Raspberry Pistachio Linzer Cookies

Soft, a little salty, and sweet pistachio linzer cookies filled with delicious raspberry jam! Christmas cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Big day ahead of us. This is week 2 and day 6 of Sally’s Cookie Palooza AND it’s national cookie day! I’m giving away a copy of my cookbook and a stand mixer to celebrate, so make sure you go enter. 🙂

Did you bake this weekend? Make a huge ol’ mess in your kitchen? Accidentally drop an open bag of flour on the floor then 10 seconds later spill royal icing all over the counter? No? Just me?

I’ve been in MAJOR baking withdrawal, so I rolled up my sleeves for a few hours, made 4 dozen cookies, and created an epic disaster in the process. Good times.

Soft, a little salty, and sweet pistachio linzer cookies filled with delicious raspberry jam! Christmas cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

We have a classic beauty on today’s menu: linzer cookies. Have you ever made them before? They look a lot more complicated than they actually are, so I want to walk through the process together.

Linzer cookies are made from a nutty cookie dough. It’s traditionally almond based. (But we’re doing pistachios! I’ll get to that in a sec.) This deliciously nutty dough is rolled out and cut into shapes and baked, just like sugar cookies. Then the cookies are sandwiched together with sweet jam. A light dusting of confectioners’ sugar finishes them off. These stained glass window-esque cookies are easily some of the prettiest cookies around!

But the best part of all is their unique texture. Linzers are crunchy right out of the oven, but after sandwiching jam in the center, they begin to soften. And on day 2, the jam settles into the cookies so the whole sandwich is tender, soft, and deliciously crumbly. So linzer cookies taste BEST made ahead of time!

So you get an idea of the process, here is a video for making them.

I published my favorite traditional linzer cookie recipe in Sally’s Cookie Addiction, so we’ll make a spin-off today. You’ll start with 3 bowls:

  • bowl 1 = ground up pistachios + brown sugar
  • bowl 2 = dry ingredients like flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt
  • bowl 3 = wet ingredients like butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla

You’ll divide the brown sugar in half. Some will be ground up with the pistachios and the rest will be creamed with the butter, like a traditional cookie recipe. I grind a little up with the pistachios to really break them down. I like using salty pistachios to pair with the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon flavors. I love the texture of these cookies and all… but MAN ALIVE. These raspberry pistachio linzer cookies boast remarkable flavor.

Ground pistachios and brown sugar for linzer cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Steps for linzer cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Then combine all three bowls into one. Look at this gorgeous dough!

Cookie dough for linzer cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Divide the dough in half and chill it in the refrigerator. Without chilling, the dough is impossible to roll out and the cookies will spread into a massive mess on your baking sheets. A worse mess than my flour explosion and royal icing spill on Saturday. If that’s even possible.

Linzer cookies can be cut into any shape, but I love the scalloped edge look. You’ll need a cookie cutter about 2 inches in diameter and another that’s 1 inch. Here are the cookie cutters I used: fluted edge cookie cutters (the 2 inch and 1 inch sizes). I always make the cookies round, but the center looks super cute as a little heart, star, diamond etc.

All of the cookies will be cut with the larger 2-inch cookie cutter, then half will be cut again into a “donut” cookie. That’s what I call the cookies with holes in the center!

Cutting cookie dough for linzer cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Shaped cookie dough for linzer cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Shaped cookie dough for linzer cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Bake the whole cookies and “donut” cookies on separate baking sheets. The donut cookies take a minute less because of their smaller surface area. Once the cookies are baked and cooled, begin sandwiching.

I chose raspberry jam, but honestly… any flavor works! Apricot jam or even lemon curd would be SO good with pistachios. Or I just thought of this: use hazelnuts instead of pistachios and fill with Nutella. OMG why didn’t I do it this way. Oh well, all the more reason to pull out my cookie cutters and make another mess this holiday season!

Assembling linzer cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Assembling linzer cookies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Don’t forget to dust the tops with confectioners’ sugar!

Soft, a little salty, and sweet pistachio linzer cookies filled with delicious raspberry jam! Christmas cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Soft, a little salty, and sweet pistachio linzer cookies filled with delicious raspberry jam! Christmas cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Nerd alert! Do you know where linzer cookies originate from? I learned that they’re based off of an Austrian treat called Linzertorte which is filled with black currant preserves and topped with a lattice design.

See all cookie palooza recipes.

Raspberry Pistachio Linzer Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup (65g) shelled pistachios*
  • 2/3 cup (135g) packed light or dark brown sugar, divided
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 240g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (160g) raspberry jam or jelly (or any flavor!)
  • 2 Tablespoons (16g) confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:

  1. Place the pistachios and 1/3 cup (67g) brown sugar in a food processor. Pulse into a very fine crumb. Set aside.
  2.  Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining 1/3 cup (67g) brown sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  4. Add the flour mixture AND the ground pistachio mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. It will be crumbly at first, but will come together after a couple minutes of mixing.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, gently flatten into discs, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill the discs in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (and up to 4 days). If chilling for longer than 3 hours, allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling because the dough will be quite hard.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  7. Remove 1 disc of chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator. Generously flour a work surface, as well as your hands and the rolling pin. The dough may become sticky as you work, so keep extra flour nearby to use as needed. Alternatively, the dough may crack when rolling out. Wait a few minutes for it to soften back up. The more you work with it, the softer (and easier to work with) it will become. Roll out the disc until 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2-inch round or fluted cookie cutter, cut dough into circles. Reroll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. Repeat with the second disc of dough. You should have about 64 circles.
  8. Using a 1-inch round or fluted cookie cutter, cut a hole into the center of 32 of the circles. Let’s call these 32 cookies the “donut cookies” because of that center hole.
  9. Arrange the whole circles and the donut cookies 2 inches apart and on separate baking sheets (because the donut cookies take 1 less minute to bake).
  10. Bake the whole circles for about 11 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges, and bake the donut cookies for about 10 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets halfway through the bake time. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Dust the “donut cookies” with confectioners’ sugar, then transfer all of the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before assembling.
  11. Spread 1⁄2 teaspoon of jam on each whole cookie. Carefully top each with a donut cookie and press down gently to create a cookie sandwich. Dust each with confectioners’ sugar.
  12. Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Make ahead tip: You can chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (see step 5), but you can also freeze it for up to 3 months. If you opt for the latter, allow the dough to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before rolling out in step 7. Cookies freeze well for up to 3 months; thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

Recipe Notes:

*You can use salted or unsalted pistachios. I prefer to use salted for a sweet/salty flavor.

Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Ninja Food Processor | Measuring CupsGlass Mixing Bowls | Fluted Edge Round Cookie Cutters | Silpat Baking Mat | Cookie Sheet | Cooling Rack

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Soft, a little salty, and sweet pistachio linzer cookies filled with delicious raspberry jam! Christmas cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

79 Comments

Comments

  1. Linda on December 6, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Yum, I think I’ll make these for holiday cookies. I have some pistachio flour on hand and homemade lemon curd as well. It’ll be a quick bake and assemble for the holidays. 😀 Thanks Sally!

  2. Angie Poellinger on December 11, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    I made these and they turned out pretty well. I thought they might get bigger during cooking. Maybe because my baking powder was old, that didn’t happen. Flavor was very good. Thanks!

    • Sally on December 11, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      They should hold their shape while baking so sounds like you did everything right 🙂

  3. Angela on December 15, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    My fluted cookie cutters came today!!! I am BEYOND excited to get in the kitchen and bang out cookies this weekend. I am definitely trying the Hazelnut/ Nutella version. I’ll make sure to tag you on IG! Also trying your Rugelach recipe which I’m super excited about!!

  4. Gsprunean on December 15, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    These look wonderful! I was wondering if I can use almond flour only since I don’t have any pistachios on hand?

    • Sally on December 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      I don’t suggest it– you’ll want to crush down nuts to get the proper texture. Almond flour is a little too fine and will dry out the dough.

  5. Leah Rosenberg on December 16, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Sally, I have been baking your recipes for years and they always turn out perfectly. Tonight, however, I tried making these as a hazelnut and Nutella version. but something went horribly wrong. When I tried rolling out the dough, it was extremely crumbly and when I tried to pickup the cookies after cutting them into shapes, they fell apart. Then when I pulled them out the oven (I only cooked them for 9 minutes at 350) and let them cool, they were hard as a rock. I was so excited to bring these to a cookie exchange, but don’t think I will have time to remake them. Hope you can help me figure out my mistake! Thank you, Sally.

    • Sally on December 16, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Leah! That’s extremely frustrating, I’m so sorry. Was the dough too cold, you think? I always find that if I let it sit out at room temperature and work it with the rolling pin, it will soften up. Also, maybe too much flour when rolling it out? If you decide to make again, try reducing flour to 2 and 1/4 cups.

  6. Angela on December 18, 2017 at 9:26 am

    MAN ALIVE, these are good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Nutella/ Hazelnut version did NOT disappoint. Also, your Rugelach recipe is divine. My mind is already running wild with Savory ideas! That dough is incredible, it tastes like it is so hard/ complicated to make but my love (my food processor) did all of the work this weekend. I know you saw on IG but I am beyond thrilled with how all of my cookies came out this weekend, and 4 of the 5 recipes I used were yours! The only one I already had was my grandmother’s Pizzelle recipe <3 thank you so much for giving me all of the help and guidance I needed to create beautiful holiday cookies. I cannot wait to share them over the holidays. Well done you!

    • Sally on December 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      This makes me so happy – and totally convinced me to use Nutella next time! Let me know what savory rugelach recipes you come up with! Happy holidays 🙂

  7. James on December 18, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Hey Sally, weird question, but I like a “lighter colored” linzer cookie. I assume these are dark because of the brown sugar and cinnamon use. Im also curious if those flavors overpower the delicate pistachio flavor. Would you suggest changes for a lighter color and more pronounced pistachio flavor? 

    Ps i havent made these yet, so the flavor could be spot on, just curious! 

    • Sally on December 19, 2017 at 10:57 am

      I find that you can still taste the pistachio, however, feel free to switch to granulated sugar and leave out the cinnamon (or reduce the cinnamon). 🙂

  8. Salwa on December 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Hi these look so pretty, i want to try both nuts
    But i have a question, is the weight of the nuts with the shells or after i remove them , i’m gu Its with the shells . And if i want to make the hazelnut version do i use the same 65 grams ?

    • Sally on December 22, 2017 at 10:09 am

      Hi Salwa! The weight of the pistachios is for shelled pistachios. Use 2/3 cup of chopped hazelnuts, which is about 75g.

      • Salwa on December 22, 2017 at 10:21 pm

        Thanks so much 



  9. Katie Dickey on December 21, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    I have a tree nut allergy and I cannot have almonds,  pistachios or hazelnuts. Can I use regular flour to make these cookies or is there something else I can use as a substitute? I love these cookies and this is a new allergy for me and I’m so sad I can’t make these 🙁 please help!!

    • Sally on December 22, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Hi Katie! Flour isn’t a sub for the nuts BUT there is definitely a way you can make these! I suggest using my sugar cookie dough instead. You can add cinnamon and use brown sugar instead of white. Bake them just how you would bake these, fill with jam, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy!

  10. Katie Dickey on December 22, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you so much!! Happy Holidays!!

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