Soft and buttery Vegan Linzer Cookies that melt in your mouth. These sandwich cookies with a sweet jelly filling have been a favorite in Austria and Germany for centuries. Although they are considered as Christmas cookies, they are usually enjoyed all year round!
💡 The recipe in a nutshell
- Vegan (eggless and dairy free)
- Classic Christmas baking turned plant-based
- Soft, delicate, and buttery
- Easy to make
- Austrian cuisine
🇦🇹 Origin and history
Since these delicate cookies are a popular item in German bakeries in the United States, you may think they are a German pastry. However they originate in Austria. Both in Austria and Germany they are tea and Christmas biscuits. They are a short pastry, rolled out thinly and stacked with jam on top of each other after baking.
In German their name is "Linzer Augen", which means "Eyes of Linz". Sometimes they are also referred to as "Spitzbuben", which translates to "bratty little boys". Spitzbuben often have a cutout face on top (which kind of explains the name), and usually don't contain egg yolk.
Linzer cookies got their name from the famous Linzer Torte, a traditional pastry that has a dough lattice over a jam filling. Both the torte and the cookies originated in the Austrian city of Linz.
🍒 What type of jam should I use?
You pick one of the flavors I suggest, or you can choose whatever jam you like best. Traditionally used is alpine currant jam. I personally also really like Lingonberry, raspberry, spiced marionberry and strawberry lavender. I would recommend using smooth jam, or a jam that doesn't have a lot of fruit chunks and pieces to make it super easy to spread onto the cookies.
To store, put the cookies in a tin in a cool place. The tin should not be airtight. It should be able for a little moisture to escape. The best cookie tin to use is a Christmas metal tin. I always line these with a layer of vegan wax or parchment paper. For the first couple of days, I like to not fully close and seal the tin. After a couple days I seal it completely. Properly stored they keep fresh at room temperature for around 4 week.
❄️ How to freeze
Freeze cookies in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Squeeze out any excess air and label with the date of freezing. To thaw place on the countertop on a plate and let come to room temperature.
Vegan Linzer Cookies (easy)
- 250 g all purpose flour unbleached
- 100 g almond flour; or fine almond meal
- 80 g powdered sugar, and more for dusting organic
- 1 package vanilla sugar; or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- 200 g vegan butter cold and unsalted
- 1 tablespoon aquafaba (brine from a can of chickpeas)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest freshly grated
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon ground
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves ground
- 150 g jam of your choice
- In a mixing bowl sieve together flour, almond flour, powdered and vanilla sugar and salt. Grate 1 teaspoon of lemon peel over bowl.
- Mix in butter and aquafaba by quickly combining everything with your hands until a rough dough forms. If using vanilla extract, add the extract with the butter. Roll into a disk, then wrap or cover in an airtight container. Let dough chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 355°F. Prepare baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a baking mat.
- Remove disk from fridge. Roll out more on a lightly floured surface. Since the dough is chilled it helps to press it a bit down before staring to roll. The dough should be not thicker than 3mm (1 ⅛”). Cut out all cookies in the same desired shape (e.g. hearts, circles, round with scalloped edge).
- To make top cookies: With a smaller cookie cutter, cut out little holes into the middle of half of the prepared batch. Again, you can get creative and use whatever shapes for the holes you prefer (e.g. mini circles, mini stars, mini hearts, mini triangles).
- Place all on prepared baking sheet and bake around 10 minutes. (I have a small oven, so it usually takes 2 to 3 rounds of baking for me. I keep the other sheets covered in the fridge until ready to bake.) Once cookies are baked crunchy, let cool enough for you to touch and handle.
- Warm the jam in a saucepan to make it more liquid. Spread a small teaspoon of jam on each bottom piece with a pastry brush (or spoon) and place the top piece with a cutout on top. Then carefully fill the hearts with jam. Leave to cool until the jam has become firm again. Dust with powdered sugar.
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