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Nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like heart-shaped Valentine Linzer cookies. And while I would never, ever, turn down chocolate and red roses, secretly, it just might be those heart-shaped cookies that make the day extra special.
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I love to fill my home with the aroma of freshly baked goods. While Thanksgiving and Christmas become marathon baking seasons, each holiday has its own sweet traditions. And once again, another baking session is on the horizon.
And while I have a recipe box chock-full of tried and true recipes as well as those I want to try, some of my favorites are those passed down from generation to generation.
February is approaching and our thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day and all things heart-shaped.
But I think it’s the heart-shaped cookies that have an extra special appeal. A delightful treat that brings smiles and warm thoughts.
First … a little history.
Linzer Cookies Origins
Linzer cookies are derived from Linzertortes, one of Austria’s most famous desserts. Most believe Linzertortes originated in the city of Linz.
Written recipes for linzer cookies began appearing in the early 1700s. Traditionally they consisted of a crust made with flour, ground nuts (almonds), sugar, egg yolks, spices and lemon zest. The dough was shaped and filled with preserves and topped with a lattice crust.
Linzer Cookies Today
Today’s Linzer cookies use similar ingredients to the original yet with an entirely different presentation.
Very often today, two cookies are sandwiched together with a layer of preserves and are lightly dusted with confectioners sugar. While the traditional blackcurrant jam may be difficult to find, a blackberry or raspberry jam works just as well. The top cookie is generously dusted with powdered sugar and has a cutout so the preserves are visible.
Ingredients for Valentine Linzer Cookies
Exact measurements are in the recipe card below.
- Ground almonds (almond meal or almond flour)
- All-purpose flour
- Ground cinnamon and salt
- Unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (if using salted butter, adjust the salt measurement)
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Large eggs
- Lemon zest
- Powdered sugar
- Fruit preserves; strawberry, raspberry, or blackberry preserves work well.
How to Make Valentine Linzer Cookies
Step by step instructions are in the recipe card below, but here is a quick overview:
- Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. The mix in the vanilla, egg yolks, lemon zest, and almond meal or flour.
- Fold in the dry ingredients until a dough forms. Divide it in half and chill until firm.
- Add the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Divide the dough in half and shape into two rectangles about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap the two rectangles in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least one hour and up to several days).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Roll out chilled cookie dough and cut heart shapes from the dough. Place on baking sheet 1-inch apart. Use a smaller heart shaped cutter to cut centers from half of the cookies.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Warm the jam until it thickens slightly and let cool. Assemble the cookies and dust with powdered sugar.
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Heart-Shaped Valentine Linzer Cookies
- 1 cup blanched or sliced almonds toasted and ground
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large egg yolks
- zest of 1 lemon
- confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- 1/2 cup raspberry or blackberry preserves
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy (approximately 3 minutes). Mix in the vanilla, egg yolks, lemon zest, and almonds. Add the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Divide the dough in half and shape into two rectangles about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap the two rectangles in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least one hour and up to several days).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. On a lightly floured surface roll out chilled cookie dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2 to 3 inch cookie cutter (round, square, heart, etc.) cut out the dough. Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Use a smaller shaped cookie cutter (3/4 – 1 inch) to cut out the centers of half of the cookies on the baking sheet. (You will be sandwiching two cookies together and there will be a small ‘window or cut out’ in the top cookie so you can see the jam underneath.) Repeat until all the dough has been used.
- Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until they are very lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
- While the cookies are cooling place the raspberry jam in a small saucepan and heat gently until it has thickened slightly. Strain if there are any lumps in the jam. Let cool.
To Assemble Cookies:
- Place the cookies with the cut-outs on a wire rack and lightly dust the tops with the confectioners’ sugar.
- On the bottom surface of the full cookie (top of cookie will face out) spread with about a 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Place the cut-out cookie on top and gently sandwich them together. Using a small spoon, fill the cut-out with a little more jam.
- Makes about 20 – 2-inch sandwiched cookies.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.