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linzer tart cookies with cranberry jam.
5 from 1 vote
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Linzer Tart Cookies

Made with a simple soft and buttery sugar cookie dough, filled with a fresh cranberry Port wine jam, and dusted with powdered sugar. These classic Christmas cookies are easy and fun to make, festive, and are almond and nut free!
Servings 16 servings
Prep 1 hr
Cook 10 mins
Total 1 hr 10 mins
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Author : Cambrea Gordon


  • small pot
  • Stand mixing bowl with paddle attachment
  • Large parchment paper sheets
  • Rolling Pin
  • 2 ½ inch round cookie or biscuit cutter
  • 1 inch round cookie cutter or the bottom of a piping tip
  • baking tray
  • fine mesh sifter


Cranberry Jam Ingredients

  • 2 cups cranberries fresh or frozen
  • ¾ cup port wine
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar

Cookie Dough Ingredients

  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature 226 grams (2 sticks)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar 300 grams
  • 1 large egg, room temperature 55 grams
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 3 cups all purpose flour 360 grams
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch 17 grams
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • powdered sugar for dusting


Making the Jam

  • In a small pot, add the cranberries, port wine and sugar. Heat over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes, or until the cranberries are completely broken down and the jam is thick.
    2 cups cranberries, ¾ cup port wine, ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • Transfer the jam to a small bowl and allow to cool completely in the fridge or at room temperature.

Making Cookie Dough

  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, corn starch and baking powder and set aside.
    3 cups all purpose flour, 2 tablespoon corn starch, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • In a stand mixing bowl, add the room temperature butter and sugar. Mix with the paddle attachment on low until JUST combined. Don't cream them together or the cookies will spread!
    8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix on low until combined.
    1 large egg, room temperature, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • Add the bowl of dry ingredients and mix on low until the dough starts to come together. When there are no more large pockets of flour, stop mixing. 
  • Grab half of the dough from the bowl and place it on top of a piece of parchment paper. Place a second sheet of parchment paper on top and press the dough down into a flat disk. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into ⅛ inch thick round and then transfer it to a baking pan. Place the pan in the freezer while you roll out the other half of the dough the same way. 
  • Leave both slabs of dough in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is cold and firm. Remove the top sheet of parchment and use a 2 ½ inch round cutter to cut out the cookies. You will have about 36 rounds from the entire batch. You can re-work and roll the dough scraps twice.
  • Transfer 18 of the rounds to a parchment lined baking tray and place them in the freezer. 
  • Take a 1 inch round cutter or the bottom of a piping tip to cut out the center of the other 18 cookies. These will be the tops. Place them on a lined tray and freeze them while the oven preheats to 375 F/190 C.
  • Bake the cookies on a lined tray, spaced 2 inches apart for 10-12 minutes or until the tops look matte and dry. You may have to bake them in batches. Keep the raw cut cookies in the freezer when not being baked so they stay cold. Let the tray cool completely on a wire rack before removing the cookies.

Asssembling the Cookies

  • Separate the tops and bottoms of the linzers.
  • Use a fine mesh sifter to dust the tops of the linzer cookies with powdered sugar.
    powdered sugar
  • Using a spoon, add 1 tablespoon of the cooled jam in the middle of the bottom cookie. Sandwich the filling with the dusted top cookie by gently pressing them together.
  • Enjoy!


Step by step process photos are provided above, in the body of this post.
PLEASE NOTE: I highly recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh your dry ingredients.

Expert Tips for These Cookies

  • Always spoon measure your flour when baking-This means using a spoon to fluff the flour first, then spoon it into your measuring cup. This will give the most accurate results when baking without a kitchen scale.
  • Dark vs. light baking pans- baking pans conduct heat differently depending on what color the pan is. If your pan is dark/black you should decrease the heat to 350 F/177 C.
  • Cook the jam until thick- this recipe does not use any corn starch or extra thickener to keep the flavor so you should let it cook until its thick enough to not be runny.
  • Don't cream the butter and sugar- to keep the cookies from spreading, mix the sugar and butter together until JUST combined.
  • Freeze the cookies before baking- to keep their shape and keep them from spreading, make sure to freeze the cookies until solid.
  • Don't over bake the cookies- these are meant to be soft and chewy so they have a very short baking time. If the edges of the cookies are starting to brown, that means they will be more crisp than chewy.
  • Dust the tops with sugar before sandwiching- if you fill and assemble the cookies and then dust them with powdered sugar, it will cover up the pretty red jam!
  • For more cookie dough tips see this post!


Storage and Freezing

Once baked and filled, the cookies will soften from the moisture in the jam. I recommend not filling them if you plan on freezing them!
You can freeze just the dough or the baked cookies in a sealed airtight container for 2-3 weeks.
Once baked and filled, keep the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 63.1g | Protein: 3.4g | Fat: 23.8g | Saturated Fat: 14.8g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 248mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 43.2g | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg