Raspberry Linzer Cookies
Raspberry Linzer Cookies
Linz is a city in Northern Austria, and that’s where this cookie got its name. But the recipe comes courtesy of my mom, a master baker and Christmas cookie whisperer. She never makes fewer than 12 different kinds—in reality, that means about five pounds of cookies—all jewel-like, delightful, precisely decorated and completely irresistible.
She starts prepping all the dough in the first week of December and then works fastidiously every day—baking, dipping in chocolate, coating in powdered sugar, and spreading with jam—until she’s finished and ready to send care packages out to various family members around the world, in time for the holidays.
Linzer cookies are a classic and the most requested Christmas cookie in our family. I love its tender texture and the subtle hint of lemon. The filling is always a jam made from an acidic fruit (red currant, raspberry, sour cherry or rosehip) to even out the sweetness. And they improve as they rest—my favorite is to keep some until mid-January, when they get moist and dense.
This recipe is foolproof and the resulting dough really easy to work with—it’s like playing with Play-Doh. Make sure to roll it out to about ¼ inch thick; if you go thinner, it will be hard to transfer the cookies to the baking sheet. But the good news is that if you make a mistake, you can always reroll the dough and start all over again.
Use any cookie cutter you like, but the prettiest cookies are the round ones with the middle cut out and the jam peeking out.
- Yields 36–42 cookies
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 19 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons), cut into medium cubes
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Raspberry jam
- Place the flour, butter, sugar, egg yolks and lemon zest in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together, tossing and kneading from the sides to the middle and from bottom to top, until shiny dough forms, about 5–7 minutes.
- Divide the dough in half, forming two balls and then pressing them down into two disks. Cover with plastic food wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and position two racks in the upper part of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Take the dough out of the refrigerator, and when pliable, roll it out ¼ inch thick on a floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Keep sprinkling the dough and your rolling pin with flour if it gets too sticky.
- Cut out shapes with your favorite cookie cutter. Using an offset spatula, transfer them to the baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Reroll the dough scraps and keep cutting out more cookies, until you use up all the dough. Bake in the oven until the edges start to brown, about 10–12 minutes, depending on size.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack. Using a spreader or butter knife, place the jam in the middle of one cookie and spread almost to the edges (don’t cover the whole surface with jam, or it will spill out). Press a second cookie on top. Dust with powdered sugar. The cookies will last 3–4 weeks in a tightly covered container.