Holiday Linzer Cookies Recipe
This American take on linzer cookies will light up your holiday season.
As the countdown to Christmas reaches single digits and the to-do list only grows more “festive” (or one of those f-words, anyway), I find I’m getting better and better and my holiday baking specialty. That specialty, it turns out, is making cookies that have the potential to be exquisite and using my own set of skills to make them adequate. Cute, sure. Tasty, definitely. And let’s just say unequivocally homemade. It’s good to bake with the kids, because even if they’re more nimble than you, people — at least people without access to forensic equipment — will assume they made the ones with the cracks and the blobs and the fingerprints. You don’t even have to say anything.
At any rate, if I can make these cookies in an evening, you can make them, too. They’re basic shortbread cookies that decided to get a little dressed up for the holiday party, and they didn’t have to try too hard, because they’re confident they know how to work a crowd.
I’ll leave you with that for today, so you can get baking and we can all get back to our “festivities,” whatever they may be. (And at this point I’ve used enough convoluted double entendres that I actually don’t even know what they may be.)
Talk to you soon.
48 adjust servings
These simple, jewel-toned cookies look beautiful and taste great. The recipe makes a scant four dozen sandwich cookies plus four dozen small snowflakes.
- 1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour*
- 15 ounces good raspberry jam
- Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 325°F. Cut the butter into small pieces and place it in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) with the sugar. Beat on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate. Add the flour and stir in gently with a spatula or wooden spoon until incorporated. Gather dough into your hands and shape into two balls. You'll need to give it a good squeeze to get it to hold together well. You can chill it for 20 minutes or so at this point or proceed directly. Dust work surface and rolling pin with flour and gently roll each dough ball into a thin disk, about 1/8 inch, but don't stress. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie/biscuit cutter, cut as many circles as you can. You should get between 90 and 100 in total, after you re-roll any scraps and use them to make a few more cookies. Using a small snowflake cookie cutter (or any small festive shape you like), cut into the center of half the circles. Remove the snowflakes to bake separately. Transfer cookies to cookie sheets lined with parchment and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes to help cookies retain their shape in the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until very lightly golden. Remove from the oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will keep well at this stage for a few days. The day you plan to present the cookies, spread a nice layer of jam over the flat (bottom) side of each of the intact circles. Heap a little bit of jam in the center and leave a little border around the edge. Dust the tops of the snowflake-cutout circles, as well as the snowflakes themselves, with plenty of powdered sugar. To assemble the cookies, gently press a cutout circle onto each jam-covered circle, which should help the jam fill in the snowflake shape and also spread to the outside edges of the cookies.
Recipe Notes * Measure the flour using the spoon and level method. Spoon flour gently from the container into the measuring cup without tamping it down at all. Then run the back of a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level it off. This prevents those of us who bake with volumetric measurements rather than kitchen scales from adding too much flour to our recipes.
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