Christmas Kitchen: Festive Spice Linzer Cookies (Linzerkekse)

Here it is, my last festive bake of 2020! If you, like me, are officially not working today why not head into the kitchen to make my Festive Spice Linzer Cookies? Made from a really simple spiced shortbread that holds its shape in the oven without the need to chill it first (!) you can shape these cookies out of whatever cutters you have to hand before sandwiching them together with whatever jars of jam you’ve got lurking in the fridge.

Festive Spice Linzer Cookies (Linzerkekse)
Linzer Cookies (Linzerkekse)

I used a mix of Tiptree’s lovely and boozy Apricot & Armagnac jam for the grown ups, and some of my own homemade damson jam to add to the whole jewel-like colour theme. If you’ve got some to hand, for a bit more festive sparkle, I’ve used my edible gold and silver lustre sprays when I sprinkled each of the cut out cookies with icing sugar – gold for the apricot cookies, and silver for the damson.

Also, as the jam means they won’t keep in the tin for more than a day or two, I’ve purposely made them a small batch of just 10 biscuits do none will go to waste / so you can move onto your next festive bake! How about some Russian Biscuit Cake, some German Cinnamon Stars, or my Mum’s recipe for Chocolate Florentines?

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Festive Spice Linzer Cookies (Linzerkekse)

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 10 1x
  • Category: Baking
  • Cuisine: Austrian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


These Austrian-inspired Christmas Linzer (Linzerkekse) cookies pair soft festive-spiced shortbread and jewel-like jam in this easy, fun and beautiful biscuit.


  • 100g (3 1/2) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 50g (1 1/2 oz) golden caster (granulated) sugar
  • zest of 1 small clementine
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 25g (1 oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 145g (5 oz) plain (all purpose) flour
  • icing sugar
  • edible lustre spray (optional)
  • smooth jam without bits


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (355 Fahrenheit) and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
  2. Cream together the sugar, butter, salt, and clementine zest until smooth. Beat in the vanilla, egg yolk and the spices.
  3. Add the flour and cornflour, and gently stir in until combined into a dough. Bring together into a ball using your hands.
  4. Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll out the dough until it is about the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut out 20 circles, and punch holes in the middle of half of them. To get 20, you’ll need to bring together the dough scraps together carefully after cutting out the first batch (try not to work the dough too much, as this creates tough biscuits) and roll out and cut out ring shapes again until you can’t get any more rings out of the dough.
  5. Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking trays and bake for 8-10 minutes until they are firm but have barely started to turn golden. Allow to cool on the baking sheets completely before decorating.
  6. Separate the top biscuits from the ones on the bottom, and sieve a generous amount of icing sugar over the tops. Spray with edible lustre, if using.
  7. Using an eating knife carefully spread a thin layer of jam over each bottom biscuit. Carefully, making sure not to disturb the icing sugar, put on the decorated tops.