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Linz, Austria is the home of the renowned Linzertorte (cake). A Linzertorte is a tart made of a nut flour dough accentuated by almonds, lemon zest, and cinnamon. The tart is traditionally filled with black currant preserves and topped with a lattice crust. Linzertortes are a traditional European Christmas pastry. The Linzertorte is one of the oldest known tarts dating from 1653. It was introduced to America around 1856. Linzer Sables employ the same recipe as the Linzertorte but instead the dough is cut into cookies and two of them form a sandwich around the preserves. The top cookie has a small cutout in its center (known as a Linzer eye), thus showing off the underlying jam. In America, raspberry has replaced black currant as the jam of choice though any fruit preserve, jam, jelly or conserve can be used to fill Linzer Sables.
- 3⁄4 lb unsalted butter
- 1 1⁄4 cups granulated sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups cake flour
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 cups fine cake crumbs or 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 1⁄2 cups hazelnut flour (ground toasted hazelnuts)
- confectioners' sugar, as needed (garnish)
- raspberry jam, as needed (filling) or jam, of choice as needed (filling)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Gradually add the eggs, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Reduce the speed to low.
- Sift the flour, cinnamon, cake crumbs, and baking powder together into a medium bowl. Add to the creamed mixture all at once and mix just until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Add the hazelnut flour and mix just until combined. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 15 minutes.
- While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut rounds of dough using a fluted circular cookie cutter. Use a smaller cutter to cut a hole in half of the rounds. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. As you are working, reserve the scraps so that they may be rolled again and cut.
- Bake until lightly golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool for a minute on the baking sheets then transfer, using a spatula, to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
- Sift confectioners’ sugar over the cooled cookies. Coat the cookies without holes lightly and the ones with holes thoroughly. Pipe or spread a thin layer of jam on the cookies without holes. Top with the remaining cookies and press gently to secure.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container.