Nut-Free Linzer Cookies with Lemon Curd

Nut-Free Linzer Cookies with Lemon Curd

Gorgeous lemon curd-filled sandwich cookies…buttery, delicate and a perfect compliment to the tart lemon curd within.  

WHAT ARE LINZER COOKIES?

Linzer cookies are traditional Austrian cookies, usually made with ground nuts and sandwiched around a jam filling. They are an adaptation of the classic Austrian Linzer torte, also often made with almond flour or another nut flour, crowned with jam peeking though a lattice top.  

Although I love these raspberry linzer cookies made with hazelnuts, sometimes you need a simple sandwich cookie made without nuts due to allergies or just the simplicity of more basic ingredients.  Unlike traditional linzer cookies, these nut-free linzer cookies are not made with any almond or hazelnut flour.  In this recipe, the top and bottom layers of the sandwich are buttery vanilla sugar cookies, made with 7 simple ingredients you probably have on hand.  

A little lemon curd and a final dusting of powdered sugar and you are well on your way to making one of the most gorgeous cookies of the season.  These nut-free linzer cookies are especially fun to make during the holidays and make a lovely addition to a Christmas cookie plate; or, they’re a perfect cookie to make for an afternoon tea or baby shower.

nut free linzer cookies with lemon curd
nut free linzer cookies with lemon curd

WHICH COOKIE CUTTERS MAKE THE BEST LINZER COOKIES?

I finally invested in a linzer cookie cutter set and it’s a fun tool to add to your collection, but not at all necessary to make these linzer cookies.  As a substitute, use one large cookie cutter or biscuit cutter, approximately 2 1/2 inches across, and one mini cookie cutter, about 1 1/2 inches across.

Play around with coordinating cookie shapes depending on the time of the year! Hearts are always perfect for Valentine’s Day, but you could also do a large/small star shape or large/small flower shape like the ones below. You can also use mini letter cookie cutters inside of a large heart shape as well to personalize for a wedding shower. These cookies are showstoppers and really grace the table for so many occasions…the possibilities are endless!

nut free linzer cookies with lemon curd

NUT-FREE LINZER COOKIES WITH LEMON CURD INGREDIENTS

  • Unsalted butter 
  • Granulated sugar
  • Large egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder – Gives the cookies the slightest lift while they bake. 
  • Salt
  • Lemon curd – Many good store-bought lemon curd options are available, or you can make your own if you’re feeling ambitious. 
  • Powdered (confectioners’) sugar – For dusting on top of the cooled cookie “tops”
ingredients for nut-free linzer cookies with lemon curd

HOW TO MAKE NUT FREE LINZER COOKIES

MAKE LINZER COOKIE DOUGH

  1. Incorporate dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt) in a medium bowl using a whisk. 
  2. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until pale and fluffy with a paddle attachment of a stand mixer or an electric mixer. Stir in the egg and the vanilla extract, scraping the sides of the bowl with a sturdy rubber spatula as needed. 
  3. Gradually add flour mixture until just blended, being sure not to overwork the dough. The dough will be soft.
  4. Divide dough into three equal portions, wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and press each into a disc shape. Place dough in refrigerator and chill for at least 1/2 hour until firm enough to roll.
cream butter and sugar
finished nut-free linzer cookie dough

ROLL OUT & BAKE LINZER COOKIES

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. These are delicate cookies and they will be much easier to transfer once baked if they are lined. 
  2. Generously flour a work surface or large cutting board.  Starting with the first disk, use a rolling pin to roll out dough to a thickness between 1/4 inch and 1/8th of an inch. I like to aim for the thinner side, since you’ll be sandwiching them and they will get quite thick. You can also place the dough between two sheets of wax paper if you prefer to use less flour. 
  3. Stamp the dough with the large cookie cutter. 
  4. Stamp half of the large cookies with a little window with the small cookie cutter. Ideally, you’ll have half base cookies and half window tops to assemble them into the linzer sandwich cookies. 
  5. Repeat with the remaining discs and re-roll all dough scraps to use up all the dough.
  6. Arrange cut-out cookies, including tops, bottoms and small scrap cut outs on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about an inch apart. 
  7. Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes, until just starting to brown around the edges and firm to the touch.
  8. Using a thin spatula, remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool completely on a wire rack before assembling.
roll out nut-free linzer dough
place cut out cookies on cookie sheet

ASSEMBLE COOKIES

  1. Arrange all top cookies (“windows”) on a cookie sheet or cooling rack and dust with powdered sugar.
  2. Spread about 1 teaspoon of lemon curd onto each of the bottom cookies, leaving a little border around the edges.
  3. Place one “window” cookie on top and press gently. 
  4. Serve cookies at room temperature with a cup of tea or coffee.
spoon a little lemon curd onto each cookie base
spoon a little lemon curd onto each cookie base
assembled nut free linzer cookies

OTHER FLAVOR COMBINATIONS?

The buttery vanilla cookie base just begs for any number of flavor combinations.  The three variations below are just a few possibilities.  Please share your favorites and ideas in the ‘comments’ section below! 

  • Love lemon and ginger? Add 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 1 teaspoon of ground ginger to the cookie dough for a delicious spiced lemon linzer cookie.
  • Raspberry or strawberry jam would be beautiful and delicious in exchange for the lemon curd! 
  • Swap an equal amount of chocolate ganache for the lemon curd and wow all the chocolate lovers in your life!

HOW LONG DO NUT-FREE LINZER COOKIES KEEP?

  • Store the linzer cookies at room temperature in a cookie jar or airtight container for up to 3 days. Keep in mind they may soften from the moisture in the lemon curd. 
  • Alternatively, you can store cookie tops and bottoms in the freezer for up to 2 months and dust them with powdered sugar/fill them with lemon curd just before serving, after thawing them overnight.
  • Assembled cookies can be frozen up to 1 month.  The jam may soften them a little but I’ve found that they do freeze surprisingly well for short periods, like when I’ve baked ahead of time for Christmas cookie plates and holiday parties. 
nut free linzer cookies with lemon curd

MORE COOKIE RECIPES TO TRY

Nut-Free Linzer Cookies with Lemon Curd

Gorgeous lemon curd-filled sandwich cookies…buttery, delicate and a perfect compliment to the tart lemon curd within.  
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Rest Time30 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: nut free linzer cookies
Servings: 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • lemon curd for filling
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • MAKE LINZER COOKIE DOUGH: Incorporate dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt) in a medium bowl using a whisk. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until pale and fluffy with a paddle attachment of a stand mixer or an electric mixer. Stir in the egg and the vanilla extract, scraping the sides of the bowl with a sturdy rubber spatula as needed. Gradually add flour mixture until just blended, being sure not to overwork the dough. The dough will be soft.Divide dough into three equal portions, wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and press into a disc shape. Place dough in refrigerator and chill for at least 1/2 hour until firm enough to roll.
  • ROLL OUT & BAKE LINZER COOKIES: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. These are delicate cookies and they will be much easier to transfer once baked if they are lined. Generously flour a work surface or large cutting board.  Starting with the first disk, use a rolling pin to roll out dough to a thickness between 1/4 inch and 1/8th of an inch. I like to aim for the thinner side, since you’ll be sandwiching them and they will get quite thick. You can also place the dough between two sheets of wax paper if you prefer to use less flour. Stamp the dough with the large cookie cutter. Stamp half of the large cookies with a little window with the small cookie cutter. Ideally, you’ll have half base cookies and half window tops to assemble them into the linzer sandwich cookies. Repeat with the remaining discs and re-roll all dough scraps to use up all the dough.Arrange cut-out cookies, including tops, bottoms and small scrap cut outs on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about an inch apart. Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes, until just starting to brown around the edges and firm to the touch.Using a thin spatula, remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool completely on a wire rack before assembling.
  • ASSEMBLE COOKIES: Arrange all top cookies ("windows") on a cookie sheet or cooling rack and dust with powdered sugar.Spread about 1 teaspoon of lemon curd onto each of the bottom cookies, leaving a little border around the edges.Place one “window” cookie on top and press gently. Serve cookies at room temperature with a cup of tea or coffee.

Notes

Recipe for cookies is from Joy of Cooking’s “Rich Roll Cookies”.





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