Authentic Gluten Free Linzer Cookies | Easy Crowd-Pleasing Recipe (2024)

Authentic Gluten Free Linzer Cookies | Easy Crowd-Pleasing Recipe (1)

5 from 8 votes

Prep Time : 25 minutes minutes

Cook Time : 30 minutes minutes

Learn how to make authentic gluten free linzer cookies with a tender, melt-in-the-mouth cookie dough and sweet, tangy jam filling.

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Authentic Gluten Free Linzer Cookies | Easy Crowd-Pleasing Recipe (2)

Gluten free Austrian Linzer cookies are surprisingly easy to bake to perfection. This traditional Austrian cookie, also known as Spitzbuben, features a cookie dough that's a perfect melt-in-the-mouth blend of sugar cookie and shortbread. And the filling of sweet-tart raspberry jam adds a festive, fruity burst of flavor.

Authentic Gluten Free Linzer Cookies | Easy Crowd-Pleasing Recipe (3)

What is a Linzer cookie, anyway?

Based on the timeless Viennese Linzer torte, Linzer cookies are nut-based buttery sandwich cookies with a cutout on the top. Inside, and peaking through the cutout, you'll find wonderfully sweet preserves, usually raspberry or apricot. And, of course, they're then dusted with confectioner's sugar.

They can be any shape, from a plain round cookie cutter to fluted, snowflakes, hearts, or stars. You're only limited by what cookie cutters you have.

What makes this recipe so special?

Honestly, this is one of my absolute favorite holiday cookie recipes. It's so simple to make and the resulting cookies are just gorgeous, in both taste and appearance.

The jam peaking through the window makes them look kind of like stained glass cookies, and the sweetness of the jam perfectly balances the delectable hazelnut cookie flavor without being overwhelmingly sweet.

And the big difference – I use hazelnuts, not almonds! I break with tradition and use roasted hazelnuts instead of almonds because they bring a better depth of flavor and more buttery taste.

Seriously, when you try the hazelnut version, you'll never want to go back to the almond.

However, if you want to stick with the original, then just switch out the hazelnuts in the recipe one-for-one with roasted, blanched almonds.

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Pro tips to make the best gluten free Linzer cookies

I've got a few tips for you to make sure your gluten free Linzer cookies are always a success.

How to store Linzer cookies

You can store the baked cookies, unassembled, in the freezer. Wrap them tightly or place in a freezer safe container and place gently in the freezer. Then, just grab them and let them thaw for a bit before you add the jam and assemble.

And you can freeze the raw dough itself in a block. Just wrap it tightly and place in the freezer, and give it plenty of time to thaw and soften before proceeding with the rest of the recipe instructions.

The dough lasts for up to a week in the refrigerator as long as you wrap it tightly. Then, when you want to bake the cookies, you just let the dough sit on the side for half an hour to soften up a bit. Then just follow the rest of the recipe.

Store the finished cookies in an airtight glass container at room temperature so that they don't absorb moisture and lose their crisp-crumbly texture. They'll keep for up to a week.

Tips for cutting out Austrian Linzer cookies

Be gentle when rolling the dough as it's pretty delicate. Roll the sheets of dough between pieces of parchment paper.

Roll the dough when it's at cool room temperature until it's about 1/4-inch thick, or a tiny bit thicker. Any thinner and the cookie-to-jam ratio will be all wrong, and the cookies too fragile.

If you're rolling out the dough when it's warm, be sure not to press too firmly with the rolling pin or your dough will become too thin, too fast. If it's too cold, rolling will be too difficult.

Be sure to roll it between the sheets of parchment (plastic wrap will leave too many creases) or your rolling pin will stick to the dough. Your cookies won't have a smooth surface even when they're baked.

Then, after cutting the shapes and before moving the cookies, chill the shaped dough, so it's more stable to move to the baking sheet.

Keep the little center cutouts and use them for your taste testers who must try everything the second it's baked. Or use them as little ice cream toppers.

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Assembling these gluten free Christmas cookies

Be careful when you're assembling your new favorite holiday cookie. And not just because this recipe uses gluten free flour. Because of the structure of the dough, the cookies are fairly fragile, so they'll crack if you apply much pressure when you're adding the top cookie.

Grinding the nuts

If you're grinding nuts to make your own flour (which is really easy as you'll see below), watch them closely and don't let them go too far. You want them to be fine but crumbly. If you keep pulsing them for too long, you'll end up with a paste (which makes beautiful praline) and then a nut butter.

Handling the gluten free dough

The best way to handle the dough is to roll it out between parchment rounds as soon as the dough is made, at room temperature. Then, cut out rounds, remove the excess dough around the rounds (saving it to reroll), and chill the rounds before moving them to the baking sheet.

Once the rounds reach the baking sheet, if they've only been chilled for 20 minutes, you should be able to cut out the centers easily.

If you've gone too far and the dough is too cold, just let it warm at room temperature a bit. This holds doubly true for cutting out the centers of half of the raw cookie rounds, as trying to cut out small holes in dough that's very cold will result in a cookie that cracks in multiple directions.

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Gluten free Linzer cookie ingredients, substitutions, and variations

My recipe for gluten free Linzer cookies is perfect for my family, just the way it is. But you can make your own tweaks to get it to the perfect flavor for your own tribe. You do have to exercise some caution, as the dough itself is temperamental, so you need to be careful what you change.

The dough

Can you change the flour?

Yes, you can change the flour, but be careful. Using anything other than a well-balanced all-purpose gluten free flour can change the texture of the cookies.

What nuts can I use?

Authentic Austrian Linzer cookies use almonds and almond extract, but I prefer hazelnuts. You can use either.

You could experiment with other nuts, but I haven't tried, and you'd need to find something that works with the jam and has a similar oil content to almonds and hazelnuts. Macadamia nuts are a potential option, since they're buttery like hazelnuts, but they're even softer, so you'll have to be careful when grinding them not to make a paste!

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The filling

What you use for the filling is up to you. Traditionally, these gluten free Christmas cookies are filled with apricot or raspberry jam, but if you want something sweeter, go with strawberry jam or, for a tarter flavor, go with black currant preserves. Just be sure to use something seedless, to avoid any unpleasant texture in these smooth, buttery cookies.

You could also ditch the fruit altogether and go for a chocolate ganache filling, salted caramel, or chocolate peanut butter.

The Top

For the top, you'd usually use confectioners' or powdered sugar (icing sugar), but if you're trying to reduce your sugar intake, you can try powdered erythritol, inulin, or Swerve powdered sugar.

If you've gone with a fruity filling, you can add a little zing by sprinkling over just a touch of orange or lemon zest, too.

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FAQs

Why is my Linzer cookie dough so soft?

Gluten free or not, Linzer cookie dough starts out very soft, which is why you need to refrigerate it for an hour or so. This lets it firm up, so you can work with it and get nice, clean cuts. Refrigerating also helps the cookies hold their shape once in the oven, and makes the rounds easier to transfer to the baking sheet without their stretching and bending.

What nationality are Linzer cookies?

Linzer cookies originated in Austria. Specifically, they are a twist on the traditional Linzer torte, which comes from the Austrian city of Linz.

How do you keep Linzer cookies crisp?

Linzer cookies need to stay crisp or they lose some of their magic. So, when you're done with the holiday cookie tray, keep the remaining cookies in an airtight glass container at room temperature, since plastic will cause them to absorb moisture.

How long do Linzer cookies stay fresh?

If kept in an airtight container at room temperature, Linzer cookies will stay fresh for up to a week. Depending on the filling, you can also freeze the filled cookies, then thaw and dust with powdered sugar when you want them.

Can I make a vegan gluten free version of Linzer cookies?

Yes, you can make gluten free vegan Linzer cookies. Substitute the butter for plant-based vegan butter, but not the soft spreadable kind. Go for a butter block that's more like traditional butter. My favorite brands are Melt and Miyoko's Kitchen.

For the egg, substitute a chia or flax egg. To make this recipe, I'd use 1 tablespoon of ground chia and 1 tablespoon of lukewarm water. Mix and leave it for 10 minutes to gel, then add it to the recipe in place of the egg.

Be sure that your sugars are made without bone char, too, if you'd like to make these strictly vegan.

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Authentic Gluten Free Linzer Cookies | Easy Crowd-Pleasing Recipe (10)

Authentic Gluten Free Linzer Cookies | Easy Crowd-Pleasing Recipe (11)

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Authentic Gluten Free Linzer Cookies | Easy Crowd-Pleasing Recipe

Learn how to make authentic gluten free linzer cookies with a tender, melt-in-the-mouth cookie dough and sweet, tangy jam filling.

Course: Cookies, Dessert

Cuisine: Austrian

Prep Time: 25 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes minutes

Chilling time: 30 minutes minutes

Yield: 24 cookies

Author: Nicole Hunn

Equipment

  • Cookie cutters 2-inch round + Small for cutout top

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces raw hazelnuts (or roasted, blanched hazelnuts)
  • 2 ½ cups (350 g) all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Better Batter; please click thru for info on appropriate blends)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (224 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 (50 g (weighed out of shell)) egg at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam

Instructions

Roast the hazelnuts.

  • If your hazelnuts are raw, you must first roast them and remove their skins.

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and set aside a clean tea towel.

  • Place the hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and place in the center of the preheated oven. Roast for 10 minutes, or until fragrant.

  • Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and place them immediately in the center of the tea towel, cover the hazelnuts with the towel and rub vigorously from the outside of the towel to remove the skins of the hazelnuts.

  • Allow the hazelnuts to cool.

Grind the hazelnuts.

  • Place the peeled and roasted hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or a blender, and pulse or blend until finely ground (stopping short of creating a paste).

  • Lower the oven temperature to 325°F.

Make the cookie dough.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and whisk to combine well.

  • Add the ground hazelnuts and brown sugar, and mix to combine well, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar.

  • Add the butter, egg, and vanilla, and mix to combine as much as possible. Then, using clean, dry hands, kneadi the cookie dough to bring it together. The dough should come together and be soft but thick.

  • Divide the dough into two equal portions. Cover one portion in plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out, and set it aside.

Roll out the cookie dough.

  • Place the remaining portion of cookie between two sheets of parchment paper, and roll out about ¼ inch thick, if not a tiny bit thicker.

Cut out the cookies.

  • Remove the top piece of parchment paper, and cut out 24 rounds of dough with a 2 inch diameter cookie cutter.

  • Peel away the excess cookie dough around the rounds, and set it aside to reroll.

  • Without moving the cutouts, place them, still on the parchment, on a flat surface and place it in the freezer until firm enough to handle without tearing (about 20 minutes).

  • Place the rounds 1 inch apart on a the prepared baking sheet.

  • Repeat with the second piece of dough, cutting out 24 more rounds. From these 24 rounds, cut out and remove a small shape from the very center of the dough (here I used a small star cutter).

  • Be sure to cut out the holes in the center when the raw cookie rounds are not cold, or the dough will crack when you attempt to push the small cutter through.

Bake the cookies.

  • Place the first baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until lightly golden brown (about 10 minutes).

  • Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool until firm on the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Place the second baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until lightly golden brown (about 9 minutes for the cookies with the center shapes cut out). These are the tops of the cookies.

  • Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool until firm on the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Assemble the cooled cookies.

  • Once the cookies are completely cool, place the cookie tops (with the cutout centers) face up on a clean sheet of parchment paper.

  • Place the confectioners’ sugar in a fine mesh sieve, and dust the tops of the cutout cookies evenly with a fine layer of the sugar.

  • On a separate sheet of parchment paper, lay out the whole, bottom cookies, face down.

  • Place 1 teaspoon of jam on the underside of each cookie, spreading the jam carefully into an even layer.

  • Top the jam with the sugared cookies. Do not use much pressure in assembling the cookies or the tops will break.

  • These cookies, even once fully assembled, with be relatively fragile, so take care in serving.

Notes

Originally published on the blog in 2012. Republished in 2022: recipe unchanged, photos, video, and most text new.

Authentic Gluten Free Linzer Cookies | Easy Crowd-Pleasing Recipe (12)

Print Pin Save

Authentic Gluten Free Linzer Cookies | Easy Crowd-Pleasing Recipe

Learn how to make authentic gluten free linzer cookies with a tender, melt-in-the-mouth cookie dough and sweet, tangy jam filling.

Course: Cookies, Dessert

Cuisine: Austrian

Prep Time: 25 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes minutes

Chilling time: 30 minutes minutes

Yield: 24 cookies

Author: Nicole Hunn

Equipment

  • Cookie cutters 2-inch round + Small for cutout top

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces raw hazelnuts (or roasted, blanched hazelnuts)
  • 2 ½ cups (350 g) all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Better Batter; please click thru for info on appropriate blends)
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (224 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 (50 g (weighed out of shell)) egg at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam

Instructions

Roast the hazelnuts.

  • If your hazelnuts are raw, you must first roast them and remove their skins.

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and set aside a clean tea towel.

  • Place the hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and place in the center of the preheated oven. Roast for 10 minutes, or until fragrant.

  • Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and place them immediately in the center of the tea towel, cover the hazelnuts with the towel and rub vigorously from the outside of the towel to remove the skins of the hazelnuts.

  • Allow the hazelnuts to cool.

Grind the hazelnuts.

  • Place the peeled and roasted hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or a blender, and pulse or blend until finely ground (stopping short of creating a paste).

  • Lower the oven temperature to 325°F.

Make the cookie dough.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and whisk to combine well.

  • Add the ground hazelnuts and brown sugar, and mix to combine well, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar.

  • Add the butter, egg, and vanilla, and mix to combine as much as possible. Then, using clean, dry hands, kneadi the cookie dough to bring it together. The dough should come together and be soft but thick.

  • Divide the dough into two equal portions. Cover one portion in plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out, and set it aside.

Roll out the cookie dough.

  • Place the remaining portion of cookie between two sheets of parchment paper, and roll out about ¼ inch thick, if not a tiny bit thicker.

Cut out the cookies.

  • Remove the top piece of parchment paper, and cut out 24 rounds of dough with a 2 inch diameter cookie cutter.

  • Peel away the excess cookie dough around the rounds, and set it aside to reroll.

  • Without moving the cutouts, place them, still on the parchment, on a flat surface and place it in the freezer until firm enough to handle without tearing (about 20 minutes).

  • Place the rounds 1 inch apart on a the prepared baking sheet.

  • Repeat with the second piece of dough, cutting out 24 more rounds. From these 24 rounds, cut out and remove a small shape from the very center of the dough (here I used a small star cutter).

  • Be sure to cut out the holes in the center when the raw cookie rounds are not cold, or the dough will crack when you attempt to push the small cutter through.

Bake the cookies.

  • Place the first baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until lightly golden brown (about 10 minutes).

  • Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool until firm on the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Place the second baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until lightly golden brown (about 9 minutes for the cookies with the center shapes cut out). These are the tops of the cookies.

  • Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool until firm on the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Assemble the cooled cookies.

  • Once the cookies are completely cool, place the cookie tops (with the cutout centers) face up on a clean sheet of parchment paper.

  • Place the confectioners’ sugar in a fine mesh sieve, and dust the tops of the cutout cookies evenly with a fine layer of the sugar.

  • On a separate sheet of parchment paper, lay out the whole, bottom cookies, face down.

  • Place 1 teaspoon of jam on the underside of each cookie, spreading the jam carefully into an even layer.

  • Top the jam with the sugared cookies. Do not use much pressure in assembling the cookies or the tops will break.

  • These cookies, even once fully assembled, with be relatively fragile, so take care in serving.

Notes

Originally published on the blog in 2012. Republished in 2022: recipe unchanged, photos, video, and most text new.

Authentic Gluten Free Linzer Cookies | Easy Crowd-Pleasing Recipe (2024)

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