Jam filled vegan Linzer cookies are a holiday favourite. They’re so much fun to bake! Plus they are an absolute eye catcher on the cookie platter, while also delighting with a lovely flavour and beautiful light, crumbly texture.
We’ve been baking a lot of cookies over the last month.
Paul’s mum gave us her favourite Austrian Christmas cookie recipes (typed out on a typewriter back in the 80s!) and we’ve been having fun adapting them into vegan recipes.
Linzer cookies take their name from Linz, Austria’s third largest city.
They are a shortbread-like sandwich cookie, with a layer of jam in the middle, which is revealed by a cutout window.
You’ll find Linzer cookies in different shapes.
Round cookies with three small circles arranged in a triangle are traditional and often known as Linzer Augen, meaning Linzer eyes.
Star forms are also popular, especially around Christmas, and are called Linzer Sterne.
There’s also a fun name from Switzerland and parts of Austria and Germany - Spitzbuben, which roughly translates as naughty boys or rascals.
I don’t know how they came to have this name, but I can certainly imagine a cheeky little boy might like these cookies so much that they magically disappear!
If you are familiar with Jammie Dodgers, then you might recognise that they too are a type of Linzer cookie!
To make the dough you’ll need some plain or all purpose flour, sugar, vegan butter, soy milk and ground almonds. Here’s our tips:
Ground almonds - We use organic almonds which we grind ourselves by pulsing in a food processor until fine.
Blanched or peeled almonds will give you the lightest colour cookies. But you can also grind raw almonds which still have their skin, and have a more brown coloured cookie.
Vegan butter - We’d recommend a block of vegan butter designed for baking, rather than a dairy free margarine or spread. We like Naturli or Flora Plant Butter. Miyokos or Earth Balance is also a good option in the US.
Jam - You can use your favorite type of jam, or use a variety. Seedless jam or jelly works well.
A traditional filling for Linzer cookies is redcurrant jam. Homemade apricot jam is one of our favourites, too. Raspberry or other red berry jam is typically used as well.
Icing sugar/powdered sugar - This dusts the cookies after they are baked.
Just be sure to use vegan icing sugar, as some may contain egg white, or (in the US) use bone char in the processing.
You can also easily make your own powdered sugar at home by grinding granulated sugar in a spice grinder or food processor.
Step by step
Here's a visual guide to baking these cookies. You'll find the full recipe in the card at the end of the post.
Step 1 - Combine the dry ingredients - the flour, ground almonds and sugar, and then rub in the diced vegan butter.
Step 2 - Add the soy milk and bring it together into a dough.
Step 3 - On a lightly floured board, roll the dough to a thickness of 3mm or 1/8inch.
Step 4 - Cut out cookie shapes using a cookie cutter (see tips below!). Use a small cutter to cut holes in the center of half of the cut-out shapes to make the cookie tops. Remaining dough can be rolled out again until you have used it all.
Step 5 - Transfer the shapes onto a lined baking tray and bake at 180C food 10-12 minutes, until they are lightly browned along the edges. Let them cool on the tray for a bit to firm up.
Step 6 - Assemble the cookies: Spread a small spoonful of jam on the base, then place a cookie with a cutout on top to create a sandwich. Try not to use too much jam, or it will spill out when you press them together!
Step 7 - As a final touch, dust the cookies with icing sugar.
Cookie cutter tips
One of my favourite things about making these Linzer cookies is cutting them out and making different shapes!
For the base you’ll want to use a cutter of around 5cm diameter. Fluted edges, heart shapes, and stars are all good.
And for the small cutout you’ll want a tiny cutter of about 1.5-2cm diameter.
If you don’t have a small enough cutter you can also improvise by using the reverse of a metal piping nozzle or just carefully cutting a window with a knife. The nozzle of a funnel might work too!
You can also get cookie cutter sets designed specifically to make Linzer cookies, which is really handy if you are baking a lot of them.
If you want your baked cookies to spread less or have sharper definition, you can chill the cut out cookies on before baking.
Enjoying and storing
Linzer cookies are popular at all times of the year! They are enjoyed especially in the run-up time before Christmas, as well as eating them up in the weeks after.
Plate them up and serve beside tea or coffee, particularly liked by visitors! Linzer cookies are also a perfect little sweet treat after dinner.
In Austria, people exchange whole tins of cookies, and Linzer are never missing!
A small tin of Linzer cookies is also perfect for bringing with you when visiting a friend or treating colleagues at the office.
Stored in a cookie tin, Linzer cookies can be good to enjoy even for several months! That said, they are still best when you eat them within two weeks - if you can resist them that long!
We hope that you enjoy these vegan Linzer cookies as much as we do! Here’s some more festive recipes for you to try:
Some yummy Vegan Rum Truffles
This fun to make Chocolate Salami
And these really easy, and very quick to disappear, Sweet & Spicy Nuts!
Vegan Linzer Cookies
Filling and dusting
- ¼ cup (70 g) jam redcurrant, raspberry, apricot...
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- For the dough, first combine the dry ingredients: Flour, sugar, ground almonds.
- Rub in the vegan butter using your hands. You can start this off using a fork or spatula.
- Add the soy milk and knead into a smooth dough.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out a portion of cookie dough 3 mm thick (1/8 inch). Keep lightly flouring the rolling pin and surface to keep it from sticking.
- Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter (about 5 cm / 2 inch wide). For the cookie tops, cut a small opening right in the center of half the cookies using small cutter or other suitable tool. See cookie cutter tips in the post above!Leftover cuttings of dough can simply be gathered and rolled out again to cut out more cookies.
- Transfer the shapes to a lined baking tray and bake in a pre-heated fan oven at 180°C for 10-12 minutes, until just starting to brown around the edges. Let the cookies cool down to firm up for a few minutes.
- Spread small spoonfuls of jam on each cookie base, then place a cookie with cut-out on top to make a sandwich and gently press down. Try not to use too much jam or it might spill out from the sides!
- As a final touch, dust the cookies with icing sugar.