We have a classic beauty on today’s menu: linzer cookies. These soft, stunning raspberry pistachio linzer cookies are a little salty and a little sweet, and they always leave a lasting impression. The beautiful sandwich cookies taste best on day 2, so they’re a wonderful make-ahead holiday cookie option!
What are Linzer Cookies?
Linzer cookies are traditionally made from a nutty almond-based cookie dough, but for this recipe, we’re using pistachios. The dough is rolled out, cut into shapes, and baked…just like sugar cookies. Then the cookies are finished with a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar, and sandwiched together with sweet jam. These festive, stained glass window-esque cookies are easily some of the prettiest cookies around, especially on holiday cookie trays.
Fun fact: Linzer cookies originate from an Austrian treat called linzertorte, a type of pastry filled with a fruit preserve and topped with a lattice design.
Tell Me About These Raspberry Pistachio Linzer Cookies
- Texture: They’re nutty, deliciously textured, and oh so good. Linzers are crunchy right out of the oven, but after sandwiching jam in the center, they begin to soften. The magic happens on day 2 when the jam settles into the cookies making the whole sandwich tender, soft, and deliciously crumbly. Without question, they taste BEST when made ahead of time.
- Flavor: Trust me when I tell you that they taste even better than they look. Salty pistachios pair perfectly with sweet brown sugar, jam, and spices, resulting in a remarkably flavorful and delicious cookie. Moreover, they’re totally customizable – simply use your favorite jam and cookie cutters.
- Ease: They’re stunning yet deceptively easy to make! You’ll need to make the dough and chill it for some time, then roll out the dough, cut them into shape, and bake. Once cooled, you simply dust the “donut” cookie with confectioners’ sugar, spread jam onto the base cookie, and sandwich them.
- Time: In addition to the preparation of the dough and the baking, you’ll need to chill the dough for at least 3 hours. If you want to save time, consider whipping up a batch of dough in advance and storing it in the freezer (see Recipe Notes). When you’re ready to bake, simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
You may also want to check out my favorite traditional linzer cookie recipe in Sally’s Cookie Addiction if you have a copy.
Overview: How to Make Raspberry-Pistachio Linzer Cookies
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it so you understand each step before you get started.
Before you begin, be sure to have 3 bowls ready:
- 1st bowl = ground pistachios + brown sugar
- 2nd bowl = dry ingredients like flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt
- 3rd bowl = wet ingredients like butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla
- 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 it comes together after a couple minutes of mixing.
- Divide and chill the cookie dough. Divide the dough half, flatten them 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 sheet.
- Roll out the cookie dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the disc of cookie dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into discs. 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 discs.
- Cut a hole into the center of half of the discs. We’ll call them “donut cookies” because of that center hole. If you like, reroll the scraps of dough to make a couple more cookies.
- 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, then 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 them with scalloped edges. You’ll need 2 cookie cutters: one cookie cutter that is 2 inches in diameter and another that’s 1 inch. (I used these fluted-edge cookie cutters.) I always make a round center hole, but it looks just as lovely with a little heart, star, or diamond shape.
All the cookies will be cut with the 2-inch cookie cutter, but only HALF will be cut again into a “donut” cookie. (That’s what I call the cookies with holes in the center.)
Fillings for Linzer Cookies Filling
I chose raspberry jam, but honestly…any flavor works. Apricot jam or even lemon curd makes a delicious flavor combination with pistachio. Or replace the pistachios with hazelnuts and fill with Nutella or caramel like we do in these caramel hazelnut linzer cookies.
Raspberry Pistachio Linzer Cookies Video Tutorial
Let’s watch how these beautiful cookies are made:
More Cookie Recipes
- Apricot Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies
- Lemon Ginger Cookies
- Stained Glass Window Cookies
- Rugelach Cookies
- Peppermint Bark Cookies
- Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
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 (313g) 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