This recipe for Vegan Linzers is a great staple sugar cookie recipe for the holiday season. With cutouts perfect for your favorite flavor of jam, these will go fast at the cookie exchange.
What are linzer cookies?
Linzer cookies are a dessert based off of a linzer torte, a traditional pastry formed with a shortbread base, a layer of fruit preserves & nuts, and a lattice design on top. Linzer cookies are a mini sandwich-style version, with a shortbread base, a circle cutout filled with jam, and a top cookie dusted with powdered sugar.
Are linzers German?
Linzer torte is said to have originated in Austria. Its invention is subject of numerous legends, claiming either a Viennese confectioner named Linzer or the Franconian pastry chef Johann Konrad Vogel who started mass production of the cake in the Austrian city of Linz around 1823.
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 TBS flax meal + 3 TBS water (a “flax egg,” or one traditional egg)
- 3/4 cup butter (vegan as needed), at room temperature
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract, optional
- Powdered sugar, for sprinkling
- 1 cup chilled jam or fruit preserves of choice
Special Equipment Needed
- Hand mixer or stand mixer, to cream butter and sugar to make it nice and fluffy
- Parchment paper, or a silicone mat, to help with rolling the dough
- 1 small and 1 larger cookie stamp, to make shapes and cutouts
- Sifted, for powdered sugar (optional)
How to Make Vegan Linzer Cookies
1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Prepare flax egg by mixing ground flax seed (flaxseed meal) and 3 TBS water. Set aside to gel.
2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and optional almond extract. Beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add in dry mixture, mixing until just combined.
3. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper (or silicone mats) and roll until 1/4 inch thick. Keeping flat, place the dough in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes or in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. It will be much easier to punch out shapes this way.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using any cookie cutter shape (I used a star), cut out as many cookies as possible. Set each cookie aside, and re-roll scraps to continue maximizing the number of cookies you are able to produce.
5. Once all dough is punched out, use a smaller cutout (I used a bottle) to punch a hole in HALF of the star shapes. So, if you were able to make 30 star cookies, punch holes in 15 of them. Feel free to re-roll the punched out portions of the cookies to produce more (or just bake them separately, they will still taste good). If your dough ever gets too warm to punch easily, add it back to chill for a few minutes before proceeding.
6. Place all cookies (whole and punched) on two lined baking sheets and bake for 9-11 minutes, until lightly golden. Watch the edges for burning. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, place the cookies with the punch-outs on their own sheet tray. Using a sifter, shower powdered sugar on these cookies; they will serve as the tops of our linzer sandwiches.
7. Spoon 1/2 TBS jam onto the centers of the whole cookies. Carefully place each powdered- sugar-covered punched out cookie on top of the cookie with jam. Form a sandwich.
Can I freeze vegan linzer cookie dough?
Yes! There are a few ways to do this:
1) Shape the dough into a block prior to rolling it out. Wrap tightly and freeze for up to three months. Let thaw in the fridge prior to rolling out.
2) Roll and punch out the dough as instructed. Freeze individual cookies prior to baking. Once ready to prepare, bake from frozen, adding 2-4 minutes to the bake time to compensate.
How long do linzer cookies keep?
Once baked, Linzer cookies will keep for 5 days in a sealed container at room temperature. They will soften slightly if stored in plastic, something to keep in mind if you are making these ahead. I recommend storing these in the freezer, where they will keep for up to 3 months.
How to Package Vegan Linzers
To pack these cookies for shipping, place them in a flat layer in a sturdy (preferably metal) container. in between each layer of cookies, place a sheet of parchment paper to preserve the jam centers. Add another layer on top of this parchment, stacking as you go.