These adorable heart shaped sandwich cookies made of buttery flaky shortbread filled with raspberry jam are a perfect sweet treat. Great for Valentine’s Day and any other time of year for a special dessert recipe.
Linzer cookies are a fun sandwich cookie to make (and eat). Buttery cookies with a cut out shape on top to see the delicious filling. Any type of jam can be used: raspberry jam (or raspberry preserves), strawberry jam or apricot is popular too (we love our Nutella filled Linzer cookies too).
Powdered sugar is sprinkled on top for a touch of additional sweetness. The assembled cookies are always eye catching and a favorite cookie recipe.
Why you’ll love these Linzer Cookies
Linzer cookies originated in the city of Linz Austria as spinoff of traditional Linzer torte.
The torte is a shortcake made with flour and ground nuts (usually ground almonds), topped with fruit (often black current preserves) and nuts with a lattice crust allowing the fruit to be seen.
The ground nuts are included in the buttery cookie dough and the peek-a-boo top cookie is inspired by the lattice curst of the torte. An Austrian Linzer cookie is always made with shortbread cookies and these delicious cookies are no exception.
Difference between Sandwich Cookies and Linzer cookies
Sandwich cookies pair two cookies with filling in between like these Peanut Butter and Jelly cookies. Linzer cookies are a type of sandwich cookie. The main difference is that the top cookie has a cut out so you can see in the filling between the two cookies.
Linzer cookies also have powdered sugar sprinkled on the top cookie.
Regular sandwich cookies use the same cookie cutter so the paired cookies are the same size. There are special Linzer cookie cutters that include a smaller shape cutter to make the cut out on the top cookie.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Complete ingredient list and amounts in the recipe card at the end of the post.
All purpose flour. Regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blends can be used. We recommend Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour for making the gluten-free version.
Fine almond flour. Be sure to use ‘fine’ ground almond flour. The grind type will be on the package of flour.
Unsalted butter. Start with softened butter.
Jam. Any type of jam can be used. For Valentine’s Day raspberry or strawberry are color coordinated to the holiday. You’ll need 1/2 cup of jam.
Powdered sugar. If there are lumps in the confectioners’ sugar pass it thought a sifter or fine mesh sieve before adding to the cookies.
Using a Linzer cookie cutter takes the work out of matching larger and smaller cookie cutters.
If you have an assortment of cookie cutter shapes at home already just use a smaller shape for the cut out on the top cookie.
Alternatively you can use the wide end of a large piping tip to make a circle cut out instead of using a small cookie cutter.
How to make Linzer Cookies – Step-by-Step
Please find the detailed printable recipe card at the end of this post.
STEP 1. Make the cookie dough
In a medium bowl combine the flour, almond flour and cinnamon. Whisk together and set aside (photo 1).
In a separate large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer (hand held or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment) beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, around 3 minutes (photo 2).
Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and well combined (photo 3).
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until a soft dough forms (photos 4-5).
STEP 2. Chill dough
Divide dough in half and form each half into a flat disk. Wrap each disc of dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour (photo 6).
When the cookie dough has chilled, remove one dough disk from the refrigerator. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for five minutes.
STEP 3. Roll dough and cut out cookies
Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and transfer to a lightly floured work surface (photo 7). Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s around 1/8 inch thick (photo 8).
Use a larger heart cookie cutter (around 3-inchs wide) to cut out each cookie, transferring the cut-out dough to a cookie sheet lined with a layer of parchment paper (photo 9-10).
Combine the dough scraps back with the remaining dough, roll out and cut more cookies.
Keep half the cut-out cookies a full heart, then use a smaller heart cookie cutter or the wide end of a piping tip to cut out a hole in the center of the other half of the cookies on the prepared baking sheet (photo 10).
Repeat for the second dough disk.
STEP 4. Chill cut out cookies
Transfer the cookie sheets to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F while the cookies chill.
STEP 5. Bake and Cool
Place the chilled cookies in the oven to bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown (photo 11).
Allow the cookies to cool for 5 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet (photo 11), then place cookies on a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
STEP 6. Assemble
When the cookies are cool, spoon a small amount of powdered sugar into a fine-mesh strainer. Lightly shake the powdered sugar over the tops of the cookies with the cut outs in the center (photo 12).
Flip the bottom cookies over so the bottom is facing up, then spread a thin layer of jam over each cookie (photo 13). Place the powdered sugar cookies on top of the jam filling and lightly press to secure it in place (photo 14).
Use a round cookie cutter. If making these for the holiday season or wanting them not to be in a heart shape use a round cutter for the cookies and any shape for the cut-out on the top cookie.
Use lemon zest instead of cinnamon. For a brighter lemon flavor swap in the zest from one lemon instead of the cinnamon. It can be used in addition to the cinnamon too.
Use a curd filling. Instead of jam use a lemon curd, orange curd or even grapefruit curd filling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. The results will be best if the cookie sandwich is assembled after the cookies thaw. To freeze: allow cookies to cool, place in an airtight freezer container and freeze for up to 1 month. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Assemble the cookies as directed.
How to Store
Store in an airtight container for up to one week. They can be stored at room temperature in a cool location or in the refridgerator. Place layers of wax paper or parchment paper between single layers of cookies.
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Linzer Cookies with Jam filling
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup fine almond flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup butter softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup raspberry or strawberry jam
- Powdered sugar for decorating
- Whisk together the flour, almond flour, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth and well combined.
- Mix in the dry ingredients and beat until a soft dough forms.
- Divide the dough in half and form each half into a flat disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
- When the cookie dough has chilled, remove one dough disk from the refrigerator. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for five minutes.
- Remove the dough from the plastic wrap and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough until it’s around 1/8 inch thick.
- Use a heart cookie cutter to cut out each cookie, transferring the cut-out dough to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Keep half the cut-out cookies a full heart, then use a smaller cookie cutter or the wide end of a piping tip to cut out a hole in the center of the other half of the cookies.
- Transfer the cookie sheets to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chilled cookies in the oven to bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool for 5 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- When the cookies are cool, spoon a small amount of powdered sugar into a fine-mesh strainer. Lightly shake the powdered sugar over the top of the cookies with the cut-out center.
- Flip the other cookies over so the bottom is facing up, then spread a thin layer of jam over each cookie. Place the powdered sugar cookies on top of the jam and lightly press to secure it in place.