Linzer cookies are a such a classic holiday cookie, and a staple to every cookie tray. We make variations of them every Christmas. Nutty, buttery cookies filled with our favorite jams, spreads and curds. This year, my pistachio cherry Linzer cookies will be making an appearance on our holiday cookie line up. Cherry preserves sandwiched between two pistachio cookies and topped with a fine dusting of confectioner's sugar, these cookies are melt in your mouth delicious. Bonus that they're also super pretty too.
What are linzer cookies?
Linzer cookies are a smaller spin off of the Austrian classic Linzertorte (if you haven't had one they're amazinggggg). These sandwich cookies are similar to a shortbread cookie made with ground nuts, traditionally almonds. The cookies are filled with fruit preserves, and topped with a dusting of confectioner's sugar. The hole in the top cookie exposes the preserves, gives them a stained glass look and mimics the lattice topping of a Linzertorte.
This Linzer cookie recipe uses ground pistachios, and cherry preserves, but these cookies are totally customizable. Use almonds, pecans, or your favorite nut, and pair the cookies with your favorite preserves or jams. Fruit curds, cookie butters, and dulce de leche make great fillings for Linzer cookies.
How to make Linzer cookies
These impressive looking cookies are actually quite easy to make. Butter and sugar are beaten together until light and fluffy. An egg yolk and vanilla extract are beaten in. Flour, cinnamon, and salt (if you're using unsalted pistachios) are mixed in, followed by finely ground pistachios. I ground the pistachios in a food processor. While I ground them finely, I did leave a few coarse pieces in there for some extra crunch. I also used salted pistachios, so I omitted the salt. If you are using unsalted pistachios, add in the salt amount noted in the recipe.
The dough does need to chill for a bit to relax the dough and make them easier to roll out, about an hour. I used a 2 ½" scalloped edge round cutter, and a smaller 1" cutter for the centers. Cut the centers out of half the cookie cut outs. Chill the cookies for an additional 20-30 minutes while preheating the oven.
Bake the cookies until light golden brown. Dust the cut out hole cookies with confectioner's sugar. Spread ¾ teaspoon of jam on each whole cookie. Carefully top each with a cut out hole cookie and press down gently to create a cookie sandwich, but avoid getting fingerprints in your confectioner's sugar.
These pistachio cherry Linzer cookies are so much fun to make. I love how the preserves peeking through the cookies looks like little glittering gems. Super pretty, easy to make and so delicious. If you make these cookies, let me know! Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your bakes.
For more cookie recipes, check out these posts:
Pistachio Cherry Linzer Cookies
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, Only use if using unsalted pistachios
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup finely ground pistachios
- Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt (if using) in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until smooth, fluffy and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract, and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to ensure everything is combined.
- Add the flour mixture and the ground pistachios and mix on low until combined. It will be crumbly at first, but will come together after a couple minutes of mixing. Stop mixing when large clumps have formed and there are no big pockets of flour.
- Turn out the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten into a disc, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
- Generously flour a work surface, as well as your hands and the rolling pin. The dough may become sticky as you work, so keep extra flour nearby to use as needed. You can roll out the dough between two pieces of wax paper or parchment paper to prevent any sticking issues if you wish.
- Place the cookies 2" apart on the baking sheets.
- Place the cookies into the refrigerator to chill for an additional 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.
- Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn brown. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Place the cookies with the holes in them on a cookie sheet and sift confectioners' sugar over the top.
- Spread ¾ teaspoon of jam on each whole cookie. Carefully top each with a sugar dusted hole cookie and press down gently to create a cookie sandwich.
- Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They can also be frozen unfilled for up to 2 months.