We got this delicious cookie recipe from my sister-in-law, who got it from King Arthur Baking Company. Courtney and I visited the King Arthur campus in New Hampshire a couple of years ago on our way to a Vermont bike tour, and, oh my, did we ever have a wonderful time perusing all of the fun baking items and ingredients in their store, and enjoying lunch outdoors on the patio. The food is delicious as you can imagine. They offer all sorts of baking classes, which we’d love to do one of these days!
In the meantime, we just keep baking away and making all sorts of goodies, including morning buns, sourdough bread, cinnamon rolls and these fun cookies! Linzer cookies are a spin off the Linzer torte, which dates back to an Austrian abbey in the early 1700s. Linzer tortes were made with a base of almond-flavored pastry filled with jam and topped with a lattice of more pastry. The cookies are really just mini versions of the tart.
These Linzer cookies are really basically almond shortbread cookies, and can be made with gluten-free flour in place of the all-purpose flour, for delicious gluten-free cookies. The cookies are made with some almond flour in any case, which adds great texture and flavor.
When it comes to Linzer cookies, you can actually buy a Linzer cookie cutter set that makes it really easy to cut out the center peekaboo designs, but we couldn’t get one in time, so we just bought a set of stacked heart cookie cutters and used two different sizes for our Linzer cookies.
For a little twist, we decided to add chocolate ganache in the centers of half of our cookies and sprinkle Valentine’s sprinkles in the center. We think that it looks really festive and it tasted delicious! When it comes to the jam filling, be sure to use a thick jam, but one with not too much solid fruit in it. You want the layer of jam to be even, if possible.
Valentine’s Linzer Cookies
- 2 baking sheets
- Parchment paper
- 1 large heart-shaped cookie cutter (2 1/2to 3-inches across the wide part of the heart)
- 1 small heart-shaped cookie cutter, or … (1 to 1 1/2-inches across the wide part of the heart)
- 1 Linzer cookie cutter set with heart option in center cut-out
- 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature Equivalent 6 oz. or 3/4 cup
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (can substitute 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour)
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam (Can use mixed berry, raspberry, strawberry, etc.)
- 4 oz. dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- To make the dough: Beat the butter, sugar, and zest (or cinnamon) until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes. Add the yolk and vanilla and beat until combined.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, almond flour, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until just combined. Don't over-beat.
- Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and let it soften for 5 to 10 minutes, until it feels soft enough to roll. It should still feel cold, but shouldn't feel rock-hard.
- On a floured surface, roll each disc of dough out to about 1/8"-thick. Using a 2 1/2 to 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Dust dough with extra flour as needed to prevent it from becoming too sticky.
- Now, from half of the cookies, cut out another heart in the center with a 1 to 11/2-inch heart cookie cutter to make a heart shaped frame. Remove the little center heart cut out and set aside.
- Place the cut cookies on the prepared baking sheets and refrigerate for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake all of the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn brown. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- To fill the Linzer cookies: Place the cookies with the holes in them on a cookie sheet and sift confectioners' sugar over the top. Turn the remaining cookies flat side up and spoon 1/2 teaspoon of jam or lemon curd into the center, spreading it slightly. Top with the sugar-dusted cookies. Use the same process for chocolate filled cookies, only using chocolate instead of jam.
- These cookies freeze well, but we suggest freezing them before filling them with the jam, so they don’t get soggy. Once filled, they last for several days in an airtight container at room temp or in the refrigerator.
- Place chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat cream in a saucepan just to scalding, but not boiling. Remove from heat and stir into chocolate chips, whisking to blend. Stir in vanilla.