December 23, 2011

Linzer Cookies

Toasted almonds, vanilla, lemon, and red raspberry make for a delicious combination in this lovely cookie.  This festive treat is inspired by the Linzer torte, an Austrian pastry named after the city of Linz near the Czech border.  The torte dates back to the 17th century, but modern adaptations have evolved into the Linzer Cookie you see here. Enjoy!

1 cup sliced almonds
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
Zest of 1 lemon
Powdered sugar for dusting
3/4 cup Seedless Red Raspberry Jam

Recipe developed from Joy of Baking

1. The toasting of the almonds is an important step to give these cookies wonderful color and flavor. This can be done by placing them on a baking sheet and baking for 8 to 10 minutes at 350 F.  Alternatively (and more easily in my opinion) put them in a skillet over medium heat and stir frequently for about 5 minutes until they are light brown and fragrant (be careful, they will burn easily if you don’t watch them).  Cool the nuts and finely grind them in a food processor with about ¼ cup of the granulated sugar (the sugar prevents the forming of a paste). 
2.  Combine the flour, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
3.  In a large bowl, beat the butter and remaining sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla, egg, and lemon zest.  Beat in the ground nuts.  Add in the flour mixture and beat until combined.
4.   Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm.  This will take at least an hour, but you can also make the dough in advance and keep it in the refrigerator until you bake within the next couple of days. 
5.  When ready to bake, take half of the chilled dough and roll until about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into rounds with a 2 to 3 inch round cookie cutter.  With half of the rounds, cut a star (or heart…or whatever tiny cookie cutter you can find) out of the center.  Reroll scraps and continue with the other half of refrigerated dough, returning to the refrigerator to chill and make more manageable, if needed. 
6.  Bake cookies at 350 F for 11 to 12 minutes, or until very light brown. Place on a wire rack to cool. These can be stored for another couple days in an airtight container.  But once assembled, they should be served promptly for maximum crispness.
7.  Once cool, put only the rounds WITH the cutouts on parchment or a large plate and dust with powdered sugar.
8.  Put the jam in a bowl and mix with a fork until smooth. Spread a thin layer of jam on the rounds WITHOUT cutouts and top with a sugar dusted round WITH a cutout. 

Happy holidays!


  1. I love the way the jam shimmers! Maybe I'll make these tomorrow - must see if I have teeny tiny cookie cutters. I can't imagine that I don't, I'm a sucker for tiny cute things.

  2. Aw, another one! Damn, girls! So lovely. And: good news, my sister and I (ok mostly her) made the nanaimo bars to be part of our Xmas cookie tray. --Sars!