These Linzer heart cookies are made with raspberry preserves sandwiched between delicate cinnamon-scented hazelnut sugar cookies that are similar to shortbread. Perfect to gift or share on Valentine’s day. Or any day.
These Linzer heart cookies, made with dough inflected with hazelnuts and cinnamon and sandwiched with raspberry preserves, are no ordinary cookies. Not in flavor. Not in texture. Not in aroma. And not in the coming together. They’re a little something of a labor of love, which makes them all the more reminiscent of its namesake linzertorte. And not to worry if what results appears to be slightly imperfect. A sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar hides all manner of sins. If your Linzer hearts cookies aren’t quite the perfect shape, your heart most definitely IS in the perfect place. Originally published February 10, 2011.–Sarabeth Levine
Linzer Heart Cookies
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 3 H
- Makes about 36 heart cookies
Special Equipment: You'll need a 2 1/4 -inch heart-shaped cookie cutter (measured across its widest point) to make these little lovelies.
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Recipe Testers Reviews
I found these Linzer heart cookies to be tender and absolutely delicious. I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe—it’s a hit at our house exactly as written!
I used the full amount of cinnamon called for in the recipe and it was delightful and not at all overpowering. My cookie dough was on the dry side and had to be hand-mixed. I thought the dough would crack when I rolled it but it was moist enough that it rolled out smoothly. I baked my cookies at 325°F for 10 minutes. (I have a convection oven and this was the perfect temperature and time.) I filled my cookies with raspberry jam and Nutella. My family was eating these as fast as I could make them.
This Linzer heart cookies recipe is definitely a keeper.
I tried it with Ener-G egg replacer powder, and it worked very well. Since I halved the recipe I added 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon plus two pinches more to suit my tastes. The dough was soft and needed thorough chilling. It helped that the author mentioned the dough should be rolled out to a 1/8-inch thickness. I used a round 1 1/2-inch cutter and ended up with 14 sandwich cookies plus a few more from the dough scraps. The amount of spread required can be a bit more or less, depending on personal taste.
This recipe seems open to a lot of flavor experiments.
This Linzer heart cookies recipe took more time to assemble than traditional mix-and-drop cookies. That said, they’d be best as cookies served to company, or party cookies. This type of cookie isn’t supposed to be overly sweet and gooey, and they weren’t.
I only used 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon because I thought the 1 1/4 teaspoons would overpower the hazelnuts and preserves. Also, the dough wasn’t as fragile as I thought it would be. I’ll remember these for a cookie platter in the future!
They definitely need the dusting with confectioners’ sugar before serving—which makes them prettier on the plate, too.
These Linzer heart cookies were a little crisp on the first day, but softened gradually after the second—though both textures were delicious. They’re good-looking, too: The cookies are a rich dark brown color that contrasts nicely with the raspberry jam peeking out from the hole I cut (using the wide end of a pastry tip) in the middle of the top heart.
Interestingly, the cookie on its own didn’t taste like much, but with the jam and a bit of time, the wonderful hazelnut aroma bloomed to result in a sophisticated and not-too-sweet cookie. The confectioner’s sugar I thought, while traditional, was gilding the lily.
I enjoyed these cookies and the recipe worked as written although the dough was extremely crumbly and dry so it was difficult to roll out without making a huge mess. Despite my careful handling and experimentation with rolling it out at different temperatures, I still ended up with cracked cookies that had to be delicately patched. For the record, the dough was easiest to roll out when it was still cold to the touch but very pliable, and in very small batches to ensure easy handling and minimal mess. As they were already warmish, I popped the cut cookies into the freezer for a few minutes before baking to prevent them from losing their pretty shapes.
I’m not sure if all Linzer heart cookies recipes use ground nuts but I liked the ground hazelnuts.
I recommend weighing the nuts instead of measuring by volume, just to make sure you use the right amount.
There’s also a sweet spot to look for with the chilled dough: when it’s too cold, the dough is hard and crumbly and when it’s too warm, it rolls out smoothly but is too soft to transfer the cutouts. The cookies baked in 15 minutes and were easy to sandwich with the preserves (I also used some blueberry and apricot preserves which tasted great).
The cookies alone aren’t very sweet or buttery but with the preserves they’re just the right balance of cookie and sweetness.