Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Jam

by Lynne on October 25, 2010

Post image for Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Jam

Linzer Cookies 1

Now that the Holidays are coming, I’m getting out all of my recipes that I only make at this time of year, such as these Linzer cookies. I love having these baking traditions that mean so much to me and my family. When they come for our Holiday gatherings, they can count on finding these little pastries that help connect all the memories of our shared past. This is my absolute favorite time of the year.

These Linzer Cookies are actually a riff on the famous Linzer Torte, which is named for the city of Linz, Austria and is the oldest-known torte in the world. The recipe was found in 1653 in the archive of the Admont Abbey in Austria. The Linzer Torte has a lattice design on top of the pastry and the dough is made with ground nuts, usually hazelnuts, sometimes almonds or walnuts and is filled with black currant preserves. It is a Christmas classic in Austrian, Hungarian, Swiss and German traditions.

Linzer Cookies 2

Unlike a cake, a torte replaces all or most of the flour with ground nuts. White torte dough is made with blanched almonds, and brown torte dough with toasted hazelnuts. In North America the same torte dough is used to make these cookies and they’re filled with raspberry jam. The top cookie has a small cutout in its center (known as Linzer eyes), through which you can see the shiny jam which adds to the visual appeal. While the traditional cutout is circular, all sorts of shapes, such as hearts, are also popular.

Linzer Cookies 3

When you have your dough rolled out between plastic wrap, use an offset spatula to loosen the dough rounds from the bottom wrap and to place them on the baking sheet.

I like to make my cookie dough with hazelnuts, because I love their flavor and the way they complement the raspberry jam. If you can’t get hazelnuts, you can certainly use almonds or walnuts. Your dough will still have that wonderful nuttiness to go with the jam. Be sure to process your nuts very finely, so you will have no trouble pushing the cookie cutter through the dough. I like to use a fluted cutter, but a plain round one is fine, or any other shapes you choose. Just make sure to make a cutout in the middle.

I would love to hear what you bake for your traditional Holiday gatherings.

Linzer Cookies  4

Print Recipe Print Recipe

Linzer Wreaths with Raspberry Jam

5 Dozen Cookies

3 1/3 cups whole hazelnuts (or almonds), roasted, then finely ground

1 ½ cups salted butter, room temperature (3 sticks)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 yolk
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla

3 1/3 cup unsifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Seedless raspberry jam
Sifted powdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake hazelnuts on ungreased cookie sheet for 8 – 10 minutes until browned and skins are beginning to crack. Wrap in terrycloth towel and sweat for 10 minutes. Rub nuts vigorously to remove as much of skin as possible. Grind fine in food processor.

2. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with a fork until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, yolk, lemon zest and vanilla. Stir in the ground nuts. Blend in flour, baking powder and cinnamon – it may be stiff. Divide dough in half, form each into 1-inch thick disc, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill well – several hours or overnight.

3. Remove one dough disc from refrigerator for about an hour, until it is soft enough to roll out. Cut two pieces of plastic wrap about 2 feet long and place on rolling surface, overlapping about 6 inches. Place disc of dough in the middle. Place two more pieces of plastic wrap over dough, overlapping them 6 inches.

4. Keeping the other half chilled, roll out the half of dough between pieces of plastic wrap to ¼-inch thick or lightly less. Remove the top sheet of wrap and cut 2-inch round cookies. Remove the rounds from the wrap with an offset spatula and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

5. Cut out the centers of half the cookies with a ¾-inch round cookie cutter. Bake the rounds in a 350 degree oven for 9 minutes or until the edges of cookies are golden. Remove from oven and let stand 1 minute, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

5. Reform the remaining dough back into a ball and roll out, cut and bake. Continue until entire piece of dough is used. Repeat with the other ball of refrigerated dough.

5. Sift powdered sugar over the rounds with the cutout circles. Spread the remaining circles with 1-2 teaspoons raspberry jam. Top each with a cut out round and press gently together. Spoon a little more jam into the opening of each. Enjoy!

{ 2 trackbacks }

Simple Jam Drop Cookie Recipe | Best Easy Cookie Recipes
August 17, 2011 at 11:10 am
Dear Chocolate, I Love You! « Heaven on a Spoon
February 15, 2012 at 6:55 am

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy@acommunaltable October 25, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Hi Lynne!!

What beautiful cookies – I didn’t know the history of these cookies and enjoyed reading about them. In our house, we take holiday cookies very seriously – sugar cookies, gingerbread, peppermint and spritz are all part of the tradition!!

Nuts about food October 26, 2010 at 2:05 am

Everything you bake is so beautiful I could just stare and stare at it. We often make pecan pie for our gatherings because it is a favorite but we have difficulty finding the ingredients here (we often carry them over in our suitcase from the US) so it is our “special occasion” dessert.

Bakeolicious October 26, 2010 at 4:18 am

What fantastic cookies. They look so good.

I’d love for you to submit one of your beautiful photos, and a link to your post, to my new baking photo gallery showcasing the beautiful baking, sweets and desserts.

Vivienne October 26, 2010 at 6:08 am

they look so festive! such ‘happy’ looking cookies hehe.
I just bought some hazelnuts over the weekend….but not the ground version tho so may have problems with that…eek!

marla {family fresh cooking} October 26, 2010 at 6:22 am

I have been fantasizing about Linzer cookies lately. Thanks for that Torte lesson – had no idea the flour was indeed nuts. It makes sense to me now why I like ’em so much. Nuts have so much more flavor than traditional flour. Love the hazelnut choice 🙂 xo

sippitysup October 26, 2010 at 7:25 am

Look what I found on FoodGawker! Cookies and awfully pretty ones at that! Congrats. GREG

bigFATcook October 26, 2010 at 10:46 am

Hey!! These look great!! Must be finger-licking good:))

Greets from BFC !!!

My Man's Belly October 26, 2010 at 10:56 am

These look gorgeous Lynne! I’m a huge hazelnut fan too, so I think these little beauties are going onto my short list for making real soon.

Juliana October 26, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Lynne, you made one of my favorite cookies…everytime that I see them in the bakery I cannot resist them 🙂 Yours look perfect…and the hazelnut in it must be divine…so pretty!

UrMomCooks October 26, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Last Christmas was the first time I made cookies with fresh hazelnuts – it was a cookie dipped in chocolate! (I didn’t really get the hang of rubbing off the skins until the end, but I know I will do better next time…) These cookies look delicious. I can almost taste that dough! Very festive!

Monet October 26, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Hazelnuts and raspberries pair so well together. I can only imagine how heavenly the first buttery bite of this cookie must be. Thank you so much for sharing a recipe that is both visually stunning and delicious. This will be making its way into my holiday baking schedule!

polwig October 27, 2010 at 7:23 am

You make everything look so easy and beautiful. If I made these each cookie would be lopsided… I can’t wait to make these… these will be perfect to make with my tween daughter.

Lentil Breakdown October 27, 2010 at 10:43 am

Oh Lynne, I am dumbfounded at such Linzer beauty! When I tried making Linzer cookies, what was supposed to take an hour and a half turned into an all-day affair with copious amounts of curse words added to the recipe. Pfew! I need you as my personal tutor if there’s ever a next time. However, I do make a mean apricot jam, golden raisin and walnut-filled rugelach with sugar and cinnamon (she said humbly).

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks October 27, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Gorgeous. My family didn’t really get into the cookie thing for the holidays because making tamales was the family tradition. Last year I added Puerto Rican coquito (eggnog with coconut milk) to my holiday gifts and beverages and it will continue again.

Cristina @ TeenieCakes October 29, 2010 at 2:12 pm

These are beautiful looking cookies. I would luv to try these – they look so festive and perfect with a cup of tea. Beautifully done, Lynne, and inspiring.

Lynne December 15, 2012 at 5:39 pm

from an email:

Hello Lynne,
I was planning on making the Linzer cookies this weekend. Your recipe calls for 3.5 cups of hazelnuts. Is the amount for the finely ground product or for the whole nuts?

Thank you. Best regards,

Hi Sylvia!
Whole nuts. Roast them whole, rub off the skins with a towel, then grind. You are going to be so happy with these cookies. They are so good!

I would love it of you let me know how they turn out for you.
Lynne xo

Thank you for clarifying – the cookies are AWESOME!!!!

Best regards,

Trisha December 18, 2012 at 6:12 am

Hi Lynne,

I am so happy I came across the real Austrian linzer cookie recipe along with the history. Thank you very much! I live in New Hampshire and although hazelnuts are usually found in the mixed bag of nuts, I do not recall seeing them separately. Do you know where I could find hazelnuts in this quantity?

Looking forward to trying out the recipe for Christmas ! Happy Holidays Everyone!


Lynne December 18, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Hi Trisha ~ If you cannot find hazelnuts, you can use almonds or walnuts.

This is a link to buy hazelnuts on-line:

Thanks for trying my recipe and I hope you have a great Christmas!

Lynne xo

darcy November 16, 2014 at 2:30 pm

I made these last year and they were amazing. I can’t wait to make them again soon for Christmas!

Marlene Koers December 2, 2014 at 7:43 am

Dear Lynne
I went to the link you provided for buying hazelnuts online. I am interested in buying the hazelnut flour by the pound, but can’t figure how many cups of flour a person would come up with grinding the 3.5 cups of blanched ones. Can you help? A friend used to give these cookies to our family years ago. I was so happy to find your story and recipe for them..thank you!! Happy Holidays. Marlene

Lynne December 7, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Hi Marlene ~ I would not recommend using hazelnut flour for this recipe, as I believe it is TOO fine. The 3.5 cups of whole hazelnuts ground in a processor will not be like flour, but will have various sizes of very small pieces that contribute to the structure. If you must use the flour, I would weigh 3.5 cups of whole hazelnuts, and substitute that weight in flour. I hope you will let me know what you decide and how it turns out. I wish you a Happy Holiday Season! Lynne xo

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: