Linzer cookies with raspberry filling: The ultimate Christmas cookie! Delicate and delicious, they are major showstoppers for your holiday cookie platters and swaps!
This post may contain affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
These sweet little Linzer cookies may just have made me the most proud I’ve been in the kitchen in some time now.
When I say that I’ve been wanting to make Linzer cookies for the past 7 Christmas seasons, I’m not even kidding you. In those interim years, spritz cookies and these Lofthouse style soft frosted sugar cookies have dominated my oven during the holiday baking season.
And with all that waiting came a lot of anticipation and high expectations for what these cookies should be.
But they turned out just perfectly and met every one of those expectations! Phew, right?!
I mean, they ARE a Martha Stewart recipe, after all!
What is a Linzer Cookie?
A Linzer cookie is a sandwich cookie made of 2 shortbread cookies with filling in between. The cookies are named after the Linzer torte, a lattice-topped jam tart made with buttery shortcrust pastry, which is said to have originated in the city of Linz, Austria in the 1600s.
Linzer tortes are popular and traditional through Europe during the Christmas season, just as these Linzer cookies are popular here in the U.S. during the holidays. How could anyone resist them?
The top cookie of the sandwich is dusted with confectioners’ sugar and has a little window cut out of it so that the filling can peek through.
Tools for Cutting Linzer Shapes
The little window in the top cookie can be any shape you choose! You can cut the shapes out with a sharp knife, a biscuit cutter, or use a Linzer cookie cutter set to help you do this faster. A set like this one will give you lots of shapes to use for your Linzer cookies which means you can make these cookies for all types of occasions!
Linzer Cookie Variations
You can fill Linzer cookies with any type of filling too! Raspberry Linzer cookies tend to be the most common Linzers you see but these cookies can be filled with any type of jam you wish.
Or if jam isn’t your thing, try chocolate, citrus curd, or caramel. Seriously, how bad could any of these fillings be nestled between 2 shortbread cookies?!
Like any great cookie recipe, the ingredient list is fairly minimal. Here’s what you’ll need for these cookies but be sure to check out the recipe card below for the full set of ingredients!
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Table salt
- Ground cinnamon
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Seedless raspberry jam
How to Make Linzer Cookies
While this Linzer cookie recipe looks delicate and difficult, it’s actually quite easy to put together. Though, the cookies do involve a few steps that require some patience so stick with me here!
STEP 1: You’ll make the Linzer cookie dough and chill it for a few hours. The dough needs to chill for 2 reasons:
First, the butter needs to firm up. If the butter is too soft when you bake these cookies, they will spread out all over the place. What a mess!
Second, the gluten proteins in the flour need to rest. If you try to roll the dough for these cookies out before the dough has rested, the dough will spring back and it will be difficult to roll out.
STEP 2: After the dough has chilled, you’ll roll it out and cut it into rounds. I used a fluted cookie cutter but a plain round one will work well too.
With half of those rounds, you’ll cut out little heart shapes with a Linzer cookie cutter. Once you sandwich the cookies together, the jam will peek through the hearts like a little window. So pretty!
STEP 3: While the cookies bake, you’ll reduce some raspberry jam in a saucepan on the stove.
STEP 4: While the raspberry jam is cooling, you’ll dust the cooled cut-out cookies (we cut out hearts) with powdered sugar.
STEP 5: After the jam has cooled, you’ll spread it on to the non-cut-out cookies (the ones without the powdered sugar) and sandwich it with the sugared halves.
And finally, you’ve got these picture-perfect Christmas cookies!
Like I said, these Linzer cookies with raspberry jam do require a few steps but they would be the perfect weekend baking project for a few friends or for your kids and/or grandkids to help you with. They’re such a fun family baking project!
What Can you Fill Linzer Cookies with?
I used seedless raspberry for these cookies but any kind of jam will work like apricot or fig jam.
If jam isn’t your thing, chocolate ganache, salted caramel, or citrus curd are also excellent ways to fill your Linzer cookies. I’ve even filled these pretzel Linzers with dulce de leche for an incredible sweet and salty cookie.
Oh, you want to know about how they taste?
Well, think of the best and lightest shortbread you’ve ever eaten, combine it with a tiny dollop of a thickened jam that is almost savory in comparison to the sugared Linzer cookies, and you’ve got quite possibly the best Christmas cookie ever.
The original recipe has you adding chopped pecans to the dough which sounds excellent, doesn’t it! But allergies in our house prevent us from adding nuts to our cookies so I skipped them this time.
These Linzer cookies with raspberry jam just might be the cookies that all Christmas cookies will be judged against – this year and maybe for years to come. That’s quite a cookie!
What to Serve with these Cookies
I love dipping my cookies in hot drinks like coffee, lattes, or hot chocolate. And when I want to boost the Christmas spirit with these cookies, I’ll make an eggnog latte or a gingerbread latte.
Along with a hot drink, these cookies are the perfect addition to dessert board filled with Christmas cookies and treats. To me, there’s nothing better than a smorgasbord of treats to choose from!
Linzer cookies with raspberry jam filling are the ultimate Christmas cookie! Delicate and delicious, they are major showstoppers for your holiday cookie platters and swaps! And they make for such a fun family baking project too!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ cup pecan halves, toasted (optional - see note below)
- 2 tbsp confectioners' sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup seedless raspberry jam
- To make the dough: Whisk the flour, baking powder, confectioners' sugar, cinnamon, and salt in medium a bowl; set aside.
- Add the butter and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract and the egg. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Halve the dough and shape it into 2 disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
- To bake the cookies: Preheat oven to 375° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to ⅛-inch thick. Cut out dough with a 2-inch fluted cookie cutter. Cut out centers of half the cookies with a ½-inch heart cutter. Re-roll the scraps and cut out additional cookies. Space the cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Chill dough on baking sheets for 5 minutes.
- Bake cookies and hearts until pale golden, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pans 180° halfway through the baking time. Transfer the pans to wire racks to cool and allow the cookies to cool completely on the pans before transferring to a work surface for the next steps.
- To assemble cookies: Meanwhile, heat jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced and thickened, about 7 minutes; let cool.
- Dust the cutout cookies with confectioners' sugar - these will be the tops of your cookie sandwiches. Spread jam onto uncut cookies; top with the cut out cookies.
Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
The recipe calls for chopped pecans to be mixed into the dough but due to allergies, I omitted the pecans. I did not replace them with anything and there were no issues with the recipe made with this omission. But if you'd like, a ½ cup of coarsely ground oats might be a really nice substitution in place of the pecans.
adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies
As a member of the Amazon Associate affiliate program, I earn a small percentage from your qualifying Amazon purchases when you click the Amazon links on this page. I'm not informed of who purchases what, just of what products are purchased.
12 PCS Cookie Cutters Stainless Steel Vegetable Fruit Biscuit Cutters Shapes Sets Mold Pattern, for Kid Baking Cooking Food Decoration
Fox Run 67061 Mini Heart Fondant Plunger Cutters, White
Martha Stewart's Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share: A Baking Book
KitchenAid 6 Qt. Professional 600 Series Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin
Ateco Double Sided Large Round Cutters in Graduated Sizes, Fluted & Plain Edges, Stainless Steel, 6 Pc Set
Wohh – they look so gorgeous!
I have no doubt they’re delicious as well, especially with the rasberry jam 🙂
These are absolutely beautiful!
These are beautiful, Tara!
Such pretty cookies! I totally want to have a cookie party now and try these!
They came out perfectly!
These cookies are so stunning!!
These look amazing!!!!!!!
These are gorgeous, Tara!!
These look absolutely adorable!
I am so in love with this cookie. I tried to make them last Xmas and they flopped. The center cut out just melted and was all deformed. I’m going to bookmark you recipe and give it a go again this year. Yours are just perfect. Possibly I needed to chill the cut out dough before putting them into the oven.
Snippets: Yes – definitely chill them or even freeze them for a few minutes before baking. It really makes a big difference in how they bake up. The recipe wasn’t written that way though so don’t feel bad – it’s something I’ve learned along the way through trial and error.
So pretty! I love the color and how perfect they turned out!
I’ve always wanted to make linzer cookies, but just haven’t before. Maybe this will be the year! They are gorgeous!
Totally worth the patience of making them! They turned out beautifully! Buzzed 🙂
These are beautiful. I love the photo of the powdered sugar! 🙂
Love, love your blog! So creative! Mmmm…these look so good & so pretty too. Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to make them.
I finally found a linzer cookie cutter(I have looked for one forever) and made them for the first time this Xmas and they are so pretty and taste amazing! One of the prettiest cookies I have ever made!
I have been making these every Christmas since I found the recipe featured as a “cookie of the month” in “Living” magazine back in 2007. They are one of my most asked-for cookies. And your’re right….they are not difficult to make. At Christmas, I cut out a start shape instead of the heart.
Your cookies look beautiful! When you say you omitted the ground pecans, did you compensate with a little extra flour or anything- I just wondered how much not adding the pecans would affect the liquid-to-dry ratio?
Thank you! No, I didn’t add anything else to the dough and didn’t have any issues with a wet dough.
[…] Raspberry Linzer Cookies […]
These are gorgeous and a cookie that I’ve never made! Thanks to you, I have the perfect recipe!!
I hope you love it!
Ant idea how much the ground pecans measure out to.
Hi Grace! It depends on how finely ground they are. For coarse-ground pecans, I would estimate you would need about 1/3 cup. For finer ground pecans, maybe 1/4 cup. Enjoy!!
Can you freeze them and if you can how long ?
You can cut out and freeze the dough shapes for up to 2 months. Though some people do, I don’t recommend freezing the baked cookies since they’re more susceptible to freezer burn than the dough is. Happy baking!
I’ve one question about pecans can i add almond flour instead of pecan ?
What is the appropriate amount of almond flour in this recipe
Thank you so much for this recipe 🌹
Hi Amjad, Yes, you can use almonds in place of the pecans in this recipe. I don’t know how much almond flour you would need though. The recipe calls for 3/4 cup of pecan halves so I suggest 3/4 cup whole almonds or 1/2 cup slivered almonds instead of the pecans. I hope this helps! Happy baking!
I just tried this cookie recipe and followed it exactly and they turned out SO amazing! They held their shape and are not overly sweet, which I love! They were a huge hit, even for the non-vegans haha
I already wrote a comment saying how amazing these cookies turned out, but I mentioned that they are vegan lol and that’s obviously not the case… however I did use vegan butter, but still used one egg like the recipe called for and they turned out perfect. So if anyone is wanting to make these dairy free it definitely works!
Thanks for coming back to leave a review, Rachel!! I’m so glad you loved these cookies! Your vegan butter substitution is a great idea too. A flax egg (mix 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp water) or an egg replacer would make these cookies vegan in addition to the vegan butter.
Trying to make these. You mention orange zest in the instructions but it is not listed in the ingredients so how much to put? Thanks
Hi Steph! So sorry about that – it’s an error in the instructions. There is no orange zest in this recipe. I hope you love these cookies!
This is the first time I’ve ever tried to make these and the dough was just crumbs when following this recipe. I don’t have an industrial blender just a hand held could the blending be why? I still followed as close as possible to the directions and used the right amount of Ingredients. I had to add an extra egg to the batter to get it to stick together.
Hi Nicole, Yes, that could be the issue. It’s also possible that your butter was too cold when you mixed it in. I’ve made this recipe a number of times and have never ended up with crumbs for the dough.
I’m so sad I didn’t read the comments first. I wasted time and supplies 🙁 like the other commenter, my “dough” was crumbles. I feel you should amend the part about the cold butter- maybe it doesn’t have to be cold, just not very soft. Cold butter means right out of the fridge doesn’t it? That’s what I did and I got crumbles. I had to add another egg for this dough to come together and the cookie now tastes eggy.
Hi D! I’m sorry for not responding earlier and I’m sorry that you feel like you’ve wasted your supplies. I’ve made these cookies a number of times, including into this new version: chocolate orange linzer cookies and I’ve never experienced the issues that you’re describing. The butter should be cold. How were you measuring the flour? The “fluff and scoop” method, “sprinkle into the measuring cup” method, or just scooping right into the flour? If you measure using the latter method, you’ve probably used too much flour, thus making your dough too dry.
These cookies are sensational! They turned out perfect just like the picture. My daughter and I had so much fun putting them together. They are delicious! Great recipe.
Fantastic to hear, Sylvie! They are definitely one of my very favorite cookies to make. Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and leave a review!
How well do these freeze? Should the icing sugar be put on before or after the freezer?
You can freeze the cookies before you fill, sandwich, and dust them. Simply pop them in a zipper bag and squeeze all the air out before freezing. Happy baking!
Hi I have made the dough 2 times now and follow the directions exactly but both times my dough looks like sand and wont form a dough. What am I doing wrong? if I even try to roll it out it separate’s and is sand like.
Hi Tracy, It’s possible that your butter is too cold when you start making the recipe. That would prevent the dough from coming together. Or, your flour measure measurement is off. How are you scooping the flour into the measure cup? Make sure it’s not getting packed into the measuring cup. And are you using a measuring cup meant for dry ingredients or a glass/plastic pitcher-like cup (like Pyrex) with the measurements on the side of the cup? Too much flour in the dough will make a crumbly dough that won’t come together. I hope this helps!
I made the Linzer cookie dough and it was very crumbly. The discs are now in the refrigerator. What did I do wrong?
Hi Debbie, It sounds like either you had too much flour in the recipe or the butter was too cold.