These linzer bars have a sweet shortbread cookie crust, a jammy raspberry filling, a buttery crumble topping, and a sweet almond icing. Similar to the classic linzer tart but with so much less effort and fuss.
Buttery and crumbly and raspberry-y in the best possible way, these crazy easy bars have all the taste—but none of the fuss—of a classic linzer tart. In her phenomenal baking book in which this recipe is found, Kim Laidlaw attributes the inspiration for these raspberry linzer bars to Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop in Austin, Texas. Suffice it to say it’s on our list of places to try next time we’re helping to keep things weird in Austin.–Renee Schettler Rossi
For the crust
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lemon Grated zest of preferably organic
- 3 sticks cold unsalted butter cut into chunks
For the filling
- 4 cups raspberries quickly rinsed and plopped on paper towels to dry
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the glaze
- 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Prep the oven and pan
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or two 8-inch baking dishes with parchment paper.
Make the crust
- In a bowl, combine the flour, granulated and brown sugars, salt, and lemon zest. Add the butter and, using a food processor, pastry blender, or 2 table knives, quickly cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small peas.
- Pat about 3/4 of the crust mixture over the bottom and slightly up the sides of the prepared pans, pressing firmly to make an even layer. Bake until the crust is pale golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Cover the remaining 1/4 crust mixture remaining in the bowl and refrigerate it.
- Set the crust aside to cool while you make the filling.
Make the filling and assemble the linzer bars
- In a saucepan, stir together the raspberries, granulated sugar, and cornstarch. Simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves and the berries are juicy but not completely broken down, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Spread the filling over the partially baked crust. Crumble the remaining chilled crust mixture over the filling. Bake until pale golden and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
Make the glaze
- In a bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, cream, and almond extract. Whisk the ingredients together until combined.
Glaze the linzer bars
- Fit a piping bag with a small plain tip and fill it with the glaze or pour the glaze into a large resealable plastic bag and snip off the tip of one of the bottom corners. Pipe or drizzle the glaze over the linzer bars in any fashion that you fancy. Refrigerate until chilled through, at least 1 hour. Cut into bars.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Easy breezy buttery goodness. I don’t think I’ve ever baked anything that came together so seamlessly and quickly to produce such pure deliciousness. Of course, the Indian in me had to struggle to resist adding some ground cardamom to the crust. But the tartness of the raspberries, the buttery crust, and the hint of almond in the frosting are wonderful together.
Overall, a winning recipe by unanimous vote. It’s foolproof so even non-bakers will gain confidence with this recipe. The zest of 1 lemon didn’t impart much flavor or aroma. I would’ve liked a bit more citrus, perhaps even lime or key lime?
These raspberry linzer bars are truly delicious. Not too sweet and quite delicious.
Instead of using a pastry blender, I used my food processor and pulsed the crust mixture. That worked better for me than doing it manually. Make sure the butter is chilled well! I put my cubes in the freezer for a bit just to make sure.
During my first batch, I found the raspberry mixture to be quite liquid. I believe that was due to having washed the raspberries shortly before using them. The second go-around I washed the raspberries the day before and let them dry on paper towels and that worked better for me.
These raspberry linzer bars are an enjoyable little treat for any and all occasions. They are fruity, light, satisfying, and pretty enough for a special occasion but an ideal little treat to go with a casual cup of coffee or tea. They are not overpoweringly sweet or heavy.
Though 3 sticks butter looks a bit overwhelming it adds great flavor and crunch to the finished bar. It took me about 10 minutes to put the crust together, and about 7 minutes total for the filling. I let my bars chill a little longer than the 1 hour. Next time I will use parchment paper to line the pan which will make removal of the bars from the pan much simpler.
These are super buttery and full of raspberry goodness. I cooled, glazed, and refrigerated the bars for 1 hour (who could wait any longer?! I had eager tasters!). They were golden on the bottom, but the top never got to the golden color in the photo, though the bars were definitely bubbly when I took them out of the oven.
I also simplified some of the steps, which cut out extra dishes (I used my hands to cut in the butter and cooled the filling in the saucepan, rather than in a bowl, and I piped using a resealable plastic bag).
While the glaze added a nice finishing touch, the bars were plenty sweet without it, and I don’t personally strive for the look of the glaze atop the bars, so I’d be fine omitting it. However, I bet most folks would like theirs glazed, so I’m not sure I’m a trustworthy guide on this point.
These bars are buttery and delicious, and the raspberry filling is bright and flavorful. The leftovers were fabulous for breakfast.
I would invest in a pastry blender because it takes a lot of time and effort to cut in 3 sticks of butter using 2 knives.
Originally published August 9, 2015