★★★★★

Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies are a classic Christmas cookie recipe! Buttery almond cookies are sandwiched with raspberry preserves and sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar for a gorgeous finish.

Jam and cookies just belong together! Have you tried our Jam Thumbprint Cookies yet? Or give our peanut butter and jelly cookies a try next!

Linzer cookies stacked on a white serving plate.

What are Linzer Cookies

Linzer Cookies are a traditional Austrian cookie based upon the classic Linzer Torte. Imagine shortbread cookies with a flaky, buttery crumb and a cut out “window” in the top cookie revealing a layer of raspberry preserves.

With their snow-dusted tops and pop of bright red color, Linzer Cookies look just as amazing as they taste.

  • Nutty almond flavored cookies (with a hint of orange)
  • Melt in your mouth texture (like shortbread)
  • Fun and festive shapes for any time of year

If you’re looking for the BEST Christmas cookie to give as gifts for the holidays, you can’t do better than these Linzer Cookies! We think they’re impressive enough to deserve the spotlight all year long.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make linzer cookies.

Slivered almonds – The nuts are toasted, then ground into coarse crumbs to give the cookies a fine, sandy crumb. We find this gives better flavor than using almond flour.

Salted butter – I usually use unsalted butter in baking but find Linzer Cookies taste best when made with salted butter. It omits the need to add any kosher salt to the cookie dough too.

Orange zest – The outermost layer of an orange peel contains fragrant oils that are used to add an orange aroma to baked goods. Along with the orange extract, it gives the cookies a slight citrus taste.

Raspberry preserves – The bright red color and juicy flavor of these preserves makes them ideal for Christmas and Valentine’s Day! Apricot jam would be an amazing substitution!

TOOLS: I use this Wilton Linzer Cookie Cutter Set (under $15 on Amazon). The fun shapes make it perfect to use for Valentine’s Day or 4th of July too! You could use a small biscuit cutter (and a small canoli tube for the center) to cut your cookies out.

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make linzer cookie dough.

Toast the almonds:

Start by heating slivered almonds in a dry skillet over low heat until golden. Then pulse the toasted almonds in a food processor until they form coarse crumbs.

Make the cookie dough:

Combine butter, sugar, egg and orange extract with your mixer. Now add the flour and ground nuts, mixing until ingredients are just combined.

Step by step photos showing how to roll out linzer cookie dough.

Roll out the dough:

Divide the dough in half. Roll each half out between sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Chill the rolled dough for 30 minutes.

Cut out and bake:

Use a Linzer Cookie cutter or a round cookie cutter to cut one half of the dough into circles. These will be the bottom of the sandwich cookies.

Cut the other half of the dough into circles. Use a smaller round cookie cutter to cut out a “window” in the center of each one.

Bake cookies until the edges are golden brown.

How to fill linzer cookies with jam.

Fill with jam:

Once the cookies are cooled, spread a small amount of preserves on the bottom cookies. Sprinkle the “window” cookies with powdered sugar. Press the sugared cookies on to the cookies with jam.

Tips and Tricks

  • Do not over process the almonds. They will begin to turn into nut butter if you pulse them for too long!
  • Press and seal plastic wrap works great for rolling out Linzer Cookie dough!
  • Roll evenly. Uneven thickness of cookies will mean that some cook faster than others!
  • How to store. If you won’t be eating all the cookies withing 3 days, wait to add the jam. Store them unfilled at room temperature for up to one week or freeze for later.
  • Chewy Filling. For a chewy filling, refrigerate the filled cookies.
  • Substitions. Use our homemade lemon curd for the filling instead of preserves. Or try these Nutella Linzer Cookies instead!
Linzer cookies stacked on a wire rack with a jar of jam in background.

Recipe FAQs

Can you freeze Linzer Cookies, before or after filling?

Linzer cookies can be frozen without the preserves. Let them defrost at room temperature, then add the powdered sugar and raspberry preserves before serving.

Can I chill Linzer cookie dough before rolling it out?

We found linzer cookie dough was easier to work with when the dough was chilled AFTER rolling it. But the recipe will work both ways.

My linzer cookie dough is cracking, how can I fix this?

If linzer cookie dough is rolled after chilling you may find it cracks easier. Repair any cracks by pressing the dough together with your fingers.

Can I use different flavors of preserves in linzer cookies?

Linzer cookies are typically made with raspberry preserves, however all flavors would be delicious. Apricot and strawberry are two options we love.

Linzer cookies with a bite taken.
Yield: 36 cookies

Linzer Cookies

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 12 minutes

Linzer Cookies are a classic Christmas cookie! Buttery almond cookies are sandwiched with raspberry preserves and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar for a gorgeous finish.

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 ½ cups salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 large orange, zested (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup raspberry preserves
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Toast the slivered almonds on the stovetop in a dry skillet, over low heat until light golden brown, watching carefully so they do not burn. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Cool, then pulse in a food processor into coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar with an electric mixer, until just combined, about a minute.   
  3. Add the vanilla extract, orange extract, orange zest, and the egg to the butter mixture. Continue beating for about 30 more seconds.  
  4. Add flour, incorporating into the butter mixture until just combined. Fold in ground nuts just until combined. Careful not to overmix, so the dough stays tender.
  5. Divide the dough in half, roll the dough out between 2 pieces of parchment sprinkled with flour to about ¼” thickness. 
  6. Transfer the dough to a large baking sheet. Roll out the other half of the dough in the same fashion. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. (You can stack the sheets of rolled dough on top of each other, while rolled out in the parchment paper).
  7. After chilling, remove the dough from the refrigerator and remove the parchment paper. 
  8. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Working with the first half of the chilled dough, cut out as many circles as possible with a scalloped circle cookie cutter or linzer cookie cutter. This will be the solid “bottom” part of the cookie sandwich. Transfer those cookies to the baking sheet, spacing them about an inch apart. 
  10. With the second half of the dough, cut out the “tops” of the cookies, using the same size cookie cutter and then a smaller shape to create a “window” where the fruit preserves will peek through. Transfer to a baking sheet. Be sure to cut the same amount of tops and bottoms (so that they will pair up nicely). With the pieces of cookie that were cut out of the window, you could either bake them for cute tiny cookies, or add to the "scraps" pile to reroll.
  11. Bake cookies for approximately 12-14 minutes, or until edges are just starting to turn brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  12. While baking cookies, re-roll the remaining scraps, chill on parchment paper, and cut more cookies as directed above.
  13. When cookies are cooled, spread about ½ teaspoon of raspberry preserves on the middle of a cookie (one of the full bottom cookies).
  14. To the window cookies (the ones with the shape cut out), sprinkle with powdered sugar. Place these gently on the cookie with preserves, pressing lightly.

Notes

    Don’t over food process the almonds  - they will start to turn into butter. Pulse in the food processor for about a minute or about 30 pulses. I used slivered or sliced almonds instead of whole almonds because they are easier to toast and grind!

    Dough may also be rolled out between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, instead of parchment paper. The press and seal works great for this!

    TOOLS: I use this Wilton Linzer Cookie Cutter Set (under $15 on Amazon). The fun shapes make it perfect to use for Valentine's Day or 4th of July too! You could use a small biscuit cutter (and a small canoli tube for the center) to cut your cookies out.

    Cookies will last in an airtight container, with parchment paper placed between the layers of cookies, at room temperature for about one week. 

    Freeze unfilled cookies in airtight container for about a month. Let them defrost at room temperature before filling.  

    Can I chill the dough first and then roll it out? You can. We tried it both ways and found that both the rolling and cutting was easier when it was rolled out prior to chilling. However, if you want to chill the dough first, roll the chilled dough between 2 sheets of floured parchment, fixing any cracks in the dough by pressing it together with your fingers. Depending on how quickly the dough warms, you may have to chill it again before transferring the cut cookies to the baking sheet.

    Can I use a different flavor preserve? Yes! Apricot or strawberry are good as well. You can also try lemon curd or even a hazelnut spread.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

36

Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 65mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Linzer Cookies steal the show every Christmas! Make them for everyone on your gift list. . . or go ahead and keep them all to yourself. They’re just that good!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on December 20, 2021

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