These shortbread Linzer cookies are a version of a classic Linzer cookie made with a raspberry filling sandwiched between two tender almond shortbread cookies and dusted with confectioners’ sugar. They remind me so much of the raspberry-filled cookies my grandmother used to bring down on the train from New York City when I was young.
Tips and tricks
I adapted the recipe from my lemon lavender shortbread cookies for the almond shortbread cookies in these Linzer cookies. It follows the classic 1-2-3 ratio for shortbread.
In this adaptation, I scaled up the shortbread recipe to 4 ounces of sugar, 8 ounces of butter, and 12 ounces of flour. Then I replaced one quarter of the all-purpose flour with finely ground almond flour.
The image below shows the steps in making the almond shortbread cookies. First, you’ll beat together softened cubes of butter until mixed (Panels #1 and #2, below).
Tip from the wise quacker: when making shortbread cookies, you don’t want to cream your butter until the “light and fluffy” stage. Creaming incorporates air into your batter which causes cakes to rise and cookies to puff. So stop beating your butter and sugar as soon as it’s well mixed.
Then beat in the almond extract (Panel #3), followed by the all-purpose flour, almond flour, and a bit of salt (Panel #4). The dough may not fully come together in the mixing bowl.
The next panels show the dough finally coming together. Turn the mixture out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap and knead it lightly until it becomes uniformly smooth in consistency. At this point, put the dough into the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes to make it easier to roll.
After a quick rest in the refrigerator, roll the almond shortbread dough on a lightly floured countertop. If it starts to warm and stick, re-wrap the dough and chill it in the refrigerator again.
Linzer cookies are known for their window in the top cookie. These cookies were made with a 3 inch cookie with a 1.5 inch window. You can buy Linzer cookie cutters that cut the inside and outside at the same time, but I have never found them necessary.
This recipe will make about 18 jam sandwich cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters and how thickly you roll your dough.
Once the cookies are rolled and cut, put the tray in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to help them keep their shape.
Bake until the cookies are just slightly firm and the edges are just starting to brown. Let cool to room temperature.
When cool, spoon a tablespoon of warmed raspberry jam onto the center of a bottom cookie turned upside down. You will be spooning jam onto the side that was face down on the baking sheet.
Gently spread jam to about 1 centimeter from the edge of the cookie. Try to keep a larger amount in the center that will peek through the cut out of the Linzer cookie.
You can dust the tops of the cookies with confectioners sugar prior to filling the cookies with raspberry jam. Or you can make a mess like I do and dust the whole jam-filled Linzer cookie. You’ll want a good dusting of sugar snow.
The Linzer cookie was developed as an adaptation of the Linzertorte, an Austrian pastry made with a nut crust, fruit preserve filling, and topped with a lattice.
No. But if this post doesn’t have you running out to buy a kitchen scale, I don’t know what will. This is the everyday scale I recommend for folks. It even comes in a variety of colors, if that matters to you.
The filled and dusted cookies won’t freeze well, but you can definitely freeze the almond shortbread cookie dough. It is possible to freeze the cookies after baking, but they won’t taste as fresh.
Yes, you could use more all-purpose flour in place of the almond flour and vanilla in place of the almond extract. They wouldn’t be Linzer cookies without the nuts, but you would still have delicious raspberry filled shortbread cookies.
Absolutely. Linzer cookies are classically filled with raspberry jam, but you can pick your favorite jam or even Nutella to fill these almond shortbread cookies.
Shortbread Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Filling
- 1 Stand mixer or hand mixer
- 1 Rolling Pin
- Cookie cutters
- 2 Baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats
- 9 ounces (255 grams or 2 cups) bleached all-purpose flour
- 3 ounces (85 grams or ⅞ cup) almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces (227 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 ounces (113 grams or ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup raspberry preserves
- ¼ cup confectioners' sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and place your oven racks in the center of the oven.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift or whisk the all-purpose flour, almond flour, and salt together.9 ounces (255 grams or 2 cups) bleached all-purpose flour, 3 ounces (85 grams or ⅞ cup) almond flour, ¼ teaspoon salt
- In another medium sized mixing bowl or bowl of your stand mixer, cream the sugar, and butter on medium speed just until it's well mixed. You don't want to beat shortbread cookies until "light and creamy" because the incorporated air will cause your cookies to puff.8 ounces (227 grams or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, 4 ounces (113 grams or ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar
- Add the almond extract and mix for one minute.1 teaspoon almond extract
- Add the flours and salt and mix for another minute. The dough may or may not clump together.
- Pour out the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap and knead gently until the dough just starts to come together. Once it does, put it into the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough in half and re-wrap one half in plastic and leave it in the refrigerator while you are rolling out the other.
- Roll out the dough to about 1/4" to 1/3", and cut it into rounds or other shapes. For half of the rounds, use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the center window.
- Place cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. They do not need much spacing, but do not crowd them. Re-roll scraps until you have used up all of the dough, returning the dough to the refrigerator as needed if it starts to warm and become difficult to roll and cut.
- Place the cookie sheets in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes before baking. I usually freeze the first one while I am rolling out cookies for the second sheet and then bake the first sheet while the second one is in the freezer.
- Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your cookies, until they feel slightly firm and the edges are just slightly brown. They will become firmer as they cool.
- When the cookies are cool, warm up the jam in a small pot over low heat just to loosen it.1 cup raspberry preserves
- Hold a bottom cookie upside down in your hand and spoon one tablespoon of raspberry filling into the center. Spread the jam to about 1 centimeter from the edge of the cookie, keeping it slightly thicker in the center.
- Add the top cookie right side up and press the cookies together gently. Set aside while you form all of the Linzer cookies.
- Dust the cookies with the confectioners' sugar.¼ cup confectioners' sugar
- Linzer cookies are best the day that you make them, but you can store them in an air-tight container at room temperature for about one week.
If you make these raspberry-filled shortbread Linzer cookies, please leave a comment or rating here.
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