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.

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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.

Authentic Gluten Free Linzer Cookies | Easy Crowd-Pleasing Recipe (9)
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)

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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 (2024)

FAQs

How do you keep gluten-free cookies from falling apart? ›

Chilling helps the flours and xanthan gum absorb liquid, which makes the dough sturdier and easier to handle. Without a proper rest, your cookies are likely to crumble. Think of mix-ins as the Spanx of the cookie world. They are a sly way to ensure that your cookies look like cookies, not misshapen gluten-free blobs.

How do you keep Linzer cookies crisp? ›

The filled cookies will soften when stored. If you want the cookies to stay crisp, assemble the day of serving. The assembled cookies can be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for several days. Makes about 26 - 3 inch (7.5 cm) Linzer Cookies.

Why aren t my gluten-free cookies spreading? ›

13- Make sure your baking soda and/or baking powder are fresh. These are the leavening agents in your cookie recipe and if they are no longer active, your cookies won't puff up and may spread more. Try a fresh container if they've been open longer than 3 months. 14- Use a tried and true gluten free cookie mix.

Why are my gluten-free cookies dry and crumbly? ›

One of the most common gluten-free baking tips is “let your batter rest”. Letting the batter rest gives the gluten-free flours and starches more time to absorb the moisture. In theory, it will turn your dry, crumbly cakes into delicious, moist masterpieces.

How do you make gluten-free cookies less dry and crumbly? ›

Add extra liquid: Gluten-free flours tend to absorb more liquid than regular flour, so you may need to add more liquid to your recipes to compensate. This can help to keep your baked goods moist and prevent them from becoming dry and crumbly.

What holds gluten-free cookies together? ›

As with gluten, this could stop a cookie from spreading too much as it bakes. So I've decided to try adding a hydrocolloid to my gluten-free dough. Some grocery stores sell xanthan gum and guar gum, especially if the stores have a gluten-free aisle. Many gluten-free recipes call for xanthan gum.

What nationality are Linzer cookies? ›

Linzer cookies are a twist off the linzer torte, originating from Linz, Austria. The linzer torte is one of the oldest tortes in the world, found in an Austrian abbey in the early 1700s. Luckily for us, the linzer torte was brought to the US around 1850s.

What are the best toppings for Linzer cookie? ›

As the cooldown for her ability is fairly long and it's a pretty formidable power, giving her five Swift Chocolate is definitely what I'd recommend. Alternatively, you might also want to use Linzer Cookie more as an attacked, in which case you'd want to go with Searing Rasberries, which will enhance her ATK.

What is the difference between Linzer cookies and imperial cookies? ›

“Empire biscuits have a layer of jam in between two biscuits, the top is covered with white water icing, usually decorated with a glace cherry in the centre. They are derived from the Austrian Linzer Torte. The biscuit is smaller than the Linzer Torte, with the same top and bottom.

Should I add xanthan gum to gluten-free cookies? ›

Using xanthan gum helps provide some of the stickiness that gluten free goods lack, replacing some elasticity. Xanthan gum mimics some of gluten's most essential properties by sticking to flour and its moisture. This helps create moist goods that hold their shape after being baked.

Should I refrigerate gluten free cookie dough before baking? ›

Your results may vary if using a different GF flour blend. The longer you let the dough sit in the fridge before baking, the better these cookies will be!

What is the problem with gluten-free cookies? ›

Drop Cookies
Common ProblemPossible Solution
Excessive spreadAdd binder and let dough rest
Gritty textureLet dough rest for 30 minutes before baking
GreasyUse less butter and swap in a portion of almond butter
Overly crisp textureUse more brown sugar, less white sugar
3 more rows

What is the secret to moist gluten-free baking? ›

Moisture. There are many ways to increase moisture in a recipe. In general, recipes that call for pureed fruit, sour cream or yogurt are ones you can rely on for a moist product. In case your recipe does not call for these things, using brown sugar instead of white sugar to add moisture.

How can I improve my gluten-free cookie texture? ›

Give xanthan gum a try – This is a very common bonding agent in gluten-free baked foods. If your recipes tend to crumble too much then add some xanthan gum to the ingredients and you will get much better elasticity. These tips are amazing for improving the texture and taste of your gluten-free foods.

How do you keep gluten-free cookies from getting gritty? ›

Chill the Dough

High fat cookie dough will get soft and sticky the longer it sits on the counter. Adding too much sprinkling flour can result in a gritty taste to your finished cookies. Learn to keep the dough cold by working with one piece at a time, leaving the rest in the fridge.

How do you keep cookies from being crumbly? ›

Too much flour = crumbly cookies

If you don't want to measure by weight, try sifting your flour first and scooping flour into your measuring cup with a spoon, and don't pack it down into the cup. If all else fails, try reducing the amount of flour in the recipe by 10%.

How do you improve the texture of gluten-free cookies? ›

I add a packet of unflavored gelatin to the dry ingredients before adding liquid ingredients. My cookies have a “normal" texture. The gelatin strengthens the structure of the cookie so it won't be crumbly. It also adds moisture which is good as gluten free baked goods tend to be dry.

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