Austrian Linzer cookies (Helle Linzer Plaetzchen in German, and literally "bright Linzer cookies" in English) are two buttery shortbread cookies sandwiched together with jam that peeks out through the cutout in the top half. Linzer cookies are named after the Linzer Torte, a pastry that has a dough lattice over a jam filling, that originated in the Austrian city of Linz.
Linzer cookie cutters can be found in many cooking shops, especially around Christmas time. You can also take a look at these online resources or try these purveyors of German foods and products.
- 4 ounces/113 grams butter (room-temperature)
- 3/4 cup/75 grams sugar (confectioners')
- 1/4 teaspoon orange extract (or vanilla extract)
- 1 cup/125 grams flour (all-purpose)
- 1/2 cup marmalade (or jam-- raspberry, red currant, plum or apricot)
- Garnish: confectioners' sugar for dusting
- In a medium bowl, cream together 4 ounces/113 grams room-temperature butter, 3/4 cup/75 grams confectioners' sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of either orange or vanilla extract.
- Stir 1 cup/125 grams all-purpose flour into the creamed ingredients and knead just until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to several days).
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper. Dust work surface with confectioners' sugar and roll out cookie dough to about 1/8 inch/3 mm thick. Using a Linzer cookie cutter, cut an even number of bottoms (without the cutout) and an even number of tops (with a hole in the middle). Transfer with a spatula to the prepared cookie sheet(s).
Note: If the dough sticks to the work surface too much, roll it out between two pieces of waxed paper or parchment paper or silicone mats. If the dough is too crumbly, warm it a bit. If you need to, you can knead a little bit of water into the dough to make it easier to work with.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool on cookie pans for 5 minutes. Then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- To assemble the cookies:
Sift confectioners' sugar over the cooled cookie tops (the ones with a hole) and set aside. Spread the bottom half of the cooled cookies with 1 teaspoon jam of choice (do not use jelly). Immediately place a dusted cookie top on the jam-coated bottom cookie and press lightly to adhere.
- Store in an airtight container. Cookies will soften a bit when stored, which makes them very nice to eat.