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Tender, slightly sweet, and jam centered Classic Linzer Cookies are a must-make recipe during the holiday season! This is my absolute favorite classic Christmas cookie, and this tried and true recipe yields the most perfect cookies every time. Make these simple, timeless cookies for your next cookie exchange!
When it comes to classic cookie recipes, it’s pretty hard to beat linzer cookies. These Austrain-originated cookies have become a staple in kitchens all over the world! I can hardly remember going to a cookie exchange in my life without seeing a batch of them. It’s not hard to see why they’ve stood the test of time, either!
Linzer cookies should always be deliciously soft and tender with a sweet center. While that center can change to your preferences, classic linzer cookies are raspberry jam filled. The sweetness of the jam perfectly compliments the cookies, as they should only ever be slightly sweet. Additional sweetness also comes in from the dusting of powdered sugar on top.
Even though I come up with new and exciting cookie recipes every year that shake things up a bit, I always end up coming back to this classic. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a batch of linzer cookies at some point! They’re soft, buttery, and filled with sweet raspberry jam. While they may be simple, they’re also totally timeless and unforgettably good.
Ingredients for classic linzer cookies
- Almonds – They need to be raw, whole almonds.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is all you need!
- Cinnamon – A pinch of cinnamon adds wonderful depth to the cookies.
- Salt – Make sure not to add too much! A lot of salt will ruin the cookies.
- Butter – To make sure the butter is softened, leave it out on the counter for at least an hour before using.
- Sugar – You’ll need granulated white sugar for the dough and powdered sugar for dusting.
- Egg – I like to use farm fresh organic eggs when I can.
- Vanilla – For the best flavor, use pure vanilla extract, not imitation.
- Raspberry jam – Any brand should do the trick! Just make sure it’s good quality (Bonne Maman is my favorite), so you know you’ll have a satisfying final product.
Are there fillings other than raspberry jam that go well in these cookies? Yes! You could use other flavors of jam (apricot is especially nice). Or you could use lemon curd or a chocolate spread.
Does it matter if it’s seedless or seeded jam? Seedless is my preference but whatever you can get works!
Common questions about linzer cookies
I am finding that the dough really cracks when I roll it out – am I doing something wrong? Make sure to let it sit for a minute or 2 out of the fridge. Then, if it cracks, you can patch the cracks with scraps of dough.
I find that my jam is really runny – how could I thicken it up? While the dough is chilling, place ¾ cup raspberry jam in a small saucepan. Allow this to simmer until it has thickened and reduced to about ½ cup. Remove this from the heat and allow it to cool completely before using it to fill the cookies.
I’m rolling out the dough but now it seems sticky – what can I do? Put the dough into the fridge and allow it to chill again. It is easier to work with when it is well chilled. If you still find that it is sticky, use more flour on the rolling surface and rolling pin. I like to sprinkle the top of the dough with flour as well.
Do I have to toast the almonds before putting them in the food processor? No, but it does add an extra depth of flavor.
The dough can be made up to 5 days ahead and kept in the fridge.
Once baked, place the cookies in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Or you may freeze them for up to 1 month (just make sure the jam is fully set before wrapping them).
Keep things tasty this holiday season!
Classic Linzer Cookies
- ½ cup (72 g) raw whole almonds
- 1 cup (125 g) flour
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (114 g) salted butter, softened
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (170 g) raspberry jam
- ½ cup (60 g) powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (177 °C). Spread the raw nuts (blanched or unblanched) on a baking sheet. Toast them on the middle rack until lightly browned (it will take 5 to 10 minutes). Once they have cooled completely, pulse them in a food processor. Once this mixture is finely ground, pulse in the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Set this aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until it is creamy. Then beat in the sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the egg. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so everything is mixed well. Beat in vanilla.
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour mixture) into the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until just mixed. Do not over-mix.
- Form the dough into 2 disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and place it into the refrigerator. Allow this to chill for at least 2 hours.
- Heat the oven to 350 °F (177 °C)
- Remove one disk at a time from the fridge. Place it on a well-floured surface. Allow it to sit for 1 or 2 minutes before rolling. Roll it out to about ¼ inch thick. You will need to be generous with the flour.
- Use a 2 ½ inch cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies from this dough as you are able to. Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out a shape from the middle of half of the cookies (like a little window). Roll scraps into a disk, wrap, and allow to chill. Then you can roll this out again to make more cookies.
- Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 12- 15 minutes. They should be just starting to turn golden on the edges.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool slightly. Then remove them to a wire cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.
- Once the cookies are completely cooled, spread a heaping ½ teaspoon of jam onto the bottom side cookies. Dust the top cookies (with the cut out) with powdered sugar. (Make sure to dust the top cookies with powdered sugar before placing them on the jam cookies otherwise the jam center will not show as well.) Place the cookie with the cut-out on top of the jam cookie.
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