Chocolate Linzer Cookies

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Chocolate Linzer Cookies

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Published prior to 2008

These chocolate sandwich cookies are the color and texture of Oreos. Sandwich them around vivid-colored fillings—red! pink! purple!—and watch the kids’ eyes light up. And "fancy" doesn't need to be a challenge; check out our easy step-by-step illustrated directions.

3/4 cup (6 ounces, 1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (7 7/8 ounces) sugar
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa powder

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together till smooth. Beat in the espresso powder, salt, and baking powder, then add the egg, water, and vanilla and beat at high speed for 3 minutes, until the mixture has lightened both in color and texture. Mix in the flour and cocoa, and divide the dough roughly in half, with one piece slightly larger than the other; if you’re weighing, one piece will weigh about 13 1/8 ounces (375g), and the other about 11 1/4 ounces (325g).

Shape each sticky piece of dough into a flattened disk. Wrap in plastic wrap (or place on parchment, put in a 9" x 13" pan, and cover with plastic wrap, if you want to ensure the wrap doesn’t stick to the dough). Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours, or overnight. This dough is very soft, so it’s imperative that it’s cold when you roll it out.

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

On a clean, heavily floured work surface—a silicone rolling mat is ideal—roll the larger piece of dough 1/8" thick; you’ll make a circle that’s about 14" in diameter. Use the plain round linzer cutter to cut about 35 circles. This isn’t imperative, and don’t make yourself crazy counting, but if you space them close together, you should get about 35 circles out of the dough without re-rolling any scraps. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. They won't expand, so you don't need much space between them. Repeat with the other piece of dough, rolling it 1/8" thick; you’ll make a circle that’s about 13" in diameter. Cut about 35 circles, using the cutter with various interior shapes attached. The dough will stick in the shaped part; don’t bother to clean it out each time. You can cut about 6 cookies before you need to take the tip of a sharp knife, a bamboo skewer, or a cake tester, and clean it out. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet. If you want to, when you’re done with both pieces of dough, you can make a dozen additional cookies by gathering the scraps, chilling, re-rolling, and cutting more cookies.

Bake the cookies for 17 to 18 minutes. (Watch them carefully; it's really difficult to tell when they're done, as they're so dark you can't see if they're brown, but when you start to smell them they're probably done. And, if you smell even a whiff of scorching, grab them out of the oven quick.) Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack, and cool them completely.

1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners' or glazing sugar
4 teaspoons milk
4 teaspoons light corn syrup
food color (gel paste makes the most vivid colors)

To fill and finish the cookies: Put 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar into each of four tiny bowls. Add 1 teaspoon milk and 1 teaspoon corn syrup to each bowl. Stir until you've made a soft, spreadable icing, adding more milk if necessary. Tint the icing in each bowl a different color (leaving one bowl plain, to make white filling, if desired). Go easy if you’re using gel paste colors; a little goes a long way! Spread filling on each of the solid "bottom" cookies. Immediately top with one of the cutout "top" cookies. Allow the filling to harden before storing the cookies.
Yield: 35 to 47 filled linzer cookies (depending on if you re-use the dough scraps when you’re done cutting the cookies, or just discard them).


  • star rating 01/28/2015
  • from
  • star rating 02/08/2011
  • shannonstrobel from KAF Community
  • Really, really good. I used the black cocoa (not diluted) and it is great. I wrapped the dough in plastic and stuffed it into the tube from my cookie press. Then I froze it solid, unwrapped it and sliced it. At that point the baking is just like this recipe. Easy this way and no rolling.
  • star rating 02/07/2010
  • John from NY
  • I love the taste of this cookie, but it's an absolute beast to roll. It sticks to everything: the rolling pin, the silicone sheet. I tried more flour, I tried freezing the dough, I even floured the rolling pin . . . no matter what, I couldn't get the dough to the thickness in the recipe. A few rolls and it kept separating and sticking to the rolling pin. I finally had to tamp it flat with my fingers to get it reasonably thinned out. Can anyone suggest how to make this dough work?
    Try rolling the dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or parchment. That will reduce the sticking problem without adding too much flour. Molly @ KAF