Almond Linzer Cookie Hearts with Blackberry Jam

heart cookies

Little siblings of the traditional Austrian-Hungarian Linzertorte, Linzer cookies are very much a favorite in my family. These crumbly pastries are perfect for any holiday table. Make them round like wreaths for Christmas and for Valentine's Day make them heart shaped.

This recipe is rather simple. The dough can be made the day before and left in the refrigerator until it's time to roll the cookies. I used ground almonds in this recipe, but any ground nut, specifically walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts, work well. Make sure you refrigerate the dough in between batches. It will be easier to handle and the cookies will look neat and sharp once baked.

Almond Linzer Cookie Hearts with Blackberry Jam

3/4 cup ground almonds
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
seedless blackberry jam

In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: ground almonds, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and extracts; mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients a little at a time on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Mix until combined.

Form dough into two disks and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with oven-safe parchment paper or Silpats.

Roll out one disk of dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to about 1/8-inch thickness. Keep second disk in refrigerator until ready to roll. Cut out cookies and transfer to lined baking sheet, arranging no more than 1 inch apart. Cut out centers of half the cookies. Reshape scraps of dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and keep in refrigerator until ready to roll again.

Bake cookies until golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely. Spread cookie bottoms with about 1 teaspoon of jam and cover with top, squeezing together and removing any excess that comes out. Yield: 24 sandwiched cookies.