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Not Really Linzer Tarts

One of my early food memories is Shabbat morning at synagogue, booking out of the sanctuary as soon as Adon Olam finished to get a prime spot at the kiddush table. The brownies were always a no-go for me because they had "the devil's nut” (walnuts). I knew the pickled herring wouldn’t run out, because it never did. My place was in front of the cookies. All sorts of cookies. Chocolate chip. Rainbow. Rainbow sprinkles. And those gross ones that were oval-shaped, half dipped in chocolate with a thin fruit filling. There were some that were better than others, but the linzer tarts were always reliable with their crumbly texture, powdered sugar and super sweet jam filling. On my first day of Pastry school, we made a jam filled buttery shortbread cookie which was basically an uber-elevated version of the linzer tarts of my youth. They have since become a family staple and I’m happy to share this recipe with you.



  • Flour 300 grams / 2 ½ cups

  • Baking powder 1 gram / ¼ tsp

  • Butter 150 grams / ⅔ cups

  • Confectioner's sugar 150  grams / 1¼ cup 

  • Egg yolks 60 grams / 3

  • Water15 grams / 1 Tbsp

  • Vanilla extract 1 tsp

  • Confectioner's sugar 150 grams / ¼ cups

  • Raspberry preserves


In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and confectioner’s sugar. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or working with electric beaters and a large bowl: cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. 

Reduce the speed to low and add the egg yolks one at a time; mix until uniform.  

Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in thirds until you have a super shaggy dough.

Continue to mix on low and add the tablespoon of water. Within moments, the dough should come together into a smooth mass. If it remains shaggy, add water in ¼ tsp increments until the mass comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and divide in two. 

Preheat the oven to 320°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Take half of the dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin on top of the parchment paper, spread out the dough to a thickness of ¼ inch. Repeat with the second half of the dough. 

Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and wait 3-4 minutes.


Carefully remove the parchment paper off the dough (SEE NOTE BELOW BEFORE MOVING FORWARD).


Flip the dough over and peel off the second piece of parchment paper. Place the rolled-out dough back on one of the pieces of parchment paper.


NOTE: If the dough pulls up with the parchment paper, your dough isn’t cold enough, so put it back in the fridge for another 5 minutes. If your dough “cracks”, your dough is too cold, so leave it out for a few more minutes before rolling.


Use a 3½-inch round or fluted cookie cutter to cut cookies, then use a smaller cutter to cut the centers out of half of the cookies. (You can gather the first round of scraps, form into a disc and re-roll between two pieces of parchment paper.)


Place the cookies 2 in. apart on prepared baking sheets and bake for 7-8 minutes. We’re looking for minimal browning. For a crispier cookie, bake for an additional minute.


Allow cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


Once cool, place only the cookies tops (the ones with the holes) on a wire rack, with a tray below it.


Dust confectioners sugar on the cookie tops (again, the ones with the holes). Spread the preserves on the bottom halves. Gently place the cookie tops on the bottom halves.

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