Linzer Cookies (Cut Out Cookies Recipe)
What are Linzer Cookies?
I think of Austrian Linzer Cookies as a classic holiday treat that captures all of festivities of Christmas in each delightful bite.
They feature two shortbread cookies sandwiched together with sweet preserves in the middle, and have a holiday-themed cutout on one of the cookies to let the jam show through.
The cookies are lightly dusted with powdered sugar for some winter magic… And bit of cinnamon, lemon zest, and nut flour create a delicate holiday flavor that outshines most roll-out cookie doughs.
Plus, the center of each sandwich can be filled with any sort of fruit preserve or sweet spread you like!
Although they might look tricky to make, once you purchase Linzer cookie cutters, with small cut-outs in the center, this recipe is as easy as any other cut-out cookie recipe. Just mix, chill, roll, and bake!
Cut Out Linzer Cookies for Christmas
The easiest way to make these cheerful sandwich cookies is by using a Linzer cookie cutter set. They feature two stamps, one for cutting out the exterior shape of all the cookies, and another small detailed shape for creating festive designs in the center of half the cookies.
You can, however, create the same Christmas sandwich cookie style without a true Linzer cookie cutter set. Simply use one larger circle cookie cutter and individual smaller cutters of desired designs, or use a sharp knife to carefully cut shapes by hand.
What Ingredients You Need
Light, tender, slightly crumbly Linzer cookies are simple to make with common pantry ingredients, plus a burst of citrus from fresh lemon.
Here is everything needed to make the best traditional Linzer cookie recipe:
- Unsalted butter – softened at room temperature
- Powdered sugar – for making the dough plus dusting the cookies
- Egg yolks – save the whites to make a healthy omelette or try my Best Orange Julius Recipe
- Lemon zest – perfect for a pop of freshness in winter
- Vanilla extract – to add a hint rich, sweet flavor
- Salt – a baking essential
- Ground cinnamon – a wonderfully festive addition
- All-purpose flour – or your favorite gluten-free baking flour
- Almond flour – or hazelnut flour for a nutty undertone
- Raspberry jam – or whatever flavor you prefer; store-bought or try the Best Easy Freezer Jam Recipe for making homemade preserves
Did You Know? If you can’t find almond or hazelnut flour, you can grind whole raw nuts in a food processor. Easy!
How to Make Linzer Cookies
First, make the Linzer cookie dough in a stand mixer. Add the softened butter to the bowl and beat on high until very soft and fluffy. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula, add the powdered sugar, and beat the sugar into the butter on low.
With the mixer running, add the egg yolks, lemon zest, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Scrape the bowl again, and add in the all-purpose flour and almond flour (or hazelnut flour). Once incorporated, turn off the mixer. Be careful not to over-mix the dough.
Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.
Note: This Linzer Cookies recipe makes a terrific freezer-friendly cookie dough! Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and seal in an airtight plastic bag, and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow the dough to thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
Once the cookies have chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
Lightly flour a clean work surface. Unwrap and roll the cookie dough out into an even, large rectangle that’s about 1/8-inch-thick.
Use a 2-inch Linzer cookie cutter to cut out an equal amount of solid bottom cookies, and decorative peekaboo top cookies. Make sure to cut the cookies as close together as possible… Every time you have to gather and re-roll the dough, the cookies get a little tougher.
Next, use a flat spatula to carefully move the cookies to the baking sheets, spread about 1 inch apart.
Bake until the cookies have slightly puffed, but are not brown around the edges. Linzer cookies should have a pale color like shown in the photos.
Let the cookies cool for at least 15 minutes before filling with preserves. To do so, flip the bottom cookies over and place just a smidge of jam in the center of each bottom cookie.
Get the Complete (Printable) Linzer Cookie Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Very gently press the top with a decorative cookie. Don’t push too hard or you’ll risk breaking the cookies!
Once all the Linzer Cookies are filled and sandwiched together, lightly dust the tops with the remaining powdered sugar. They should look delicately coated with snow, but not be clumpy or over-saturated with the sugar.
Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 3 days.
Serve Christmas Linzer sandwich cookies with a cold glass of milk or eggnog, or a hot mug of cocoa or apple cider, for a truly festive treat!
What Other Flavors Can You Use to Make Linzer Cut Out Cookies?
Try making these sweet cut out cookies with apricot, blackberry, or cherry jam for other great holiday-inspired flavors.
You also can fill Linzer Cookies with other spreads, such as orange marmalade, lemon curd, chocolate spread, or hazelnut and chocolate spread (like Nutella).
Looking for More Holiday Cookie Recipes?
- Pistachio Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- Christmas Wreath Coconut Macaroons
- Peppermint Frosted Sugar Cookies
- Molasses Spice Cookie with Toasted Marshmallows
- Cherry Ginger Thumbprint Cookies
Linzer Cookies (Cut Out Cookie Recipe)
- Set out a stand mixer. Add the softened butter to the bowl. Beat on high until very soft and fluffy. Then scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the powdered sugar. Turn on low and beat the sugar into the butter.
- With the mixer running, add the egg yolks, lemon zest, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Scrape the bowl again and add in the all-purpose flour and almond flour. Once incorporated, turn off the mixer, as to not overmix the dough.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Flour a clean work surface. Roll the cookie dough out into an ever layer approximately 16 x 14 inches. The dough should be about 1/8-inch thick.
- Use a 2-inch Linzer cookie cutter to cut out an equal amount of solid bottom cookies, and decorative peekaboo top cookies. Cut the cookies as close together as possible. Every time you have to gather and re-roll the dough, the cookie dough gets a little tougher.
- Use a small flat spatula to move the cookies to the baking sheets, 1 inch apart. Bake for 7-9 minutes. The cookies should look slightly puffed, but not brown around the edges.
- Cool the cookies for at least 15 minutes before filling. Once cool, flip the bottom cookies over. Place a scant ½ teaspoon of jam in the center of each bottom cookie. Then gently press the top with a decorative cookie.
- Once all the cookies are filled and sandwiched together, dust the tops with extra powdered sugar.
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