Linzer Heart Cookies

These Linzer heart cookies are made with raspberry preserves sandwiched between cinnamon-scented hazelnut sugar cookies that are actually quite like shortbread. Perfect to gift or share on Valentine’s day. Or, heck, any day.

Fifteen Linzer heart cookies being dusted with confectioners' sugar

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 linzer torte. 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 heart cookies aren’t quite the perfect shape, your heart most definitely IS in the perfect place.–Sarabeth Levine


Why our testers loved this

Our testers loved these “party cookies.” Despite requiring a little more work than your average drop cookie, they adored the perfect balance of cookie and sweetness that these Linzer cookies achieve.

Holly Z. joined in with her comment, “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!”

Notes on ingredients

  • Unsalted butter–If you need to substitute salted butter, don’t add the 1/8 teaspoon salt called for in the recipe.
  • Superfine sugar–If you only have granulated sugar on hand, pop it into your food processor and blitz it until finely ground, but not powdery.
  • Egg–Be sure to use a room-temperature egg for your cookies. Our testers also had success making these cookies using commercial egg replacement powder.
  • Raspberry preserves–You can use your favorite store-bought or homemade raspberry preserves here. Be sure to use a preserve that isn’t too runny though, to avoid the jam leaking out the side of the cookies.

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Toast the hazelnuts until the skins split. Use a kitchen towel to rub the skins off.
  2. Grind the hazelnuts in a food processor with 1/2 cup of flour. Add the ground nut mixture to a bowl with the remaining flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar until light. Beat in the egg, then reduce mixer speed and add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Chill the dough.
  4. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Cut out heart-shaped cookies, then roll and cut dough scraps. Chill for 30 minutes.
  6. Bake the cookies until lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Assemble the cookies. Spread jam over the center of a cookie, then top with another cookie. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Recipe FAQs

Why are these called Linzer cookies?

You may know Linzer torte as the Austrian confection, named for the city of Linz. A short, crumbly pastry made from ground nuts and covered in a jam filling and lattice, it’s traditionally served during the holidays. These pretty little cookies take all those flavors and make them bite-sized.

In Germany, the cookies are called Linzer Augen, (Linzer eyes) and have a characteristic circle cut out of the top biscuit.

How do I make sure my cut-out cookies hold their shape during baking?

Chill your dough. After rolling and cutting out your cookies, pop the tray of cookies into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes before baking.

Can I use a different type of preserve or jam?

Definitely. Raspberry is common for Linzer cookies, but feel free to experiment with your favorite jams or preserves.

Helpful tips

  • The dough is easiest to roll when chilled, so if it begins to warm up as you work with it, pop it back into the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up. You may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to find the best temperature for rolling.
  • Weigh your ingredients for the best results.
  • The cookies can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days. They will soften over time.
  • To freeze the cookies, store the cookies without the jam filling in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw and fill with jam before serving.

☞ If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

Linzer Heart Cookies

Fifteen Linzer heart cookies being dusted with confectioners' sugar
These Linzer heart cookies are made with raspberry preserves sandwiched between cinnamon-scented hazelnut sugar cookies that are actually quite like shortbread. Perfect to gift or share on Valentine’s day. Or, heck, any day.

Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 3 hrs
Dessert
American
36 cookies
70 kcal
5 / 2 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Sarabeth's Bakery cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Equipment

  • You’ll need a 2 1/4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter (measured across its widest point) to make these little lovelies.

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 2 1/2 cups pastry or unbleached cake flour plus more for the work surface
  • 1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon as your love of cinnamon dictates
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery)
  • 1 large egg at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions
 

Bake the cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (176°C). Adjust the oven rack to the center position.
  • Spread the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until the skins split, about 10 minutes. Working quickly, place the warm hazelnuts, a handful at a time, in a kitchen towel and rub together to remove the skin (some skin may remain on the nuts; this is okay). Repeat. Let cool completely and turn off the oven.
  • In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the cooled nuts with 1/2 cup of the flour until the nuts are finely ground. Empty into a bowl and combine with the remaining 2 cups flour, the cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed, beat the butter and superfine sugar until light in color and texture, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the egg. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture. The dough will be rather soft.
  • Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap it loosely and shape it into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Refrigerate until chilled, 1 to 2 hours.
  • Adjust your oven racks to the center and top third positions and preheat the oven to 350ºF (176°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Divide the chilled dough in half. Place 1 portion of dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top with flour. Return the other half to the refrigerator. Roll the dough into a 1/8–inch-thick rectangle. The dough can be a tad crumbly and delicate when cold. You may want to let it warm just a little.
  • Using a 2 1/4 inch-heart-shaped cookie cutter dipped in flour, quickly cut out the cookies and transfer them to the prepared baking sheets. [Editor's Note: The dough is rather delicate so you'll probably find it easiest to move the hearts with a floured offset metal spatula. And if the dough rips a little as you roll it out, no worries. Simply pat it back into place and continue.]
  • Gather up the scraps of dough and set them aside. Repeat rolling and cutting out the cookies with the other half of the dough from the fridge. Place the baking sheets in the refrigerator.
  • Combine the dough scraps into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until lightly chilled, about 10 minutes. Repeat rolling and cutting the scraps until all of the dough has been used. Refrigerate until chilled through, at least 30 minutes.
  • Bake the cookies straight from the refrigerator, switching the position of the baking pans from top to bottom and front to back, until the edges are lightly browned, 15 to 17 minutes.
  • Place the pans on wire racks and let the cookies cool completely.

Assemble the Linzer heart cookies

  • Arrange the Linzer heart cookies on 1 of the baking sheets with the flat underside facing up. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon raspberry preserves in the center of each cookie. Sandwich each with 1 of the remaining cookies, flat sides facing each other. Cover with parchment and let stand at least 8 hours or overnight to set.
  • Just before serving, sift confectioners’ sugar over the cookies. If you had some cracks in the dough, simply dust extra generously with sugar.
Print RecipeBuy the Sarabeth's Bakery cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Notes

  1. Chill your dough–The dough is easiest to roll when chilled, so if it begins to warm up as you work with it, pop it back into the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes to firm up. You may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to find the best temperature for rolling.
  2. Weigh your ingedients–Weigh your ingredients for the best results.
  3. Storage–The cookies can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 5 days. They will soften over time.
  4. Freezing–To freeze the cookies, store the cookies without the jam filling in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw and fill with jam before serving.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 70kcal (4%)Carbohydrates: 13g (4%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 2g (3%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mg (2%)Sodium: 12mg (1%)Potassium: 59mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 5g (6%)Vitamin A: 10IUVitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 11mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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. I thought that the confectioner’s sugar, 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.

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love learning new techniques and the one of finely “grinding” nuts by using the food processor and combining them with flour is genius. No worries about them turning into nut butter. Thanks!

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