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Shortbread linzer cookies will light up your holiday season. In this American take on the Austrian classic, shortbread, raspberry jam and a dusting of powdered sugar come together to make a festive, easy-to-love sandwich cookie.

shortbread linzer cookies on a plate
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Why we love this recipe

Who doesn’t love a sandwich cookie? Shortbread linzers have so much to recommend them. They’re:

  • Conjured from just a handful of simple ingredients in a single bowl
  • Mixed, rolled, and stamped into buttery, crumbly, not-too-sweet shortbread
  • Sandwiched with raspberry jam (our favorite) or your favorite filling
  • Truly easy to make, and great for baking with kids
  • Snow-covered and jewel-toned, to boot

I first published this recipe here in 2015. I’ve since updated the post for clarity, but the recipe remains the same. If you’re a fan of old-school food blog narrative, scroll past the recipe card to read a bit of the original text.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe. If I do say so, it takes remarkably little to make something so delightful.

ingredients in bowls
  • Good old all-purpose flour, unsalted butter, and granulated sugar make the shortbread dough
  • A splash of pure vanilla extract adds a cozy, amenable layer of flavor to the dough
  • I like to use my favorite raspberry jam for the filling, but you can use your favorite jam flavor or even a different filling entirely. See the FAQ section for more ideas.
  • A little bit of powdered sugar (also called confectioners’ sugar or 10x sugar) dusts the tops of the cookies before assembly

How to make them

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a fabulous batch of shortbread linzer cookies. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. First you’ll beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, and then beat in the vanilla. Add the flour all at once and mix in by hand. Shortbread wants to be tender and a bit crumbly, so you’ll mix gently until incorporated, and not more than that.
  2. Divide the dough and roll it out to 1/8 inch thickness, give or take.
  3. Stamp out circles, and cut a snowflake or other festive shape out of the center of half of them. Bake for about 15 minutes, until juuuust browned around the edges.
  4. Once cool, sprinkle the top halves and snowflakes with powdered sugar and spread some jam on the flat side of each bottom half. Sandwich together and serve.
shortbread linzer cookies on a plate

Expert tips and FAQs

What can I fill these cookies with, other than jam?

Jam pairs beautifully with shortbread and looks festive, but these cookies are flexible. They’re also wonderful filled with lemon curd (or grapefruit-vanilla curd!), chocolate ganache, Nutella, or cookie butter (Speculoos/Biscoff style).

Got any assembly tips?

Assembly is straightforward. Just remember to dust the tops of the snowflake-stamped cookies with powdered sugar before assembling the sandwiches so you’ll still see the jewel-toned raspberry jam peeking through.

Can I make shortbread linzer cookies in advance? What about leftovers?

You can bake the cookies a day or two in advance and, once cooled completely, store in an airtight container at room temperature. It’s best to assemble them on the day of serving, since powdered sugar looks its best only for a little while.

That said, leftovers are delicious (and still look great). Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Can you freeze shortbread cookies?

You can freeze the shortbread biscuits after baking and before assembly. Arrange cooled cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until solid so they won’t stick together. Then transfer them to an airtight container with parchment between the layers of cookies. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature before assembling.

More favorite treats for the holidays

shortbread linzer cookies on plates with a jar of jam

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Holiday Linzer Cookies Recipe 780 | Umami Girl-2
4.71 from 37 votes

Shortbread Linzer Cookies

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
These simple, jewel-toned cookies look beautiful and taste great. The recipe makes about four dozen sandwich cookies plus four dozen small snowflakes.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 48 cookies
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound (454 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons, (225 grams) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 cups (600 grams) all-purpose flour (see note 1)
  • 15 ounces (425 grams) good raspberry jam
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions 

  • 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. Use your hands toward the end of mixing if you like. Don't overmix, or the cookies will be less tender.
  • Divide dough in half and shape into two discs.
  • 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 them retain their shape in the oven.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. (Snowflake cutouts may bake more quickly.)
  • 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.

Notes

  1. If you have a kitchen scale, please use it to weigh the flour for this recipe and all baking recipes. If not, please read my post and watch my video about measuring flour, and use the spoon and level method to measure.
  2. Assembly is straightforward. Just remember to dust the tops of the snowflake-stamped cookies with powdered sugar before assembling the sandwiches so you'll still see the jewel-toned raspberry jam peeking through.
  3. You can bake the cookies a day or two in advance and, once cooled completely, store in an airtight container at room temperature. It's best to assemble them on the day of serving, since powdered sugar looks its best only for a little while.
  4. That said, leftovers are delicious (and still look great). Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
  5. You can freeze the shortbread biscuits after baking and before assembly. Arrange cooled cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until solid so they won’t stick together. Then transfer them to an airtight container with parchment between the layers of cookies. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature before assembling.
  6. Jam pairs beautifully with shortbread and looks festive, but these cookies are flexible. They're also wonderful filled with lemon curd (or grapefruit-vanilla curd!), chocolate ganache, Nutella, or cookie butter (Speculoos/Biscoff style).

Nutrition

Calories: 153kcal, Carbohydrates: 19.9g, Protein: 1.5g, Fat: 7.8g, Fiber: 0.4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cookies + Bars
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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An excerpt from the 2015 text

Medium-exquisite linzer cookies

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.

Holiday Linzer Cookies Recipe 780 | Umami Girl-2

A totally achievable linzer cookies recipe

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.) 

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.71 from 37 votes (37 ratings without comment)

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