Advent Calendar Day 9 – Linzer cookies

Nine days into the Christmas count down I feel it is finally time for Christmas cookies. As an Austrian I was personally “obliged” to start my Christmas baking season with Linzer Augen, which literally translate to Linzer Eyes. They are said to have originated in the Austrian city of Linz.

Together with Vanillekipferl (vanilla crescents) they are probably them most popular Austrian Christmas cookies. While I have to confess that I have never tackled the challenge of making Vanillekipferl, I have regularly made Linzer Cookies over the last years slightly altering the recipe every year. After they turned out quite brittle last year I was quite happy with the result this year :-) .

… And what are your favourite Christmas cookies?

Linzer Cookies

Ingredients (makes approx. 40 cookies):
250 g flour
50 g ground almonds
150 g butter
75 g icing sugar
1 egg
1 pkg. vanilla sugar (8 g)
a pinch of ground cinnamon
a pinch of ground cloves
grated zest of half a lemon
150 g red currant jam or jelly
50 g icing sugar

1) Knead all dough ingredients into a dough. Wrap the ball of dough in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
2) Take the dough out of the fridge. Pre-heat the oven to 180 ºC. Cover the baking sheets with parchment paper.
3) Briefly knead the dough. Dust working surface with flour. Roll out the dough until approx. 3 mm thick.
4) Cut out the cookies (for the original Linzer cookies using a round cookie cutter). Cut out the “Linzer eyes” (the holes) out of every second cookie, using a Linzer cutter (3 small holes in a triangle) or any other shape. Put cookies on baking sheet.
5) Bake cookies in the middle of the pre-heated oven at 180 ºC for roughly 10 minutes.
6) Take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool.
7) Dust the top cookies (the ones with the hole) with icing sugar. Spread jam on the bottom cookies and cover with a top cookie. The jam should rise a bit into the holes. Before storing let the finished Linzer cookies dry a bit.
8) Let the cookies sit in a metal cookie box for 1-2 weeks so they can tenderize.

Linzer Augen

Zutaten (ergibt ca. 40 Kekse):
250 g Mehl
50 g geriebene Mandeln
150 g Butter
75 g Staubzucker
1 Ei
1 Pkg. Vanillezucker (8 g)
1 Messerspitze Zimt
1 Messerspitze Nelkenpulver
abgeriebene Schale einer halben Zitrone
150 g Ribiselmarmelade oder – gelee (Johannisbeermarmelade/gelee)
50 g Staubzucker

1) Alle Teigzutaten zu einem Mürbteig verkneten. Den Teig in Frischhaltefolie wickeln und 1-2 Stunden im Kühlschrank ruhen lassen.
2) Den Teig aus dem Kühlschrank nehmen. Das Backrohr auf 180 ºC vorheizen. Backbleche mit Backpapier belegen.
3) Teig kurz durchkneten. Auf einer bemehlten Fläche den Teig etwa 3 mm dick ausrollen.
4) Kekse ausstechen (fuer die originalen Linzer Augen mit einer runden Ausstechform). Aus jedem zweiten Keks 3 Linzer Augen (oder ein anders geformtes “Loch” mit einer kleineren Keksform) ausstechen und auf die Backbleche legen.
5) Kekse vorgeheizten Backrohr auf mittlerer Schiene bei 180 ºC ca. 10 Minuten backen.
6) Kekse aus dem Backrohr nehmen und auskühlen lassen.
7) Die Oberteile (mit Loch) mit Staubzucker bestreuen. Die Unterteile mit Marmelade bestreichen und einen Oberteil darauf setzen. Die Marmelade soll ein wenig in die Löcher hinaufgedrückt werden. Die fertigen Linzer Augen trocknen lassen.
8) Die Kekse 1-2 Wochen in eine Metalldose lagern, damit sie mürbe werden.

  1. Love the cookies, so pretty! Was thinking about making them too, but then realized I need special molds. :) Love the story behind the cookies!

    • Hi Julia,
      You can actually use “ordinary” cookie cutters. For example for the stars I used two star cookie cutters of different size and used the smaller star to cut a hole into every second big star.

  2. Our family recipe leaves out the egg white so the cookie is more tender.