If you haven’t baked any cookies for Christmas yet, these are the ones I would recommend. Although a little bit more labor intensive than most other cookies, they are totally worth it. Linzer cookies are also Austrian, just like yesterday’s kipferl cookies, but they are more widely known.
What are linzer cookies?
Two cookies sandwiching a layer of raspberry jam, simply irresistible. These cookies have a nutty base, I use hazelnuts, but I have seen many versions that use almonds. Linzer cookies are the cookie version of the very famous Austrian Linzer Torte.
These are called Linzer Augen Kekse (linzer eyes cookies) in German, referring to the cut in the center of the upper cookies that exposes the jam.
Almonds or Hazelnuts?
Most recipes I come across use almond flour in the base. However, in the Culinary Institute of America’s cookbook Baking and Pastry, the recipe calls for the use of ground hazelnut. After giving many recipes a try, I must say I like CIA’s recipe the best. I have adapted it though for the home baker, especially because cake crumbs are not readily available. Also, because it is not easy to always measure eggs in grams.
Raspberry or black currant jam?
Usually raspberry jam is used in the cookies and black currant jam is preferred in the tart. However, I recommend that you use your jam of preference. Raspberry happens to be one of my favorite and it also goes really well with the Christmas vibes. I also like to strain my raspberry jam because I prefer it seedless, but this is totally optional.
Should I roll my dough before chilling?
It is not that you have to, but it would make your life so much easier. If you roll the dough after chilling, it would be way to hard. However, if you wait until it is soft enough, you will struggle with how quickly the dough becomes soft. I learned this technique the hard way, after having so many cookies losing their shape while I transferred them to the baking tray.
What do I do with the cut-out centers?
I re-roll the scrapes of this dough until I have almost no leftover dough. However, I have seen many people who bake the cut-out centers. I did this time for the purpose of shooting, but I honestly do not think it is worth it.
How do I bake the cookies?
Bake the bottom cookies and the top cookies separately. The cookies forming the base need a minute longer in the oven than the top cookies. Also do not forget to bake equal numbers of top and bottom cookies 😊
When do I dust the icing sugar?
The icing sugar has to be dusted on the cookies that will be on the top before assembling the cookies. This way you won’t get sugar on the jam. However, if your jam ended up having some sugar on it, just wet you finger with water and dab the jam.
- 170 g butter softened
- 125 g sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 225 g all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 120 g toasted and finely ground hazelnuts
- Raspberry jam as needed
- Cream butter and sugar with the paddle attachment until smooth.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract until fully incorporated.
- Add flour, cinnamon and baking powder and mix until just blended.
- Add the hazelnuts and mix until just blended.
- Roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper and chill for an hour.
- Cut out the dough with your preferred cookie cutter and bake top cookies for 8 minutes and bottom cookies for 9 minutes in 175°C oven.