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. Also, they look impressive, but they are so simple to make!
Traditional Christmas Linzer Cookies are 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.
SANDWICH WITH JAM OR CHOCOLATE SPREAD!
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!
MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES!
Did you know that I’ve been posting a 24 Cookies of Christmas series for a few years now? There are over 100 Christmas cookie recipes that you can find right here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen! To make it easier to find, I have created a page for each series. Just click on the image below and you’ll find the full series for that volume all one page!
WHICH JAM WILL YOU USE?
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. A while ago, 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’M A ROLLING PIN JUNKIE!
I kept my ceramic rolling pins from the Pioneer Woman line. I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid 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 juSt 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
MORE CHRISTMAS CONFECTIONS!
In some cases, we want more than a cookie. That’s why I have two more Christmas-themed collections you might want to consider. The first, is my 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas, and the second is my 12 Biscotti of Christmas. Click on the image below to see each collection all on one page with links to each recipe!
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:
- Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature! To be perfectly honest, I have made these with both salted and unsalted butter and there’s no difference in taste or appearance once all is said and done. Use what you have on hand.
- Vanilla Extract – Probably the most common extract and the most common flavouring used in cakes and cookies.
- Egg – One large egg is all you need. Whenever you set out to bake, make sure your eggs are at room temperature too – just like your butter!
- Your Favourite Jam! Try my Easy Homemade Jam – you can make just about any flavour you can think of!
- Sugar – Sugar will caramelize when baked, which will help to brown cookies and cakes. In cookies, the sugar will help the dough to spread, and will create a crispness to the bottom of the cookie.
- Confectioner’s Sugar – This superfine sugar is sometimes called powdered sugar. It’s uses in frostings quite often. When dusted lightly onto cakes and cookies, it adds just a touch of sweetness, but more importantly, it looks very visually appealing!
- Baking Powder – This is used to increase the volume of the batter and to add texture as well.
- Salt – This is a common ingredient in baking and cooking. In baking it helps to enhance and balance sweetness. In cooking it helps to bring out natural flavours in things like vegetables.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon is a spice created from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree. The bark is dried until it curls into a roll known as a cinnamon stick. These are ground into powder. Commonly found in baked goods, cinnamon is an aromatic with a warming flavour.
- Ground Almonds – You can find these in any store now. If you have whole almonds, just pop them into your food processor and pulse them until they look like sand. Be careful not to over-pulse them or your will end up with almond butter!
- Flour – No need for anything special. Just use regular all-purpose flour. I have not tried this recipe with any other type of flour.
THE ORIGIN OF LINZER COOKIES
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??
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.