Linzer Cookies are traditional Christmas Cookies that are so tender and buttery! An easy recipe for jam-filled almond shortbread cookies with lots of tips.
We love to bake many different Christmas cookies during the Holidays! A few of our favorites are Vanillekipferl (German Vanilla Crescent Cookies), Nut Corners (German Nussecken), and German Lebkuchen.
These little jam-filled sandwich cookies are always are hit and have been a favorite of mine since I was a child! Linzer Cookies are tender and perfectly flavored with a deliciously sweet filling.
Chilling the dough twice and adding ground nuts is the secret behind the tender and crumbly shortbread-like texture that these cookies are famous for! These cookies are a Christmas favorite in our house, but they also make a cute Valentine’s Day treat. You have to give this classic Linzer cookie recipe a try!
What is a Linzer cookie
Linzer cookies are little shortbread sandwich cookies filled with jam. They are a cookie-sized version of the famous Linzer Torte. The top cookie has a cut-out, traditionally three holes, and is dusted with powdered sugar. In Germany, they are also known as Hildabroetchen, Spitzbuben, Linzer sablés, or Linzer Augen (German for eyes).
Are these cookies german?
Linzer (cookies) (and the famous Linzer Torte, they are modeled after) originate from the Austrian city, Linz. But they’re also very popular in Germany where you can find them on every cookie platter.
How to make Classic Linzer Cookies
- Mix butter and sugar until combined. Add remaining ingredients and knead until a smooth dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and shortly knead by hand.
- Roll out the dough and cut out cookies. Chill cookies on a baking sheet for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- Sprinkle the cookies with the cut-out with powdered sugar. Pipe jam on top of the other cookies and put one of the cookies with a cut-out on top.
How do you use a Linzer cookie cutter
While traditionally a round cookie cutter is used, you could also use a heart-shaped cookie cutter or any cookie cutter you like. But the easiest way to make these cookies is to use a Linzer Cookie Cutter that comes with little shapes that can be inserted into the round cookie cutter:
- Insert one of the smaller cutters into the large round cookie cutter by twisting it into the base.
- Cut out half of the dough using the round cutter with the insert and push the plunger to release the cookie on the baking sheet.
- Remove the smaller shape from the cookie cutter.
- Cut out an equal number of rounds using the cutter without the insert.
Fillings for Sandwich Cookies
Traditionally Linzer cookies are sandwiched with blackcurrant or raspberry jam, but there are so many other delicious options!
- Jam or preserves: These cookies taste delicious with raspberry, strawberry, blackcurrant, or any other jam, jelly, or preserve. I recommend using a seedless and smooth jam without any fruit pieces because you can pipe it easier onto the cookies.
- Lemon Curd: Goes so well with the flavor of the cookies. Lime curd works too!
- Spreads: Nutella, cookie butter, or any other spread would also make a tasty filling.
I recommend only using a small amount of filling! The thicker the layer of filling, the softer the cookies will become when they are stored for a few days. You can use a piping bag (my preferred way) or a knife to put it on the cookie.
Serve: These cookies taste best after a day! The jam will infuse the cookies, and they will get a little bit softer.
Store: Store cookies in metal tins or airtight containers with layers of parchment paper between them. Cookies keep for up to 3 weeks stored in a cool and dry place. Linzer cookies don’t need to be refrigerated. The raw cookie dough can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.
Freeze: These cookies keep up to 3 weeks at room temperature! Linzer cookies don’t freeze well because of the jam filling, but you can freeze the raw cookie dough wrapped in plastic foil. Let it defrost overnight in the fridge before continuing with the recipe.
Looking for more Christmas Recipes?
- Eggnog Cake – A moist and flavorful bundt cake made with eggnog
- German Stollen – A traditional German Christmas fruit bread recipe
- Coconut Macaroons – The PERFECT coconut macaroons
- Cornflake Cookies – Crunchy, easy no-bake cookies
- Butterscotch Cookies – The BEST cookies!
- Marzipan Recipe – Very easy to make at home from ground almonds
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup ground blanched almonds, or other ground nuts
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (seedless) jam, e.g., raspberry, strawberry
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugar. Add flour, salt, vanilla extract, egg yolks, ground almonds, cinnamon, and lemon peel. Mix until a smooth dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and shortly knead by hand.
- On a floured work surface, roll out the dough. It should be 1/5 inches (5mm) high. Cut half of the dough using a round cutter with your chosen insert and an equal number of rounds without the insert. Transfer cut out cookies to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Chill cookies on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F (177C). Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes in the middle of the oven until edges are very lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- To decorate the cookies, sprinkle the cookies with the cut-out with powdered sugar. Pipe jam on top of the cookies that don’t have a hole and put one of the other cookies on top. Let the cookies dry on the cooling rack for about 2 hours then transfer to cookie tins with parchment paper in between. Store in a dry and cool place.
- IMPORTANT: Spoon and level the flour, instead of scooping it out of the container. Using too much flour will make the dough crumbly and difficult to handle!
- Instead of ground blanched almonds, you can also use the same amount of ground hazelnuts, walnuts, or pecans. Almond flour works too!
- After chilling the dough divide it into smaller portions to make kneading easier. Because of the butter, this dough will get hard when chilled, but kneading it makes it easy to roll out.
- If the dough gets too warm after rolling it out several times, chill it for a few minutes.
- If the cookie dough sticks to the work surface instead of the cookie-cutter, use a thin spatula to lift the dough a little bit and sprinkle some flour under it.
- Chill the cut-out cookies on the baking sheet in the fridge until the dough is cold. This way, the cookies get tender and crisp!
- Don’t bake these cookies for too long! They should NOT brown, take them out of the oven when the edges start to get lightly golden. They might look soft, but they will firm up while they cool.