Linzer cookies might be associated with Christmas. However, their heart shape and red colour makes them perfect for Valentine’s Day, too! These gluten free Linzer cookies are crumbly like shortbread. They are buttery and melt in the mouth. And the best part? The juicy jam in the middle of this gluten free cookie recipe! If you want a Valentine’s Day cookies recipe with all the flavour but none of the gluten, try these.
They might look seriously impressive but don’t worry – the recipe isn’t hard! And this is one of the best gluten free cookie recipe options for Valentine’s Day.
Tasty History of Linzer Cookies
These cookies have a long history – all the way back to 1653 in fact. They started off as a tart rather than cookies. Oh – and they are as Austrian as Arnold Schwarzenegger! Let’s find out how gluten free Linzer cookies came to be.
Countess Anna Margarita Sagramosa of Linz, Austria loved to bake. She was known for her pie-like tart. It featured a tasty almond crust and lemon flavours. It was filled with blackcurrant jam and a pretty lattice crust decorated the top.
This original recipe was also gluten free since nuts were more widely available than flour.
A cookie version of this tart was developed by bakers in the Linz region. They knew the cookies would fly off the shelves, especially around the festive period. Austrian bakers would prepare the dough in a similar way but rather than making one large tart, they cut shapes. Half of these shapes would get a second cut-out in the middle, called Linzer eyes.
After baking, a cookie with a center cut-out would top a cookie with no cut-out. In the middle would be the jam. Austrian and German immigrants introduced these cookies to America later on. Since then, gluten free Linzer cookies have only become more popular.
Today there are many recipes, each with slightly different ingredients and fillings. These Valentine’s Day cookies are well-loved. Their appeal has spread all over the world. Because they work perfectly as a gluten free cookie recipe, they are especially popular among gluten free eaters.
Linzer Cookie Variations
Although the original recipe used blackcurrant jam, and Austrian bakers of bygone times used blackcurrant or redcurrant jam, there are more possible fillings.
Modern bakers might use raspberry (like I did here) or strawberry jam. Lingonberry preserves or even Nutella would work! Any filling you can think of can peek out through the ‘Linzer eye’ to give the eater a tempting glimpse of the filling!
This gluten free cookie recipe can be made in any shape. Traditionally they were made round, but today the sky is the limit. Since we are making Valentine’s Day cookies, a heart-shaped cookie cutter would be perfect.
You will also need a little one to cut out the heart shape in the center. The center cut-out can be any size you like. It will probably depend on what size of heart-shaped cookie cutter you have! If you have a tiny cutter, you could even made three cut-outs instead of one. The choice is yours, so feel free to experiment.
You might also like Gluten Free Sugar Cookies for Valentine’s Day, Red Velvet Sugar Cookies for Valentine’s Day, Easy Heart Shaped Mini Sugar Doughnut Holes or 60 Valentine’s Captions for Instagram to Make your Love Blush.
Gluten Free Linzer Cookies: Tips and Tricks
Despite this gluten free cookie recipe being easy, it’s always worth knowing some handy tips and tricks. Especially if you plan to serve these to the object of your affections and win their heart!
The dough is quite forgiving and you can roll it out more than once. You might want to do this if you’re new to working with fiddly cookie cutters. Make sure you end up with the same number of hearts with cut-outs as hearts without.
The jam, jelly, preserves or whichever filling you use will soften the cookies over time. This means they will keep for a few days in an airtight container. However they are best enjoyed the day they are baked.
Since we are making gluten free Linzer cookies, nuts feature in the crust rather than flour. Almonds work, as do hazelnuts, so you can pick one or mix and match. If you’re using hazelnuts, rub off the skin between baking and grinding. Alternatively you can buy almond flour or hazelnut flour.
If you are grinding your own nuts however, resist the urge to over-grind. This is really important! Grind them too much and you will have nut paste. Go beyond that and guess what – you have nut butter! Which is very nice of course – just not what we need for these Valentine’s Day cookies.
More Tips for This Gluten Free Cookie Recipe
After baking, you need to add the filling, add the tops and finally sprinkle powdered sugar over the cookies. Refrain from pressing down too hard when sticking the top to the filling. You are working with baked Valentine’s Day cookies at this stage, not dough.
So press them on gently, else your gluten free Linzer cookies might break! Since you are baking these gluten free Linzer cookies though, you might ‘accidentally’ break one – cook’s privilege and all that! Eating your ‘mistakes’ can be fun!
Gluten Free Linzer Cookies Recipe
Gluten Free Linzer Cookies
- In a food processor, grind almonds with the brown sugar until finely ground. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, and the baking powder. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, combine the butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Mix in the egg until combine. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and combine.
- Next add in the ground almond mixture and mix to combine. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix to combine.
- Place the dough onto plastic wrap, flatten into a round disk, wrap and chill for 2 hours or more.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
- Dust your work surface with flour. Cut the dough disk in half and roll out each disk.
- Cut dough into heart shapes using a cookie cutter. Then using a smaller heart cookie cutter, cut smaller hearts into the centre of half of the hearts.
- Place heart shapes onto the prepared baking sheets spacing cookies 1inch apart.
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until edges are lightly golden. Cool on the baking sheets for several minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Spread raspberry jam over whole heart shapes. Dust cookies with heart cut-out centres with powdered sugar. Place these cookies on top of the jam covered cookies to create a "sandwich".
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
A special thank you to my friend Krista at Krista’s Cookies for helping with this recipe.
Let me know if you try out this recipe for Gluten Free Linzer cookies. These Valentine’s Day cookies will be a hit.