Recipes for Linzer Tortes, one of the most famous Austrian and Hungarian desserts, date back to the 1600’s. The name, Linzer, comes from the city of Linz which is located in Austria. Although recipes for these delicious cakes vary, most have a short, crumbly layer that is predominately made of ground nuts rather than flour; that crust is then spread with a thick layer of jam topped with a pretty lattice crust. The tortes are a Christmas tradition in many European countries.
Bakers took the concept of the Linzer torte and developed cookies that are mostly ground nuts with jam sandwiched in between. Linzer cookies usually call for a red variety of jam such as currant or raspberry, but they are also delicious with apricot. Although these cookies are not difficult, they are a bit time-consuming; they are definitely worth it, though, and will be an asset to any holiday cookie tray or buffet.
Makes about 32 sandwich cookies
3/4 cup blanched almonds
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup butter, cut in pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup raspberry jam (about)
Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Place the almonds and flour in the food processor and process until the almonds are finely chopped.
- Add the sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest.
- Process until combined, about 15 seconds.
- Add the butter pieces to the processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add the egg and vanilla; process until dough comes together.
- Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about an hour (or freeze for 15 minutes).
- Preheat the oven to 350° .
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured pastry cloth to 1/8" thickness.
- Using a 2 1/2 inch tree shaped cookie cutter, cut out trees; reroll the scraps and cut out more trees.
- Using a small straw or plain pastry tip (such as Ateco #4), cut out 5 holes from half of the trees to represent ornaments.
- Carefully transfer the cookies onto greased or parchment- lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 9 - 11 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to brown.
- Transfer the cookies to cooling racks and cool thoroughly.
- Spread a teaspoon of the jam evenly onto each of the cookies without the holes.
- Lightly sift powdered sugar over the tops with the holes.
- Place the powdered sugar topped cookies over the jam-topped cookies.
- Store in an airtight container for up to one week or freeze for longer storage.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 109 Calories from Fat 61
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 56% Protein 7% Carb. 37%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 20 mg
Sodium 72 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 1% Calcium 0% Iron 2%