Gluten Free Linzer Cookies

Gluten Free Linzer Cookies feature a buttery almond cut out cookie sandwiched with a smidge of strawberry jam. These traditional Austrian cookies are perfect for the holidays and can be customized for any season!

Strawberry Lemonade Linzer Cookies | Neighborfoodblog.com

Buttery Soft Strawberry Linzer Cookies

Was anyone else super happy to see the clock strike February this past weekend?  January always seems to be a hard month around these parts. There’s the inevitable post-holiday schlump which makes returning to a full work week schedule seem utterly impossible. Pair that with gray days, piles of snow charcoal mush, and the fact that I’m supposed to be eating kale when it’s 10 degrees outside and January is all around not.my.favorite.

I am more than thrilled to slip into my February sweater (which looks a lot like my January sweater), make myself a tea latte, and pair it with some buttery shortbread linzer cookies.

Think of these Strawberry Linzer Cookies as using every force I have available to will spring into existence. Or, at the very least, my attempt to keep my sanity by baking something colorful and bright and fruity. I laugh in the face of winter! Muah…ah…ah. Okay I’m done.

Gluten Free Linzer Cookies for the win!

This past Christmas, my mom and I turned down our usual cut out sugar cookie decorating marathon in favor of these classy and elegant Linzers, and I am so glad we did.

We made two different recipes for the linzer, one gluten free and one gluten-full, and it turns out the gluten free version was the uncontested favorite! Here’s why I love this recipe so much:

  • The cookies themselves are thin and buttery, with just the right amount of richness from the brown sugar.
  • The bits of almond add a nice dimension of flavor and texture.
  • A bit of lemon extract brightens the flavor and pairs particularly well with the strawberry jam, but this is 100% optional.

We sandwiched the cookies with a variety of fruit jams, but my favorite was the strawberry. The combination of lemony cookie and sweet strawberry jam reminded me of sipping on strawberry lemonade…which reminded me of summer…and sunshine…and green grass…and bare feet…and….yeah, they were darn good cookies.

Strawberry Lemonade Linzer Cookies | Neighborfoodblog.com

Key Ingredients

  • Almonds – I use whole roasted unsalted almonds. Avoid salted almonds for this recipe.
  • Gluten free flour – If you don’t care to make these cookies gluten free, you can use regular white or wheat flour instead. I use and love Cup 4 Cup flour.
  • Butter- I always recommend choosing a European style butter with a higher fat content for shortbread style cookies. The flavor of the butter features so prominently, it’s worth it to splurge on the good stuff!
  • Cinnamon – What’s a cookie without cinnamon?? This recipe only calls for 1 teaspoon, but it makes all the difference.
  • Lemon extract – This is optional, but it really adds to the flavor and works well with the strawberry jam. If you’re wanting a more traditional flavor, or using other kinds of jam, feel free to omit it and up the vanilla extract!
  • Strawberry jam – You can use any kind of jam or preserve in this recipe, but strawberry is my absolute favorite. Choose a high quality jam, like Bonne Maman, for best results.
Strawberry Lemonade Linzer Cookies | Neighborfoodblog.com

How to Make Linzer Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grind the almonds. Place the whole almonds in a food processor and pulse until they’re reduced to very fine crumbs. Add the brown sugar and pulse again until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together flour, xanthan gum (if needed), baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the ground almond and brown sugar mixture and stir to combine. Add the butter, egg, zest, and extracts, beating on medium low speed after each addition to combine. The mixture should form a smooth, soft, and thick dough.
  4. Divide the dough into two pieces. Wrap half the dough in plastic wrap and set aside. Place the other half of the dough in between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll the dough out into a thin rectangle (1/8-1/4 inch thick). Place the dough on a baking sheet or other flat surface and freeze for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove and cut the dough into your desired shapes. Remember, for each cookie you’ll need two large cookie cut outs. The first will be left whole, and the second will have a smaller cookie cut out of the center.
  6. Bake. Place the cut out cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are just barely golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until firm enough to be transferred to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
  8. Sugar the tops. Place the top cookies (withe cut out) on a piece of parchment paper or newspaper once the cookies are cooled. Use a sifter to dust the tops with powdered sugar.
  9. Spread a semi-thick layer of raspberry jam on the bottom halves of the cookies, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges. Place the powdered sugar halves on top of the jam and press gently to seal. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to a week. Cookies will soften as they set.
Strawberry Lemonade Linzer Cookies | Neighborfoodblog.com

Tips and Tricks

  • The hint to keeping these delicate cookies from spreading too much while baking is to freeze the rolled out dough for 10 minutes before cutting them out. This makes the whole process a breeze!
  • Wondering what to do with the tiny cookie you cut out of the top cookie? Well, there are a few options. You could simply pile them all together into a big ball, re-roll and make more big cookies. Or you could do what I do, which is bake them up with all the other cookies then snack on them while I jam and sugar the rest. It’s the baker’s bonus.
  • You can use any cookie cutters to do this, but you’ll need one big one and one small enough to fit inside it with at least a 1/2 inch rim. You don’t have to have matching shapes either. You can do a big circle with a little heart in the middle, a big star with a little circle…whatever suits your fancy!
  • Sprinkle the powdered sugar before sandwiching the cookies to make sure the jam window isn’t covered.

FAQs

What nationality are Linzer Cookies?

Linzer cookies originate from Austria! They are a traditional holiday cookie in Austria.

What kind of cookie cutters should I use for Linzer Cookies?

You can use any cookie cutter shape you like, as long as you have one big and one small. I used two different sizes of hearts, which are great for Valentine’s Day. Stars are nice for the holidays, or you could use a leaf shaped cookie cutter for fall! Here are some nested hearts, stars, and fluted rounds that would all work great.

Do Linzer Cookies freeze well?

They do! You can freeze them baked or unbaked, but I always freeze them before adding the jam and powdered sugar. To freeze, place the cut out cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour, or until firm. Cookies can be stacked with parchment between them in air tight container and frozen for up to 3 months.

Cookies can be baked from frozen. Previously baked cookies should be thawed at room temperature for a few hours.

Check out this post on How to Freeze Cookies for more information.

How long can you store Linzer Cookies?

Linzer cookies will keep in an air tight container at room temperature for about 1 week.

More Valentine’s Day Recipes

Valentine’s Day is a great time to pull out fun and festive recipes! For a romantic and comforting Valentine’s Day dinner, try making this Steak and Scallops, Seafood Mac and Cheese, or Honey Soy Salmon.

Or if you’re throwing a Galentine’s Day party, I’ve got you covered.

In true Leslie Knope fashion, you can make these Strawberry Chocolate Chip Pancakes or Double Chocolate Waffles for a Galentine’s Day Brunch.

For dessert, you can make my Chocolate Cheesecake, Triple Chocolate Punch Bowl Cake, or Double Chocolate Sea Salt Truffles.

More Cookie Recipes You Might Enjoy

You can never go wrong with a good cookie recipe. Here are more of our favorites:

Strawberry Lemonade Valentine Linzer Cookies (Gluten Free)

Strawberry Lemonade Valentine Linzer Cookies (Gluten Free)

Yield: 18-24, depending on the size of your cookie cutters
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces whole roasted unsalted almonds (or about 1 cup roughly chopped almonds)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used Cup 4 Cup)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (only if your flour blend doesn't include it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 16 Tablespoons (2 sticks, 1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract, optional
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Strawberry jam
  • Powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place the whole almonds in a food processor and pulse until they're reduced to very fine crumbs. Add the brown sugar and pulse again until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together flour, xanthan gum (if needed), baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the ground almond and brown sugar mixture and stir to combine. Add the butter, egg, zest, and extracts, beating on medium low speed after each addition to combine. The mixture should form a smooth, soft, and thick dough.
  4. Divide the dough into two pieces. Wrap half the dough in plastic wrap and set aside. Place the other half of the dough in between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll the dough out into a thin rectangle (1/8-1/4 inch thick). Place the dough on a baking sheet or other flat surface and freeze for 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes, remove the dough and use cookie cutters to cut the dough into your desired shapes. Remember, for each cookie you'll need two large cookie cut outs. The first will be left whole, and the second will have a smaller cookie cut out of the center. You can either bake the smaller cookies as a special baker's treat (my preferred method!), or combine them into a ball, reroll, and use them to make more big cookies.
  6. Place the cut out cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are just barely golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until firm enough to be transferred to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Repeat the process with the remaining dough. We were able to get two trays of cookies going at once so we would roll out two rectangles, freeze, cut out, then bake. While that batch was baking, we would roll out two more rectangles and get them in the freezer for the next round.
  8. Once the cookies are cooled place the tops (the ones with the smaller cookie cut out of the middle) on a piece of parchment paper or newspaper. Use a sifter to dust the tops with powdered sugar.
  9. Spread a semi-thick layer of raspberry jam on the bottom halves of the cookies, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges. Place the powdered sugar halves on top of the jam and press gently to seal. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to a week. Cookies will soften as they set.

Notes

Note: If you'd like to do this ahead of time, you can make the dough and freeze or refrigerate until ready to use. Or, you can cut out and bake the cookies then store them for several days before filling.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review, or head over to Instagram and share a photo! Tag your projects with #neighborfoodies!

29 Comments

  1. I’m pretty stoked January is over. It was a tough month. Not only do I get super depressed after Christmas but I was sick with the worst flu EVER for about two and a half weeks. G’bye January! These linzer cookies look so pretty, Courtney! And I love the lemon and strawberry flavour combo.

  2. Spring come quickly! I suppose these will do for now and i love the bakers treat when you need to trim or cut something out.

  3. Beautiful cookies! I’d totally bake these every day just to will spring to get here sooner. And to snack on those mini hearts on the side. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.