Soft cut-out shortbread cookies filled with raspberry jam and topped with another cookie. Linzer cookies are sandwich cookies made with an almond shortbread dough. Use your favorite cookie cutters to make your favorite shapes!
This week I’ve brought you 5 different cookie recipes. We started with a cranberry pistachio biscotti drizzled with white chocolate, then we made thumbprint cookies filled with jam, soft & chewy oatmeal raisin cookies, and yesterday was cut-out gingerbread cookies. It was very necessary to throw in a sandwich cookie in the mix and that’s way we’re making linzer cookies today! I’ve given you quite a few cavities this week haven’t I? Okay, we’re making something other than cookies enxt week, I promise!
Look at the perfect edges on these cuties. Nothing beats a nice almond shortbread cookie made from scratch. This particular shortbread cookie beats almost every sugar cookie recipe out there. Why you ask? Because it super buttery, loaded with jam and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. And the best part. Linzer cookies are pain-free. Royal icing is a headache if you’re not someone who likes to decorate cookies. *gasp* So you don’t have to worry about handing out cookies at work or at the kids school that look like a 6 year old decorated them and stuck on every kind of icing sugar available in your timezone.
Trust me, these linzer cookies only look fancy. There is nothing to it. So give your cookie patrons a break from the store bought sugar cookies your decorating and give these a try.
Let’s get down to it. The recipe? It’s not complicated! It took me a little bit of time to work out an easier solution than blanching almonds for the shortbread cookies. Because let’s get this out in the open, I don’t blanch almonds. It’s tedious to peel those suckers, and I don’t do it. There. Admitting it is the first step.
We’re starting with the right consistency of butter. A little over 2 sticks. And make sure you’re using salted butter. I love the way salted butter gives these cookies a not so sweet taste. If you’re looking for a blow-your-mind sugar rush, this cookie isn’t it. They’re sweet and cute and a lot of other dainty things I can’t think of right now. aAnd almond shortbread cookies are perfect to put in a nice tin for mom.
The cookie dough for linzer cookies is going to be thick and not wet. Slightly sticky and initially it’ll be quite crumbly, yet manageable. I’m going to repeat what i’ve said 4 times this week already. You must, you must, you must CHILL this shortbread dough for 2 hours. Once the cookie dough is prepared, divide it in half and press down into 6-inch rounds, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Chilling will help keep the butter cold to prevent spreading and at the same time the gluten in the flour has a chance to chill out too.
A key point to remember about these cookies is to make sure you don’t overbake them. The cookies will take about 9-12 minutes or until they look ‘set’. Remember if the edges start to get slightly dark , they’re done. You don’t want to overbake these cookies. I left a batch in the oven just slightly longer and they were quite a bit crunchier around the edges. If that’s your thing, do what you gotta do.
This shortbread cookie dough will hold it’s shape in the oven, which is super important when you’re using cookie cutters. The edges are nice and sharp, no spreading/distortions. These shortbread cookie cutouts can also eaten by themselves or with a light dusting of powdered sguar. You can skip the jam/jelly if that’s not your thing.
And that concludes a full week of cookies on LSJ. Make sure you get some baking done this weekend. These linzer cookies are fun to bake and even more fun to devour. If you’ve got little ones, they can help with jam spreading, help with cutting out the cookies, or powdered sugar dusting.
Happy baking, y’all!
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
- 3/4 cup ground almond flour (see notes)*
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large egg yolks
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- raspberry jam, for filling (or any flavor jam, really)
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and cardamom, set aside. In a food processor, pulse together the almonds with 1/4 cup sugar until finely ground, set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar together until combined about 1 1/2 minutes. Mix in the egg yolks, one at a time, waiting until the previous is completely mixed in. Add the vanilla extract. Stop the machine, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary. Turn the mixer on to a low speed and add in the almond mixture, wait until completely mixed in, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Form mixture into 2 evenly sized balls, flatten each into a 6-inch round disk and wrap each one separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Position two racks near the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat (I recommend using the mat as the cookies may spread on parchment), set aside. Dust work surface with flour, roll out one disk into 1/6-1/8 inch thickness. Cut using a linzer cookie cutter or a medium round or fluted cookie cutter, then using a smaller round, heart, or star shape to cut out the center. Carefully transfer to baking sheet. I used a very thin metal spatula to lift cookie dough to baking sheet. Place cookie about 1 – 1 1/2 inches apart from each other on baking tray. Place the baking tray in the fridge for 10 minutes or in the freezer for 5, cookies hold their shape better when cold. Also, refrigerate any leftover dough. Bake the cookies for 9-12 minutes until edges start to turn golden. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferiing to wire rack to cool completely. Spread cookies with raspberry jam over the whole rounded circles, top with star cut out circles, and dust with powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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