The holidays aren't complete without a jam cookie and these soft, crumbly Linzer Cookies with warm notes of cardamom are sure to brighten the winter days ahead.
The origins of the Linzer Cookie actually began in the form of a tart with a black current preserve and quickly became a holiday tradition in Austria. Then in the city of Linz, bakers recreated the dough but instead made various cutouts and create mini tartes, or as we know them now, sandwich cookies. Over the years, different variations were created, and the most common is a red fruit jam sprinkled with powdered sugar.
For me, jam cookies are a holiday staple. It truly feels like Christmas around here when I bake my first batch of jam cookies. Over the past few years I've made Italian Butter Cookies which are also a family favorite. Sometimes I'll make thumbprints but this year I was craving a Linzer Cookie. I was making sugar cookies and decided to make a cutout jam cookie, and thus today's recipe came to be.
There are a few variations to Linzer Cookies as expected and I made a few subtle changes myself to today's recipe. For starters, I added a pinch of cardamom to the dough. The warm, fragrant spice adds a taste of the holidays that is unexpected but delicious. It's such a subtle taste too which plays well into the sweetness of the jam filling.
As for the dough, I used shortening and butter to ensure an extra soft cookie.
The filling is the fun part. You can use raspberry, strawberry, apricot, black current, even marmalade which I think would also work fabulously with the cardamom. Just be sure to finish them off with a generous dusting of powdered sugar in the end.