Raspberries and almonds are a classic combination for a reason – they just work. The sweet raspberries accentuate the toasted almonds and subtle brown sugar flavor of these traditional Austrian Christmas cookies.
Day 7 (Part 1) of the annual 12 Days of Christmas Cookies 2021!
I liked these cookies the first day but I absolutely LOVED them on day two. The flavors melded together, the cookies softened and the preserves partially sank into the almond cookies creating a unified flavor instead of an awkward sandwich.
Whole, toasted almonds and brown sugar are a wonderful backdrop for the sweet raspberry preserves.The cookies are not overly sweet themselves, so the preserves and powdered sugar make them more sweet than savory and a delightful addition to any cookie tray!
Linzer Cookies are one of those cookies that I’ve never been thrilled about. I can usually be caught eating the gingerbread, the cherry pecan cookies or chocolate crackles first. But these cookies are soooo much better than store-bought. They are soft and are naturally flavored with real toasted almonds instead of extract (not that I have any against almond extract…) and you control the quality of the preserves that go in between. Crucial.
I also made them larger than the recipe called for, like twice the size, and baked them for less time. I will not apologize. They are awesome.
If you want crispy cookies, bake them longer. See, problem solved.
Important Note on the Dough
Another lesson learned: The dough is not workable if it hardens up completely. I refrigerated mine for almost 4 hours and it was too hard. I kneaded it into submission and began rolling again. You can do the same or you can check it after 2 hours. It should be firm but not hard.
Since these cookies are stable (if packaged correctly) and the flavor and texture improves over time, these are excellent shipping cookies. Package them in a box or tin with parchment between the layers of cookies, and wrap the whole thing in parchment. Either add some sort of bubble wrap or just make sure that the box/tin is small enough that the cookies and parchment packet fit snuggly but aren’t crammed.
Add Traditional Raspberry Linzer Cookies to your Christmas Cookie list right now! These cookies are my jam! #sorryimnotsorry Sometimes the nerd…I cannot repress her.
These Traditional Raspberry Linzer Cookies were Day 7 (Part 1) of 12 Days of Christmas Cookies 2021!
These Cardamom Crescent Cookies were Day 6!
We adored Part 2 of Day 5: the traditional Pfeffernüsse Cookies!
Part 1 of Day 5 was the wondrous: Moravian Christmas Cookie!
We all loved Day 4 of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Orange Financiers!
Day 3 of the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Pistachio Cranberry Sablee Cookies!
We had Day 2 of the 12 Day Christmas Cookie celebration: Cashew Caramel Pretzel Blondies!
Don’t forget about Part One of Day 2 of the 12 Day Cookie Extravaganza: Hungarian Walnut Rolls!
And who could leave out Day 1, Italian Pizzelles!? Make them all!
Traditional Raspberry Linzer Cookies
- ⅔ cup almonds whole
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (for dusting)
- 12 ounces seedless raspberry preserves
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven until lightly browned and fragrant, about 6-10 minutes. They will continue to cook outside of the oven so make sure to take them out as soon as you can smell them! Let cool.
- While your almonds cool, whisk together flour, baking power, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Process the almonds and a ¼ cup of the brown sugar in a food processor until they are finely ground. Be sure to pulse so as not to make almond butter.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and remaining ¼ cup brown sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low and gradually add the ground almonds, then add the flour mixture in several additions. Mix until just combined being careful not to over mix.
- Divide the dough in half, shape into disks, wrap securely in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm but not hard! If you want to prepare the dough the night before, just allow the disks to warm up on the counter until they are still firm but not soft.
- Preheat oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to ⅛ inch thickness. Cut out using 3 inch cookie cutter and place on prepared baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart. Using a 1 inch cookie cutter cut out the centers of half of the rounds, re-rolling the scraps. Bake the bottoms and the tops (the ones with the holes) on separate cookie sheets!
- Bake, one sheet at a time, rotating the cookie sheet half way through, until the edges begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. [I baked the tops 6-8 minutes] Cool slightly on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the tops have partially cool, dust them generously with powdered sugar.
- Spread about ¾ teaspoon of preserves on each cookie without holes. You can use a little more if you like, but I didn’t want the raspberry flavor to overpower the almond flavor. Place a powdered top on each bottom and press gently to stick them together!
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