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Close up of raspberry linzer cookies on a beige surface.

Linzer Tart Cookies

Shortbread-like almond cookies with a raspberry jam center. They're sweet, crunchy, and absolutely delicious! They can be made in advance and assembled when ready to serve. Linzer cookies are traditional for Christmas and wonderful for Valentine's day or just because you crave spice and sweetness. 

  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 20 sandwich cookies

Ingredients

Units

For the cookie dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups (330g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (225g) butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (130g) sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
  • 1 cup (100g) almond flour
  • Powdered sugar, for sprinkling before assembling

For the filling:

  • 1 cup (300g) raspberry jam

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the butter with the sugar until you have a smooth mixture. I use a silicon spatula, but you can use an electric mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (great if you're making a large amount of dough).
  2. Add the egg and zest and continue to integrate until it begins to come together.
  3. Add the almond flour and mix well. 
  4. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon) and add them to the butter dough in two parts, mixing until it starts to come together. 
  5. Transfer to a clean counter or working surface, and finish gathering it into a smooth dough with no traces of flour or dry ingredients. Handle the dough as little as possible. No need to knead it.
  6. Divide it into 2 parts, make flat disks, wrap well, and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  8. Butter or use baking spray to grease cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.
  9. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it out on a lightly floured counter until it is no more than 1/4 of an inch (about 1/2 cm) thick. Keep the rest of the dough refrigerated. 
  10. You will need two similar cookie cutters; one must be two sizes smaller than the other.
  11. Cut rounds (or other shapes) with the large cutter.
  12. Cut another circle in the center of half of the cookies with the smallest cutter.
  13. They will have large cookies, rounds, and small cookies.
  14. Gather the scraps, roll, and cut out cookies until all of the dough is used. 
  15. Bake separately because the smaller ones and the round ones take less time. About 10-15 minutes, depending on the size.
  16. Let cool on a wire rack.
  17. Put a tablespoon of jam in the center of the large cookies and spread it lightly, leaving an uncovered edge.
  18. Sprinkle the cookie rings with powdered sugar and put over the jam, making sandwich cookies.
  19. With the little cookies make dulce de leche alfajorcitos or eat them plain. 

Notes

  • Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperatures, equipment, and enough work surface. This will make the process so much easier!
  • Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 
  • Rolling the dough: it must be cold. Work in batches with small pieces and keep the rest wrapped and refrigerated.
  • Cookie cutter: I use different ones. Round ones are my favorites, with smooth or ribbed edges. Depending on the season, you can make heart or star-shaped cookies. You only need to have two different-sized cutters.
  • How big should the center be? I like the jam to be a star, so I make a pretty large hole. Other recipes call for a smaller center. It's up to you.
  • Recommendation: if you're gifting these jam cookies, cut out a smaller center as they will be easier to stack on a tray or wrap if needed.
  • Baking time: use two different cookie trays, one for the large cookies and the other for the small ones and the rings. The latter will take less time to bake. If you're baking all of them together, make sure you check the smaller ones and take them out before the larger cookies. 
  • Make the dough ahead: the dough can be kept refrigerated for several days or frozen for a month, well wrapped. Thaw in the fridge the day before rolling.
  • Storing: the cookies last for a week or two in an airtight container or cookie tin. After they are filled, they for a couple of days at room temperature and a few more in the fridge in an airtight container. If you store them in several layers, add a piece of parchment paper between them so the jam doesn't stick.
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International

Keywords: linzer cookies