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These Christmas tree cookies come with built in ornaments.

Sarah Epperson

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Credit: Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe Summary test

active:
45 mins
total:
2 hrs 30 mins
Yield:
1 ½ dozen sandwich cookies
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Classic Linzer Cookies are a must at any cookie swap or holiday brunch; this modern take on a tried-and-true holiday cookie is sure to impress your Christmas crew this year. With just a hint of almond extract and cinnamon, these light and buttery cookies are spiced for the season. Cutting your Linzer Cookie dough into a tree shape adds a fun, festive element to this traditional cookie.

In this recipe, two lightly-spiced butter cookies get sandwiched by the fruit jam of your choice (we’re partial to strawberry or raspberry—you can even make your own). We use a straw to punch out small circles (almost like ornaments) in the top layer of cookie dough, creating windows that will reveal the bright, gem-hued jam. You can get creative with your pattern, mixing up the number of punched holes or using another, smaller cookie cutter to create a fun shape. A tip from the Test Kitchen: Dusting the top cookie with powdered sugar before topping the bottom cookie helps the jam from being covered in powdered sugar, so you can see the colors. The construction of these cookies is half of the fun—recruit the kids to join you in the kitchen to help spread the jam and sandwich the cookie halves together.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist
Special Equipment

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Beat granulated sugar and butter with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks, vanilla, and almond extract, beating until just combined, about 30 seconds (do not overbeat). Gradually add flour mixture, beating on low speed just until a dough forms, about 1 minute. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface, and divide in half. Flatten halves into 1-inch-thick disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap; chill 1 hour.

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  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove 1 dough disk from refrigerator, and unwrap. Roll to ⅛-inch thickness on a lightly floured work surface. Using a 3 ½-inch tree-shaped cookie cutter, cut out 18 cookies. Using a straw, poke 4 to 8 holes in each cookie, poking all the way through bottoms.

  • Arrange the cookies 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake in 2 batches in preheated oven until cookie edges are lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes per batch. Cool on baking sheets about 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and cool about 20 minutes. Repeat procedure with remaining dough disk, but do not poke any holes in cookies. You will end up with 18 cookies with holes and 18 whole cookies.

  • Spread center of each whole cookie with about ½ teaspoon preserves, leaving a small edge around cookie without preserves. Sprinkle cookies with holes evenly with powdered sugar. Place 1 cookie with holes on top of each whole cookie.

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