Christmas is all about tradition, both the new traditions and the old. This Traditional Christmas Linzer Cookies recipe, an old world cookie confection, originating in Austria, is a vital part of holiday traditions for many families.
The Linzer Cookie is the second sandwich type of cookie to make it into Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas series. Unlike the first recipe, my Homemade Newfoundland Jam Jams, which uses brown sugar and molasses both for flavour and colour, Linzer cookies are light in colour and uses white sugar and almond flour.
Both cookies, however, are sandwiched together with jam. I think the traditional jam for the Linzer cookie is raspberry, but you don’t need to limit yourself to just raspberry jam. Remember, creating your own Christmas traditions is about you and what works for you. If you prefer strawberry jam or apricot jam, then go ahead and use it.
Not a jam lover at all? Why not go totally against tradition and use a chocolate spread like Nutella, or a nut spread like almond butter or peanut butter? Dear Reader, you can even leave these cookies un-sandwiched and not worry about a filling at all. It’s completely up to you and your personal tastes. After all, it’s Christmas, right!?
I think these Traditional Christmas Linzer Cookies are just darling. I love the cut out center and the lovely, deep, red colour of the raspberry jam in contrast to the amber-orange apricot jam. And, how that dusting of confectioner’s sugar reminds me of snow!
If you look closely, you can see that there is a slight difference in the dark colours of the jam. The apricot jam is easily distinguishable, but can you see the difference in the other jams? One of them is raspberry, which again, is very traditional. But, the other is blackberry jam and it works extremely well with the nuttiness of the ground almonds.
If I’m being honest, even though these cookies are quite delicious, and that in itself should be reward enough, I had so much fun making these. I love using my rolling pins and any excuse I can get to practice my rolling skills, I’m up for it. I have to say though, I have cheated. I used to have a collection of wooden rolling pins, but I got rid of them all just because I was short on space. We still have the rolling pin that belonged to John.e’s mom.
I kept my ceramic rolling pins from the Pioneer Woman line. I have four of them. I think her line has six or seven different prints, but I’ve only ever liked four of them. They are never used, but used as a wall decoration on this barn board background John.e made with these cast iron hooks. You can find the pictures on my Instagram page.
Cheated; oh, yes! I recently purchased a Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin. You must Google it if you don’t know what type of rolling pin I’m referring to. I always have a problem with rolling dough evenly, no matter how much I love to practice. This particular rolling pin eliminates my inadequate dough rolling technique.
Maybe I should hashtag the Joseph Joseph product line with hopes that jut like the sugar plums dancing through those children’s heads in T’was the Night Before Christmas poem, that I might too inspire the product line to gift me another rolling pin. Why not!? T’is the season of giving, after all! #josephjoseph
So, back to the cookies. Linzer cookies originated in Linz, Austria, and was formed from a tart recipe dating back to the 1600s. (I told you this recipe was from the Old World!) I think we should all think of the city of Linz as the home of the Linzer cookie and not a city in Austria where Hitler once lived! Moving on… that thought isn’t very Christmas-y!
I encourage you to try these Traditional Christmas Linzer Cookies. Personally, I think you should make all of the cookies in this series, but that might be asking too much. These cookies would look great on a huge platter with my Homemade Newfoundland Jam Jams. That would be a lot of sandwich cookies, but everyone loves a sandwich cookie, because it’s like getting two cookies in one. And, who doesn’t want to eat two cookies unapologetically??
I digress. The recipe is below, and remember, if you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to check out the other cookies in my 24 Cookies of Christmas series. The cookies are listed below. Just click on the name of the cookie to be redirected to that particular recipe post. Cheers!
UPDATE: Since all of the 24 Cookies of Christmas have now been published, I’ve compiled the complete list for you right here!
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Traditional Christmas Linzer Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup almonds, finely ground
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup jam (I use half raspberry and half apricot.)
- In a large mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat together the butter, sugar, 1 cup of the confectioner’s sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour, ground almonds, and the egg. Beat just until the flour is incorporated into the wet ingredients.
- Divide dough in half and form into a disc about 1 inch thick. This will make it easier to work with later rather than working with one large batch of dough. Wrap each half well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or with a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- On a flat, floured surface, roll one half of the dough to about 1/8th of an inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. Use a mini cookie cutter to cut a center hole into half of the cookies. Transfer to a baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool.
- Once cooled, spread the bottom of the solid cookies with about 2 teaspoons of jam.
- Sift the remaining confectioner’s sugar over the top of the cookies with the hole in the center and carefully sandwich them on top of the cookies with the jam.
- Let the cookies sit for an hour to set up. Store in a food-safe container.
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