Linzer Butter Cookies

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Yield: 3 dozen cookies.

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Crunchy, buttery, and pretty as a magazine picture: these festive linzer cookies are perfect for a holiday cookie swap.

Linzer Butter Cookies

star rating (10) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 3 dozen cookies.
Published: 08/20/2010


  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2/3 cup jam or filing
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting
  • *If using unsalted butter increase salt to 1 teaspoon.


1) Combine the sugar, butter, egg yolk, salt, and vanilla in a bowl, beating until smooth.

2) Add the flour, mixing until smooth. The mixture will seem dry at first, but will suddenly become cohesive. If it doesn't, dribble in a tablespoon of water.

3) Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a flattened disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.

4) Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and let it soften for about 20 to 30 minutes, until it feels soft enough to roll. It should still feel cold, but shouldn't feel rock-hard. If dough softens too quickly, return to refrigerator.

5) Sprinkle your rolling surface with flour, and flour your rolling pin. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it 1/8" to 3/16" thick.

6) Use a linzer cutter to cut a base and a cutout top for each cookie. It's good to cut them in pairs so you know you have an even number of each. Re-roll and cut the dough scraps.

7) Place the cookies on ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheets. They can be close together; they'll barely spread.

8) Bake the cookies in a preheated 350°F oven for 12 to 14 minutes, until they're set and barely browned around the edges. Remove from the oven, and cool right on the pan.

9) To create the beautiful white sugar tops, fill a fine sifter with confectioners' sugar. Hold the sifter a few inches above the cookie and shake or tap the sifter to drift sugar onto the cutout piece of the cookie. Be sure to cover the cookie with an even layer, all the way to the center and edges.

10) On the solid base of the cookie, spread 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite filling or jam (apricot, raspberry, strawberry, chocolate, or even icing). To complete the cookie, place the sugared top gently on the filled base and press together.

11) It's best to let these cookies sit for a few hours to let the "sandwich" set. Overnight is fine as well; just cover the cookie tray with plastic wrap.

Yield: 3 dozen linzer cookies.


  • star rating 12/19/2014
  • Lorraine from Biddeford, Me
  • The taste is wonderful, presentation beautiful, but preparation is a little difficult. Even chilling the dough for 2 hours, the dough is difficult to roll out. As I roll it out, the dough keeps cracking, and I have to keep pushing the dough together to fix it. Maybe I should just chill the dough for 1 hour, and let it rest before rolling it out. Also, the recipe is suppose to make 3 dozen cookies. I must be using the wrong size cutter, because I only made 1 dozen. Any suggestions as far as making it easier to roll the dough out? strong> You might have the dough just a bit too dry. Add a teaspoon or two of milk to correct the dryness of the dough before you chill it. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF
  • star rating 12/19/2014
  • barbara from furlong, pa
  • a five for taste, I make them every Christmas, and they are my favorite. glad to find a recipe without nuts. Maybe a 3 or 4 as this dough is a little fussy to work with.
  • 07/10/2014
  • AnnaMagnani from KAF Community
  • Which size Linzer cutter should I use?

    You can really use any size you like, but the standard would be around a 1.5-2" diameter shape for the base and then a cut out of whatever size you would like in the center. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  • star rating 02/12/2013
  • Rayna from Hanover, NH
  • I melted the butter and the dough came together really easily. I did have issues rolling it out: keeping the dough cold really does matter! The cookies came out very pretty, and everyone loved them!
  • star rating 02/09/2013
  • Susan from Medford, MA
  • These cookies are delicious and so pretty. I made them for Christmas and am making them again for Valentine's Day with heart-shaped cookie cutters and seedless raspberry jam. It took a while for the dough to become soft enough to roll after removing from the refrigerator and then I rolled them between two sheets of plastic wrap. My cookies usually look homemade but these were as nice as a bakery's.
  • star rating 12/23/2012
  • JED from Atlanta, GA
  • Love recipe. Cookies nice butter flavor. Used flour on top of dough making it easier to roll out. Everyone LOVED the cookies. Thank you.
  • star rating 01/02/2011
  • rerochelle from KAF Community
  • I made these for Christmas gift packs and received many refill requests. The buttery flavors were enhanced with Maine raspberry jam filling! Great! Thanks a bunch!
  • star rating 12/21/2010
  • candycaines from KAF Community
  • The dough came together wonderfully and tasted amazing raw--don't tell :) I made this dough twice, one with vanilla, one with 1.5tsp of lemon extract. Wrapped the 4 discs and put them in the fridge for a bit...then things went sour. Even when room temp the dough was rock hard. When I rolled it out, it broke into pieces, stuck to the board and the marble pin, basically did everything that drives us all insane. Luckily, I am more stubborn than it is--that or it feared my rolling pin--because I finally got it sort of roll out. I will say that I rolled and rerolled, and rerolled this dough--and the last cookies were just as tender and tasty as the first. Thinner is definitely better with this dough, but don't overcook it! Very tender, tasty, both as a sugar cookie and in the linzers--used Polaners raspberry and blackberry and Dickinson's Lemon curd. They look like a pro did them and taste divine. While I would love to know how to make the dough behave in a more seemly manner, this recipe ended well and is going in the recipe book for when my daughter is grown.
  • star rating 11/25/2010
  • Yi from Sayreville
  • Nice recipe. My cookies came out pretty nice and yummy. Love this recipe and will recommend this recipe to my friends. Thanks KAF for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving. Best regards.
  • star rating 11/21/2010
  • Jessica Brown from KAF Community
  • The dough was terrible. Couldn't roll it out, too dry. Cracked & crumbled. Threw it all in the trash, didn't even try to make a single cookie.
    I'm sorry this recipe didn't perform well for you. Please give the bakers a call at 802-649-3717 and we'd love to talk to you about what happened. - kelsey

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