Soft, a little salty, and sweet raspberry pistachio linzer cookies are simply stunning cookies that always impress. These beautiful sandwich cookies taste best on day 2 so they’re a wonderful make-ahead holiday cookie option!
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.
What are Linzer Cookies?
Linzer cookies are made from a nutty cookie dough, traditionally almond based, but we’re using pistachios! This deliciously nutty dough is rolled out, 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 is the 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!
Fun fact: I learned that linzer cookies originate from an Austrian treat called Linzertorte which is filled with black currant preserves and topped with a lattice design.
These Raspberry Pistachio Linzer Cookies Are:
- Simple to make yet incredibly stunning
- Totally customizable– fill them with your favorite jam and use your favorite cookie cutters!
- Nutty and deliciously textured
- Remarkably flavorful– the salty pistachios pair perfectly with sweet brown sugar, jam, and spices
- Soft and a little crumbly
- Even better on day 2
- Beautiful on holiday cookie trays
- Dusted with confectioners’ sugar for a little something extra
Steps for Raspberry Pistachio Linzer Cookies
I published my favorite traditional linzer cookie recipe in Sally’s Cookie Addiction, so we’re making a spin-off today. Before you begin, have 3 bowls ready:
- 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
Let’s dive in:
- Pulse the pistachios and half of the brown sugar into a fine crumb. Use a food processor for this step.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Cream the wet ingredients together. You’ll use the remaining half of the brown sugar in this step.
- Add the dry ingredients and pistachio mixture to the wet ingredients. The dough will be crumbly at first, but will come together after a couple minutes of mixing.
- Divide & chill the cookie dough. Divide the dough half, flatten it into discs, and tightly wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Without chilling, the dough is impossible to roll out and the cookies will spread into a massive mess on your baking sheets.
- Roll out the cookie dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the disc of cookie dough until 1/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into circles. Reroll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all of the dough is used. Repeat this process with the second disc of dough. You’ll have about 64 cookie dough circles.
- Cut a hole into the center of half of the cookie dough circles. We’ll call them “donut cookies” because of that center hole.
- Bake. Bake the whole cookies and “donut” cookies on separate baking sheets. The donut cookies take a minute less because of their smaller surface area.
- Dust the “donut cookies” with confectioners’ sugar.
- Fill with jam & sandwich. Spread 1/2 teaspoon of jam on each whole cookie. Top each with a donut cookie and press down gently to create a cookie sandwich.
Look at this gorgeous dough!
Favorite Cookie Cutters to Use
Linzer cookies can be cut into any shape, but I love the scalloped edge look. You’ll need two cookie cutters– one 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 lovely 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.
Linzer Cookies Filling
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 (!!). I’ll have to try that combination next!
Raspberry Pistachio Linzer Cookies Video Tutorial
Let’s watch how they’re made:
Soft, a little salty, and sweet pistachio linzer cookies filled with delicious raspberry jam!
- 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, (spoon & leveled) 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
- Place the pistachios and 1/3 cup (67g) brown sugar in a food processor. Pulse into a very fine crumb. Set aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Food Processor, Measuring Cups, Glass Mixing Bowls, Fluted Edge Round Cookie Cutters, Silpat Baking Mat, Baking Sheet, and Cooling Rack
- Pistachios: 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.
Keywords: raspberry pistachio linzer cookies, linzer cookies