The holiday season is upon us, and nothing says ‘Christmas Cheer’ quite like a batch of freshly baked cookies. But these aren’t just any cookies – these are Linzer cookies with a festive twist, sure to warm the hearts of your loved ones. Combining the classic taste of shortbread with the rich flavors of raspberry jam, these peekaboo cookies are a perfect holiday treat. And the best part? They’re easy to make and even better to gift!
Why Linzer Cookies?
Originating from Austria, Linzer cookies traditionally consist of a buttery dough filled with black currant preserve. Our version, curated by Pina Bresciani, is a simple American twist to the classic, using delicious raspberry jam. These cookies make for a delightful treat for the festive season, and with their peekaboo cutout, they’re as much a feast for the eyes as they are for the palate.
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam
- Extra flour (for rolling out the dough)
- Extra icing sugar (for dusting)
- Start by preheating your oven to 325°F. Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, icing sugar, salt, and vanilla. Aim for a light and fluffy texture, which will take about 3 minutes.
- Slowly add in the sifted flour until just combined. You’ll notice the dough beginning to take shape.
- Once the dough forms, give it a quick knead with your hands, ensuring it all comes together. Then wrap it in plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This step is crucial as it makes the dough easier to roll out.
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. If the dough gets sticky, add a bit more flour.
- Using a 3-inch circle cookie cutter, create circle shapes. You can reuse the leftover dough by rolling and cutting it.
- Now, here’s the fun part – use a 1 1/2 inch Christmas cookie cutter to cut out festive shapes in the center of half the circle cookies.
- Arrange these cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remember to switch the pans halfway through for even baking.
- Once baked, allow the cookies to cool. Then, spread a generous amount of jam on the whole cookies and sandwich them with the cutout cookies, dusted with icing sugar.
- Ensure your butter is at room temperature for the perfect consistency.
- Sift the flour before adding it to the mixture.
- The choice of cookie cutter shape for the center cutout is entirely up to you. Be it a Christmas tree, a candy cane, or even a star, let your creativity shine!
- The dough can get soft because of the butter content. Roll and cut quickly, and use more flour if necessary.
- Raspberry jam is our choice, but feel free to experiment with other flavors like strawberry, fig, or cherry.
Gifting the Linzer Cookies…
Place these delightful Linzer cookies in a festive tin or a transparent cookie bag. Tie it up with a red or green ribbon, add a personalized tag, and there you have it – a simple, homemade, heartfelt gift ready to spread the Christmas cheer.
So, this festive season, bring out the baker in you and surprise your friends and family with these exquisite Linzer cookies. They’re not just cookies; they’re a token of love and warmth. Happy Baking and Merry Christmas!