With Christmas approaching, I’m gearing up for some Christmas cookies. While I love the cozy warmth of ginger and cinnamon, I’ve already done the classic gingerbread men. This time, I’m diving into the world of Gingerbread Linzer Cookies.
Gingerbread Linzer Cookie Recipe
Gingerbread Linzer cookies are a delightful variation of the traditional Linzer cookies, incorporating the warm and spiced flavors of gingerbread. It’s a type of sandwich cookie with a layer of jam. These cookies are not only delicious but also perfect for the holiday season, thanks to their warm and spiced flavor profile. These Gingerbread Linzer Cookies are paired perfectly well with Masala Chai Tea.
The authentic Linzer cookie dough is made with ground nuts like almonds or hazelnuts. It’s gluten-free. However, I made the Linzer cookie shortbread, a version without almond flour. I used all-purpose flour with a touch of ground nuts. Here is how to make Gingerbread Linzer Cookies:
Shortbread Gingerbread Linzer Cookies
- Linzer cookie cutter (choose different shapes you like)
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup fruit jam apricot, raspberry, or your choice
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, and molasses until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, salt, and ground almonds.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
- Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll out one disc of dough on a floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness.
- Use a Linzer cookie cutter to cut out the bases and then cut out the centers of half of them.
- Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Spread a thin layer of fruit jam on the solid cookie bases.
- Press the cut-out cookies on top of the bases with preserves to create a sandwich.
- Dust the Gingerbread Linzer Cookies with powdered sugar.
Depending on the type of fillings, you can store Linzer cookies in different ways.
- With jams or lemon curd filling, you can store your Gingerbread Linzer Cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. You can put them in the fridge to make them last longer.
- If your cookies are filled with fresh fruit jams or curd, put them in the fridge, extending their lifespan to a week.
- For a more extended holiday in storage (up to 3 months), you can freeze these cookies.
Before storing your cookies, let them cool completely before stashing them away, and do not stack them up.
Linzer Cookie Variations
Linzer cookies are a delightful and classic treat that originated in Linz, Austria, dating back to the 17th century. They are cookies with a hole in the middle, featuring two cookies with a sweet fruit jam filling which can be seen through a decorative cutout in the top layer.
The cookies are often made of almond flour while the fruit jam is typically raspberry or blackberry jam.
Linzer cookies are versatile and can be enjoyed in various shapes and sizes, making them a popular choice during special occasions, holidays, and festive seasons like Christmas. Here are some popular Linzer cookie ideas you can try:
- Traditional Linzer Cookies include ground almond and raspberry jam. This is a classic and easy recipe.
- Nutty Linzer Cookies: For a nutty twist, you can replace the almonds with other nuts in the cookie dough, such as hazelnut, pecan, or pistachio. These nuts impart a rich, slightly different flavor that pairs well with various fruit jams like apricot or blackberry.
- Chocolate Linzer Cookies: Add cocoa powder to the cookie dough for a chocolatey variation. Raspberry or strawberry jams work exceptionally well with this Linzer cookie recipe.
- Citrus Infused Linzer Cookies: Incorporate citrus zest, such as orange or lemon, into the cookie dough to add a refreshing and zesty element.
- Gingerbread Linzer Cookies include warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom in the cookie dough.
- Nut-Free Linzer Cookies: If you have nut allergies, consider making a nut-free version by replacing the almond or hazelnut flour with a combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch. You will have a lighter, crumbly cookie that still maintains the essence of Linzer cookies.
- Mixed Berry Linzer Tarts: This version is made by combining different fruit jams like raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, cranberry, and blackberry jams.
- Savory Linzer Cookies: Turn your classic sweet Linzer concept on its head by creating a savory version. You can fill the cookies with savory ingredients like cheese, pesto, or sun-dried tomatoes.