Linzer Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Traditional Linzer dough is often made with finely ground almonds, sieved hard-boiled egg yolks, lemon zest, spices, and raspberry jam. Using pre-cooked egg yolks lends extra richness to the dough but does not act as a binder.

Use either seeded or seedless jam, I prefer seedless in cookies. I think it is also fun to use other jam flavors such as apricot, blackberry, or marionberry. I made this batch using raspberry jam for half the cookies and apricot jam for the other half.
Recipe type: Bar Cookies | Almond Cookies | Raspberry Cookies
Serves: 4½ Dozen
Ingredients
Dough:
  • 4 ounces (about ¾ cup) whole almonds, with skins
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 yolks of large hard-boiled eggs, finely sieved (see Tips below for making perfect hard-boiled eggs and sieving egg yolks.)
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Filling:
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam, or more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
For Dusting Work Surface:
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
Topping:
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons coarse (turbinado) sugar
Instructions
Tip for making perfect hard-boiled eggs: Use fresh Grade AA large eggs. Make sure there are no small cracks in the egg shells. Gently place the eggs in a single layer in a pan, using a pan large enough so that the eggs don’t touch each other. Fill the pan with cold water to cover the eggs completely by about ½ inch. Place the pan, uncovered, on the stovetop over high heat just until the water begins to boil, and then immediately remove from the heat and cover the pan tightly with a lid. Let the eggs sit in the covered pan of hot water for 17 minutes. Immediately transfer the eggs, using a slotted spoon or spider skimmer into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Let the eggs cool in the ice water for 10 minutes and then drain the water. Refrigerate hard-boiled eggs until ready to use, then peel and enjoy.
Tip to sieve egg yolks: Remove the egg yolks from the hard boiled eggs, and place the egg yolks in a food sieve or strainer over a small bowl. (I like to use a small tea strainer.) Press the egg yolks through the sieve by rubbing with a small rubber spatula or the back of a spoon and letting the sieved yolks fall into the bowl.
Dough:
  1. Place the almonds and ¼ cup of the flour in the bowl of a food processor or small food grinder fitted with a steel blade and pulse until the almonds are very finely ground. Set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine remaining 1¾ cups flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves; sift or whisk together. Add the ground almond mixture and whisk together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, lemon zest, and orange zest until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly. Add the sugar and beat another minute to thoroughly combine. Add the sieved egg yolks and vanilla and continue to beat just until mixed, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and blend in the flour mixture, blending in about 1 cup at a time. The dough will be fairly stiff.
  5. Divide the dough into six equal pieces and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare 2 large baking sheets; line with parchment paper, or line with a non-stick baking mat. Tip: To hold the parchment paper in place, dab the corners of the baking sheets lightly with butter or shortening and then line them with parchment paper.
Filling:
  1. In a small bowl, combine raspberry jam and lemon zest. Set aside.
For Dusting Work Surface:
  1. In a small bowl combine the flour and powdered sugar. Lightly dust a pastry mat or pastry board with some of the mixture to prevent the dough from sticking.
Shape the Cookies:
  1. Work with one piece of dough at a time, keeping the remaining dough refrigerated until ready to use. Press the dough to form it into a square log about 9 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Tip: Each time you press the dough, turn the log to the next side, keeping the diameter as uniform as possible. If the dough starts to crack just push it back together.
  2. Place the log onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet. Gently press down on top of the log with your hand until it is approximately 1¼ inches wide; you will now have a dough strip about 10 inches long. Form a trough for the jam down the length of the dough strip by pressing the center of the dough using the rounded handle of a kitchen knife or wooden spoon. The trough should be about ¼ inch deep, about ¼ to ½ inches wide, and stop about ¼ inch from each end to prevent the jam from running out. Hold the sides of the dough strip as you form the trough to prevent the sides of the dough from spreading too much.
  3. Use a fork to lightly prick the inside of the trough to allow steam to escape when baking. Use a dough scraper or kitchen knife to score the dough strip into 1 inch diagonal pieces; this will make the bars easier to cut after baking. Make sure and only score the dough, do not cut through the dough.
  4. Repeat the shaping steps with another dough piece. You should be able to bake two dough strips on the same baking sheet.
  5. Topping: Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the entire top of each dough strip with beaten egg white and sprinkle the top edges of the trough with some of the coarse sugar.
  6. Bake: Bake the strips for 10 minutes, and then remove from the oven. Gently re-press the trough if it has slightly closed up when baking. Fill each trough with about 1 to 1½ tablespoons of the filling, dropping the filling from the tip of a teaspoon. Do not overfill. Sprinkle the tops with additional coarse sugar if desired. Return the strips to the oven and bake another 20 minutes or until the jam is bubbly and the strips are lightly browned. Remove pan from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool for 15 minutes, and then cut the bars where you scored the dough previously. Transfer the bars off the pan and directly onto the wire cooling racks to finish cooling completely.
Adapted From: Walter, Carole, Great Cookies, Clarkson Potter Publishers, New York, 2003
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two Large Baking Sheets Pan Prep: Parchment Lined Oven Temp: 325° Yield: 4½ Dozen Storage: Airtight Container, Room temperature or freeze layered between wax or parchment paper

Help: Cookie Hints and Tips

TheBakingPan Recommends: The BEST instant read thermometer I’ve used for cooking and baking; the ThermoWorks Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is incredibly fast, ThermoWorks Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapenaccurate, and well worth the investment. I use my Thermapen Thermometer for checking room temperature ingredients, tempering chocolate, baking bread, making pastry creams, sugar syrup, caramel, and candy, cooking meats and fish, and deep frying. Thermapen Thermometer available here.
Recipe by at https://thebakingpan.com/recipes/cookie/linzer-bars/