Linzer cookies are almond-flavoured cookies sandwiches with a jam filling that is visible because of a cut-out in the uppermost cookie. These were my cookies of choice for a wedding present to a friend and his bride recently.
I was drawn to the idea of heart-shaped linzer cookies as an edible wedding gift simply because they look so pretty and elegant. I also liked the idea of two hearts coming together in jammy matrimony. And I threw in some nutella just to drive home the idea of two components coming together to create a flavour combination that’s greater than the sum of its parts — much like marriage (I would imagine).
This recipe comes courtesy of Joy of Baking. Head over to their page for a fantastic video demonstration of the recipe, especially if you find this post TLDR. The recipe also makes such wonderfully crisp and light cookies that I really didn’t need to make any alterations, save for adding Nutella and leaving out the icing-sugar dusting, which although pretty, would dissolve pretty quickly in the humidity.
- 110g unsalted butter
- 80g caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg yolk
- Zest of half a lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 130g all-purpose flour
- 75g ground almonds or almond meal
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut spread
- Raspberry jam
Makes about a dozen large sandwich cookies.
Step 1: Cream the butter, sugar and salt together until light and fluffy. Beat in the yolk, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix in the flour, ground almonds and cinnamon until evenly incorporated. Divide the dough into two, wrap in plastic clingfilm or greaseproof paper and refrigerate for at least one hour for the dough to firm up.
Step 2: Roll out the dough to about 5mm thickness. You’ll want the cookies fairly thin since you are going sandwich them. (Instead of sprinkling flour on your work surface to prevent sticking, roll out your dough between sheets of greaseproof paper or cling film. I wrote a recent Basics post explaining why.)
Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Line sheet trays with baking paper.
Step 3: Use a 3-inch cookie cutter (any shape you want) to cut out cookies. Transfer them to baking paper-lined sheet trays, spacing them apart evenly. If the dough becomes too soft to work with, you’ll want to toss it in the fridge or freezer to firm up again. To half of them, use a 1-inch cookie cutter to cut out the centres.
If you have the time, stick each tray in the freezer for about 30 minutes. The colder the cookies are, the better they’ll retain their shape in the oven.
Bake each tray for 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature before continuing.
Step 4: To assemble the cookies, spread an even layer of Nutella on each of the cookies without holes. Place the cookies with cut-outs on top and press lightly to adhere.
Then, fill the centre cut-outs with raspberry jam.
If your raspberry jam is too gloopy, what I did was to microwave about 1/2 cup of it for 30 seconds till runny. I then pushed it through a sieve to remove the seeds, but this is entirely optional. Let the jam cool for a bit and it should still be pourable but thick enough so it won’t run all over the place. I put my jam in a disposable piping bag to making filling the cookies easier, but a teaspoon would work as well.
I’m ecstatic over how beautiful these linzer cookies turned out. With a recipe like this under my belt, I can’t wait to try other filling combinations!