Gluten-Free Linzer Blossom Cookies

  • Serves: Makes 12-13 2 3/4-inch Linzer (Sandwich) cookies
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A fun new twist on the classic jam-filled linzer cookies, these colorful flower-shaped cookies are buttery, tender, and even gluten-free (gluten free). (You'd never guess!) Classic Linzer Cookies contain ground nuts and are crisp and buttery. They sandwich a fruity jam center, traditionally raspberry, and generally have a cutout on top so you can see the jam. They are then finished with powdered sugar. We found a way to tint the powdered sugar, and it looks amazing! See more below for our step-by-step instructions on to do it.


To tint powdered sugar:

1. Add 1/4 cup powdered sugar to a small food processor or blender fitted with a steel blade.

2. Add 2 drops of gel paste food color and process until the color of the sugar is uniform (we tinted the first one with deep pink coloring).

3. Transfer the colored powdered sugar to a small bowl and set aside.

4. To make another color, add another 1/4 cup powdered sugar to the food processor and repeat; we used royal blue gel paste food coloring for our second color.

For the cookies:
1 cup almond flour (such as Bob's Red Mill)
1 cup Pamela’s gluten-free Artisan Flour Blend
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
For the filling:
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam, or seeded raspberry jam, strained
For the decorations:
1/2 cup powdered sugar, divided and tinted with gel paste food color  
Gel paste food color; we used deep pink and royal blue
Gluten Free Sixlets candy or M&M candies instead, which are also gluten free.

2 3/4-inch flower cutter for the cookies
3/4-inch small flower cutter for the centers
Disposable piping bag

1. Mix almond flour, gluten-free flour blend, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium speed, and beat it until it is softened.

3. Add the sugar in a steady stream at the side of the bowl, beat on medium speed, until it is lightened in color.

4. Then add the egg and the vanilla.
 Mix on medium-low until incorporated.

Stop the mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

5. Add the xanthan gum and beat, on high, until the dough starts thickening.

6. Add the flour mixture and beat on low just until combined.

Scrape the sides of the bowl, and beat mix just until all the stray flour is incorporated.

7. Press dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour until well-chilled.

Roll and cut-out the cookies:
1. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, unwrap and cut it in half with a bench scraper or sharp knife.
Rewrap and return the other 1/2 to the refrigerator.

2. Roll out the dough on a gluten free flour dusted work surface, to about a 3/16-inch thickness.
Cut out as many flower-shaped cookies as possible.

SARAH SAYS: We like to use a silpat nonstick baking mat as our work surface.

3. Place the cookies on silpat or parchment-lined baking sheets and put them in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up.

4. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
SARAH SAYS: You should have 24 to 26 single cookies, which will be paired-up and filled.

Heat the oven and bake the cookies:
1. Position an oven shelf in the lower third and another one in the upper third of the oven and heat to 325 degrees F while you chill the cookies.
2. After 15 minutes, remove the cookies from the refrigerator and cut out the centers of half of the cookies (12 to 13 single cookies) with a small flower cutter.

These will become the top of the Linzer Sandwich cookie.
Save the small flower cookies from the small flower cutter to bake-off separately. Place them in the refrigerator while the larger cookies bake. They take only about 4 to 6 minutes to bake.
NOTE: The bottom cookie needs to be solid, so remember to only cut out the centers of HALF the cookies!

3. Bake the larger cookies until the edges are just starting to turn golden, 10-12 minutes.
After about two minutes, remove cookies with a metal spatula and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Fill and decorate the cookies:
1. Put the seedless raspberry jam in a disposable piping bag and cut a small hole in the end.

Line up the SOLID cookies on a work surface, and place a dot on each of the petals, leaving about 1/4-inch from the edge of the cookies, then fill in the center.

Do not use too much jam, or it will flow over the edges of the cookie when you put the top cookie on.

3. Line up the cookies with the cut-outs on a work surface. Sift on the tinted powdered sugar: sift half of them with deep pink and the other half with deep blue.
Use a fairly thick coating, so the color shows.
 The cookies are not highly sweetened, so don’t worry about the powdered sugar making them too sweet.

4. Carefully pick up the sugared cookies by the edges and place on the solid cookies to make the cookie sandwiches.

5. Place one Sixlet candy in the center of each cookie.

1. Let the cookies sit out, at room temperature for several hours. During that time, the jam will set up and will become less “slidey”.

2. Serve with hot or iced coffee or tea.

Store in an airtight tin or lidded container in between layers of wax paper for up to a week.

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