Almond Chocolate Cinnamon Linzer Cookies. I make a version of these Austrian Christmas cookies every year.
I love Linzer cookies. I have either been eating them, making them or both for Christmas since I was a kid. Having Austrian grandparents and a mom who grew up in Germany meant we had all the Austria/Bavarian/German treats at the holidays as kids.
This year I decided to go with a creamy, almond chocolate filling in place of traditional jam. I also have a generous amount of cinnamon in the cookies as well as orange zest and juice. The orange works so well with cinnamon and chocolate.
I love these nutty, buttery sandwich cookies, most often filled with jam. Traditional Linzer cookies are a buttery, shortcrust cookie dough made with either almond or hazelnuts and sandwiched with either apricot or red currant jam. Raspberry jam is another popular jam to use. I've made a Linzer cookie version with a chocolate cookie and raspberry jam before. So good.
How do you make linzer cookies?
Linzer cookies are quite easy to make. You make the dough, chill it, roll it out, chill some more, bake, cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar then spread on your filling of choice and sandwich together. More time spent with assembly than baking but its really not too time consuming to do.
Last year I made Guava Macadamia Linzer cookies. A macadamia nut based cookie with guava jam filling. They were amazing, quite possibly my favorite flavor combination with using jam. This year I decided to go with a creamy almond chocolate filling. Similar to nutella. The filling needs to be a little warm and easy to spread so it does't break the cookies as you make them.
Once the cookies are baked and cooled, generously dust the tops with powdered sugar before sandwiching together.
Some tips for Linzer Cookie baking success:
- Use fresh, ground nuts. If you use whole nuts, grind them with some of the flour from the recipe so you don't end up making nut butter
- The dough is a crumbly dough, so chilling is a must
- Roll out the dough between two pieces of wax paper rather than using flour. You will be gathering the dough to re-roll it and the more flour that gets added makes for a tougher cookie
- The freezer is your friend. Roll out your dough, cut out your cookie bottoms and tops then chill before removing from the wax paper to the cookie sheet. Once rolled the dough gets softer and will lose shape as you try to transfer them. Just 5-10 minutes in the freezer will make them much easier to lift off the wax paper and make sure they stay the same size when baking. I use a small, thin frosting spatula to life them off the wax paper
- Roll out to between ⅛" and ¼" inch thick. Try to keep them as even as possible. Cookies with one thicker side and one thinner will tend to burn on the thinner side before the thicker side is baked.
- Make sure the filling is a little warm for easier spreading. The cookies aren't super fragile, but I have broken a few before when spreading on a filling that was harder to spread.
- I used Almond Chocolate spread from Trader Joe's. Its very similar to nutella. If you can't find it, you can use nutella or even make a ganache.
- These cookies freeze well. I usually make these cookies early in the month since they keep so well in an airtight container
- You don't have to use cutters made specifically for Linzer cookies. You can use any cutter shape you like for the top and bottom and a smaller one for the middle. I like using the cutters since they have the middle cutter attachment for the cookie tops. It gets them mostly centered. Wilton sells mini cookie cutters that would work for the top cookies, or you can go for a Linzer cookie cutter set. Up to you. There are so many fun shapes and sizes of the cutters available.
A few more notes about this Almond Chocolate Cinnamon Linzer Cookies recipe first:
- Use blanched almond flour. Blanched means the almond skins have been removed. You can make your own almond flour by adding almonds and a little flour from the recipe to a food processor but often it wont be fine enough. I also tend to end up making almond butter since I will leave the food processor on for too long. Almond flour can be found in well stocked grocery stores in gluten free sections as well as online. I keep a bag of it in the freezer to last longer.
- I used almond chocolate spread from Trader Joes. I think it's actually called cocoa almond spread. If you don't have one nearby you can make your own or substitute with Nutella or other chocolate nut based spread. There are many versions of almond chocolate spread brands online.
- Recipe ingredients are listed in cups, ounces and grams. Only use one measurement not all three. Grams are the most accurate, this is why I am a big fan of using a food scale
- 2 cups all purpose flour (9oz/255g)
- 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour (6 ⅜oz/180g)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt ( 2 g)
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 cup butter (8 z/226g)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (7 ¼ oz/205g)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar (4 oz/120g)
- 1 cup almond chocolate spread
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, almond flour, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 6-7 minutes. Add in the orange zest, juice and vanilla and mix again. Add in the flour mixture and mix on medium low until just combined, the mixture will be little crumbly.
Mix the dough in the mixer bowl by hands to form a ball of dough. Divide the dough into thirds and form a thick disc with each third. Wrap each disc well with plastic wrap/cling film, and chill overnight.
When ready to bake heat oven to 350 Deg F ( 177 Deg C) and prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
Working with one of the dough discs at a time, roll out to an even thickness between ⅛th and ¼th inches (4-6mm) between two pieces of wax paper. You may need to adjust the wax paper from time to time as you are rolling so it doesn’t bunch up.
Lightly dip your Linzer cutters in flour then press into the dough working quickly to cut as many out as your can. Cut the centers of half the cut outs with the middle cutter of the Linzer cookie cutter or with a small cookie cutter of your choice. Chill the dough in the freezer 5-10 minutes then transfer the cut pieces to the prepared baking sheets, placing each about 2 inches apart.
Make sure the dough is still cool before baking, if the cut pieces on the prepared baking sheet have started to warm up place back in the freezer for another few minutes before baking
Repeat with the remaining discs and gather the remaining dough to knead back together, chill and roll out until you have all your cookies cut out,
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are starting to turn golden. Do not over bake.
Cool cookies completely. Dust the top halves generously with powdered sugar. Spread about two teaspoons of the chocolate almond spread on the bottom half cookie (on the side that was touching the baking sheet) the gently press one of the powdered sugar dusted tops on top to make a sandwich cookie. Repeat with all cookies.
Store in an airtight container for a few days, in a resealable bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If you can't find the almond chocolate spread or don't have a Trader Joe's near you, feel free to substitute with another brand or Nutella.
I hope you love these almond chocolate cinnamon Linzer cookies as much as I do!