Let’s reach into the cookie jar for another gem! These simple and buttery linzer cookies are scented with lemon and filled with raspberry jam. We’ll add poppy seeds for fun and a generous dusting of powdered sugar to take these raspberry sandwich cookies over the top.
I’ve got two pots of gumbo boiling away on the stovetop and most of my holiday cookie dough in the freezer. I’m hoping that an extra two hours appears in my day, by some miracle, so I can make a batch of Mom’s Peanut Butter Balls and practice for the Jorgensen family sing along tomorrow. It’s a sing-for-your-supper affair and I’ll try not to pain everyone too much with my rendition of “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.” But honestly, I’m coming with gumbo and peanut butter balls so maybe they’ll spare all of us my solo.
Today’s late into the holiday cookie offering is a play on the Holiday Cookie Jar I put together for my friends at Williams Sonoma. It’s all of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes, and these linzer darlings are at the top of the list. These peek-a-boo cookies are a play on the linzer torte from Austria. Sandwich cookies meets shortbread cookies with a jam or curd center.
Let’s bake babes!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make these raspberry linzer cookies:
• unsalted butter
• granulated sugar
• egg yolk
• zest of a lemon
• poppy seeds for extra credit
• all-purpose flour
• almond flour
• kosher salt
• vanilla extract
• powdered sugar for dusting
• raspberry jam or lemon curd (strawberry jam and apricot jam are also lovely)
Let’s make these linzers!
We’ll start with butter room temperature (as cookies always start), in a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer – whichever you don’t mind lugging out of the cupboard.
Cream the softened butter, sugar, and lemon zest together until pale and fluffy, 3 minutes or so.
I love creaming the zest with the butter because the fat will distribute the lemon flavor through the whole cookie – it’s a little wonder!
Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a large egg yolk and beat until well combined and glossy.
You can certainly whisk the flour mixture together in a separate bowl before combining with the butter mixture but if you’re feeling as kitchen-lazy as I am, add all of the dry ingredients to the top of the butter mixture, give it a little whisk before combining thoroughly.
Swipe a rubber spatula across the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure there aren’t any hidden patches of flour hangin’ out. We want an evenly combined cookie dough.
Divide the dough in two between two pieces of plastic wrap. I like to create a relatively slim rectangle shape because the dough will chill faster. And chill it well for a few hours in the refrigerator to allow the moisture to absorb and the butter to harden slightly before rolling out.
Now is also a great time to throw this cookie dough in the freezer. These also make sweet Valentine’s Day cookies. Just thaw the dough in the refrigerator before rolling and you’re in business! (That’s some amazing planning if you ask me.)
On a lightly floured surface, roll the cookie dough to a thick 1/4-inch. If the cookie dough is super chilled from the fridge, I like to let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes or so. I find that with a super cold dough, I battle cracks in the cookie dough as I roll it. A little rest at room temperature helps with that.
Use round cookie cutters to cut rounds (I think 2 1/2 – 3 inch rounds are best) and an offset spatula to shimmy them off the counter.
For this cookie bake I used my favorite Goldtouch baking sheet from Williams Sonoma. They’re super nonstick so no need for parchment paper but if you feel like your baking sheet might have a tendency to hold on to the cookie bottoms, throw a slice of parchment down just to be sure.
Half of the batch of cookies are baked as full rounds. The other half of cookie dough gets rolled and cut with peek-a-boo centers. I like to let the cookies chill for 30 minutes before placing in the oven just to make sure they don’t spread to much during baking but if you’re in a hurry you can bake them right away.
Bake in the oven until the cookies are juuuuust golden around the edges.
While the cookies bake, gather the scraps and roll more cookies. (I reroll the scraps of this dough to the bitter end.)
Let the cookies cool on a wire rack before dusting generously with powdered sugar and filling with raspberry or lemon.
Admittedly, the liberal amounts of powdered sugar make these cookies as dangerous to eat as beignets. Just…. don’t inhale.
The layers go like this: dusted full cookie, raspberry preserves, cutout cookie topper, a dusting of powdered sugar.
These are my ideal cookie sandwiches, buttery crisp with a hint of lemon, a little bite from poppyseeds, and sweet raspberry jam (though lemon curd also gets heart eyes). Store these cookies in an airtight container and enjoy with afternoon tea.
Find the recipe and leave any questions below! Happy Baking! xoPrint
- 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) (6 oz./168 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (3 1/4 oz./100 g) granulated sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 1/2 tsp.)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups (5 1/3 oz./170 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 3/4 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) almond flour
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Raspberry jam as needed
- In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined, about 1 minute.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, salt, and poppy seeds. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined, about 2 minutes.
- Divide the dough in half and pat each half into a disk. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove one disk of dough at a time from the refrigerator and let stand until it feels soft enough to roll, 5 to 15 minutes. On a floured surface, roll out a dough disk about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch (6-cm) round or snowflake-shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Use an offset spatula to help lift the cookie dough shapes off the counter, then transfer them to a prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Gather up and roll out the dough scraps, then cut out more cookies to yield a total of 15. Place the cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
- Position 1 rack in the center and 1 rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).
- While the first batch of cookies is chilling, roll out the remaining dough as directed above and cut out 15 rounds or snowflake shapes. Transfer the cookies to the other prepared baking sheet and use a small cookie cutter to make a peekaboo cutout in the center of each cookie. (These will be the tops of the sandwich cookies.) Place the cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.
- Bake all of the cookies until the edges are just beginning to turn brown, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets (front to back and between racks) once during baking. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Place the cookies with the center cutout on a cookie sheet so they are top side up and sift confectioners’ sugar over the top. Turn the solid cookies so they are flat side up and spoon 1 tsp. raspberry jam into the center, spreading it slightly. Top each with a sugar-dusted cookie and press lightly.
- Store the filled cookies, well wrapped, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Makes 15 sandwich cookies.