Linzer Cookies with Spiced Jam

Linzer Cookie

The Linzer cookies are the  quintessential Christmas cookie;  elegant, nutty, and spiced, these crisp, tender sweet cookies are filled with spiced raspberry jam and looks as festive as it can get.

The Linzer cookies are derived from the famous Linzer Torte, which seemed to have originated in the town of Linz of Austria. The torte has given way to cute cookies and different kind of jam or preserves are used in place of the traditional black currant preserve. Personally I feel the red raspberry preserve gives the cookies a more appropriate look during the holiday season.

Linzer Cookie

Before I move on the cookie, I have an announcement to make and a Giveaway to follow.

My dear friend Ivy Liacopoulou of Kopiaste to Greek Hospitality has written a Cookbook! and the book is now on sale in Amazon. “Mint, Cinnamon and Blossom Water” Flavors of Cyprus, Kopiaste is book full of home cooked and traditional recipes from Cyprus. Those of you who are familiar with Ivy, would know what a sweet lady she is and how beautifully and passionately she blogs about authentic recipes from Greece and Cyprus. It is a  “… must have cookbook with a selection of over 150 of the best traditional Greek-Cypriot recipes….”

Now the best part is for my readers! Ivy has been very generous and is sending me 2 copies of this book, one for me to keep (yaaay!) and the other one for one lucky winner. I will announce the giveaway as soon as I receive the books.

A little food history about Linzer Cookie…

Linz is the reputed home of the renowned Linzertorte.  A Linzertorte is a tart made of a rich buttery dough accentuated by almonds, lemon zest, and cinnamon.  The tart is traditionally filled with black currant preserves and topped with a lattice crust. … Linzertortes are a traditional European Christmas pastry, a custom that is now enjoyed in the US as well. …

Linzer cookies employ the same recipe as the Linzertorte but instead the dough is cut into cookies and two of them form a sandwich around the preserves.  Moreover, the top cookie has a small cutout in its center (known as Linzer eyes), thus exposing the underlying jam and adding to the visual appeal.” (Source)

Linzer Cookie

I had been baking all weekend. First these cookies, and then the all of a sudden urgency that I have not baked fruit cake this year led me to bake us two small loaves of a quick fruity bread (recipe coming up) almost right after the cookies. I churn my memories of childhood, and it never feels like the Christmas time without the smell of baking and the feel of a warm oven. It was a family affair; whisking, beating, scraping and kneading and of course the tasting. Then the loaded pans would be taken to the local bakery, for we did not own an oven to bake in that scale. So it feels like now, with my girls, together in the kitchen.

Linzer Cookie

Cookies bring warmth and happiness. There is nothing as delightful as watching a child’s face light up at the sight of a cookie. During the holiday season, they are extra special; a symbol of love, giving and sharing.

The Linzer cookies looked too good to give them a pass – soft,  snowy, powdery white and peeked through the cut out was the red glossy jam – irresistible!.The time was just right, the kids begged and pleaded and I finally came around baking them. The girls picked out whatever cut outs they wanted and helped me stamp the cookies.

Linzer Cookies

And I am glad that  I chose to bake these cookies, for they were very very pretty! To look at them was a joy, to bite into them was sheer bliss. Thin, delicate, tender and crisp – beautifully dusted with  snow and with the luscious spiced jam inside – these were some sophisticated desirable cookies.

Notes before you start baking:

  1. If you are using hazelnuts with skins, it would be a good idea to toast and skin them ahead of time. It takes a lot of time to skin the nuts.
  2. Chill, chill, chill the dough. It gets very very difficult to work with soft room temperature dough. Chill the dough while one set of cookies are baking, even if it is for 30 minutes.
  3. Watch the cookies while they are baking. They cook really fast. I use a small convection oven and mine were done at 10 minutes.
  4. If you are wondering why the white on my cookies have a “smeared” look, it is due to my lack of patience. I cheated  and instead of evenly dusting them, I placed the cookies in a big bowl full of confectioners sugar.

This recipe is a combination of Elise’s (Simply Recipes) Valentine Linzer Cookies, Epicurious, and Food and Wine (loved the Spiced Jam idea).

Linzer Cookie

Linzer Cookies with Spiced Jam


  1. scant 1 cup hazelnuts or blanched almonds
  2. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar ( I have used 1/4 cup orange sugar + 1/4 cup dark brown sugar)
  3. 2 1/2 cups cake flour (or all purpose flour)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  5. a pinch of  salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  8. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  9. 1.5 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
  10. 1 +3/4 sticks  unsalted butter, softened
  11. 1 large free range egg
  12. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  13. confectioners sugar to dust

For Filling:

  1. 1 cup seedless raspberry jam or preserve
  2. 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice + 1/2 spoon ground coriander (or clove/ginger powder/nutmeg/all spice/anise or any kind of spice you want)

Special equipment:

Linzer Cookie Cutter (optional) or cookie cutters which are big and small (smaller ones are required to cut out the centers)


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Toast hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan until fragrant and skins begin to loosen, about 6 minutes. Or toast them on the stove top in a dry skillet at low flame for 5-7 minutes, while tossing them constantly. Rub the nuts in a  towel to remove as much loose skin as you can (some skins may not come off), then cool to room temperature. If you are using blanched almonds you do not have to toast them.

Pulse nuts and 1/4 cup sugar  in a food processor until nuts are finely ground. (The sugar used during grinding the nuts absorbs the oil from the nuts and prevents the nuts from turning into a paste.)

Rub the zest with your finger with the flour to release the oil. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon + clove + nutmeg powder in a  bowl. Set aside.

Beat together butter and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer or 6 minutes with a hand held mixer. Add nut mixture and beat until well combined, about a couple of  minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

With floured hands, gather up the dough and form dough into 2 balls and flatten each into a 6-inch disk. Chill disks, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 2 hours.

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.

Roll out 1 disk of dough into an 5-6-inch round (1/6 inch thick) between 2 sheets of wax paper (keep remaining dough chilled). If dough becomes too soft to roll out, re-wrap in plastic and chill until firm.

Use one disc to cut out the base (without the center hole) and the other disc to cut out the top cookie.( I have used a Linzer cookie cutter, so I did not have to use a smaller cutter.) Make sure that you equal number of cookies, to pair the top and the bottom.

Cut out as many cookies as possible from dough with the Linzer cookie cutter and transfer to 2 un-greased large baking sheets, arranging about 1 inch apart. Using smaller cutters, cut out centers from half of the cookies, reserving centers and re-rolling along with scraps (re-roll only once).

Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are golden, 10 to 12 minutes total, then transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely.

Make more cookies from second disk in the same way as above.

Make sure you dust the fronts with powdered sugar before you made the sandwich.

Spread about 1 teaspoon jam on flat side of 1 solid cookie and sandwich jam with flat side of 1 windowed cookie. Sandwich remaining cookies in same manner.

Linzer Cookie

Store in airtight container and they will stay good for a couple of days.

But it is best if they are sandwiched with the jam/preserve right when you are ready to serve.

Linzer Cookie

A crispy buttery delicacy with a spiced filling. Rich, but very very light and as you can imagine, they did not last very long.

Related Posts:

Speculaas – Dutch Spice Cookies

Orange Ginger Shortbread Cookies

Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies

Snowflake Christmas Cookies

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40 comments to Linzer Cookies with Spiced Jam

  • Oh what prettiness! Love every bit of the history and your perfect illustrative photography! Congratulations to your friend on her cookbook.

  • Soma, such lovely cookies & thank you for the history! Congratulations to your friend on her book…I love Greek food and the book looks great! Love the cover! 🙂

  • Linzer cookies with spiced jam! thats what I want this moment Soma. Loved the second picture 🙂 and how pretty is the cover of the book by Ivy. If the cover looks so exotic I can imagine how the rest of the book is!

  • Wow. I love thse. I was planning to make these for Christmas. Actually ,I love baking cookies,different cookie each day truly makes it very festive and Christmassy. These were one of the selected ones. EXCELLENT Soma. Perfect and Christmassy. Waiting for your fruit bread. My bread dough is rising,Fingers Crossed it may turn out well.

  • Love the spiced jam. These cookies are a virtual treat, lovely, exotic and cute. Wish I could get just one out from there 🙂

  • Pretty linzer cookies Soma :).. I am also planning to make these for my little one’s school Christmas party.. your’s look beautiful :)….

  • Dear Soma, your pictures are a treat to the eyes. Stunning and so elegant every one of them. I hope you all have Happy Holidays! have fun.

  • Wow, that is so generous of Ivy!

    Those are wonderful cookies! A classic with a new twist.



  • Ivy

    Thank you Soma for your kind words. Soma is so modest that she did not take credit to mention that the beautiful cover of the cookbook, is one of her photos.
    Soma that very first picture is perfect for a cookbook with Christmas Recipes 🙂
    Such a great idea to make cookies based on Linzer torte and decorate your Christmas tree!! I don’t think that they would survive on the tree in my house until Christmas!

    Oh Ivy!! I did not do more than email you that photograph, and I cannot take credit for that. That awesome baby is all yours and your effort. No plans for a cookbook 🙂 yet! I do not think I can work as hard as you did.

    o and that was just one cookie on the tree, which was gone soon after.

  • lovely !!! the pictures make it even more delicious !!

  • When you mentioned these cookies on FB I wanted to ask you for the recipes 🙂 I am going to try them this week, thank you in advance 🙂

    And Ivy has already answered my question. I remember the cover photo, all your photos from that shoot were gorgeous. It looks like a perfect match for the book here, congratulations to you 🙂

    Hope you get to bake them Priya. They were good. Please do not congratulate me. I simply had the photograph and Ivy chose it 🙂

  • such a pretty post soma! i adore linzertorte and the cookies are exceptional. these loove stunning!

  • Soma, saw Ivy’s comment from above . The picture on the book looked so much like yours 🙂 Beautiful.

    These cookies are great. You are the best at presenting them Soma.

  • Soma, isnt the book cover pic is from your blog?
    anyways you wont believe I have already baked a lot of these this year and I used almonds. they taste awesome. great clicks as always.

  • Stunning pictures first of all and the cookies are looking great. The book look amazing.

  • Wow…those cookies look gorgeous! I was gazing at them for so long.

  • Wow, those are beautiful!

  • I have been wanting to make this for long an yours look so beautiful. And i am in love with the pic.

  • Hi Soma, Cookies looks so delectable….as always pics are stunning making cookies look even more beautiful…..Congrats to your friend Ivy…first look at the front cover of the book & I said to myself I’ve seen that pic in your blog when U posted few recipes using rose petals from your garden and scrolled down to leave a comment & Ivy confirmed it that it’s your picture…..feeling so happy for you….book cover tells a lot about book, I’m sure the beautiful pic will help a lot towards the sale of book….I’m sensing a cook book from U too soon…..if not U should seriously think about it…Congrats once again…

    Thanks a bunch. But I have no plans for a cookbook!! nothing what so ever. Ivy self published and I don’t have much idea, but I would understand as too much work, and I have no time with 2 children to do that 🙂

  • Cham

    The cookies are pretty especially with different Xmas cut in the middle, Hope u and little one are enjoying with baking…

  • never heard about linzer cookies…forget my dumbness,but the cookies sure do look fabulous and what an amazing way to hang them from the christmas tree..would love to have a cookbook from your stable…keep the zeal up,the rest will surely fine its way…afterall blogging is halfway thru publishing a book

  • Making of Linzer cookie seems to be lots of fun. Gorgeous pictures and Hanging the cookie to the Christmas tree is my favorite part.

  • Your linzer cookies look so festive! This is one cookie I’ve always wanted to make but haven’t gotten to it yet. They look delicious, and I need to try making them soon.

  • cookies looks so gorgeous and the pictures as well 🙂 beautifully done

  • I love Linzer cookies. Yours look superb.

  • Anh

    so pretty!! you have done a great job styling these!!

  • i love those pretty cookies! my family would love them, must try soon

  • These are so stunningly gorgeous! I love your pictures very much!

  • Ben

    Oh wow, but look at them! They are so pretty and delicious looking, hehe. Thanks for the background and the recipe, I don’t think this year I’ll make any cookies, but I’ll definitely save the recipe for the next one.
    I’m looking forward to participating in the giveaway. I love Ivy 🙂

  • Gosh, these looks out of the world SOMA! I came over to your blog to check some other recipe and look what I found! I’m glad ur daughters r making you bake because then comes such gorgeous treats 🙂

  • This linzer cookie is so pretty and so festive! Love the idea of poking a hole in it and tying it with a ribbon! Fantastic!

  • I’m so tempted to take a few of these from the screen. They look so perfect !

  • A big congrats to Ivy! What a great accomplishment. These cookies are so pretty. I especially like the one hanging on the tree.

  • beautiful cookies, pictures and giveaway
    happy holidays Soma to you and family

  • Around 11.30 in the night, I got a sudden craving for this cookie that I had to include this in What am I craving for column in my blog. I have provided a link to this post. Happy Holidays Soma

  • I have been seeing these gorgeous cookies on your Flickrstream. 🙂
    Wish you and family happy holidays and a wonderful New Year too.

  • wow!! its mouthwatering recipe. seems delicious. I will try it at home. surely my family member also like this new jam recipe. Thnx for sharing

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