spread a dollop of jam on a solid cookie and gently place a window cookie on top to form a cute little Linzer cookie sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and enjoy!
Salt: If you only have iodized (table) salt on hand, reduce the amount of salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
Storage instructions: Cookies can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
Yield: This recipe makes a big batch — about 38 to 40 (2-inch round) sandwiches. (Which means 76 to 80 cookies total, of that size.) The yield will definitely vary depending on the size and shape of cookie cutter that you use, as well as the thickness of your rolled-out dough.
Source: Recipe slightly adapted from Joy of Cooking.