Linzer cookies are amongst my absolute favorite cookies, especially this time of year. Just looking at them makes me smile. Sweet and lightly crunchy, and then there's that gorgeous dab of inviting colorful jam in the middle... and the cute little window to admire it through.. oh and the snowy powdery top. I'm sold! :)
Making a gluten-free and dairy-free linzer cookie that tastes good, cuts nicely, and holds its shape can be a bit tricky (if things go askew, it can be a sticky and unsightly affair -- trust me on that one ;) ). I used to make a lovely version may years ago, but it was of course made with sugar -- inside and out, so I was super happy with this recipe to cut that part out and enjoy these little cookies once more without compromising their flavor or the sugar cookie appeal.
I could of course go on telling you how wonderful they taste and how pleasing it is to munch on one but really, I think we all know you just need to go and make some for yourself so you can partake in my joy here ;)
A couple of functional things about making these cookies:
One of the essential things for this cookie to happen is having a linzer cookie cutter. You can sometimes find them in the regular cookie cutter section of shops, especially around the holidays. I couldn't though, so I got mine on Amazon. These are the ones I use (though mine have slightly different attachments) -- I've had them for years and I love them. There are so many kinds you can get on Amazon though, with lots of different shapes if you're looking for something different.
The other thing, in case you haven't been following along long enough, let me let you in on one of my favorite little trade secrets, as it's an essential one for a proper linzer cookie in my opinion: that stuff you see powdered on top of the cookies in the photos is not powdered sugar. Did I fool you? I think I even fooled myself a little.
It's actually powdered coconut milk -- something I stumbled upon at the health food shop a few years back. This stuff tastes wonderful and has been gracing my holiday desserts in the best way possible. The powdered sugar look is something I missed terribly, so having this as a substitute made for one very happy baker over here ;)
If you need more help with making these, be sure to watch the video demo further up top. Otherwise, enjoy! :)Print
Vegan Gluten-Free Linzer Cookies
These pretty linzer cookies are lightly crunchy and so easy to make! Gluten-Fee and vegan so go ahead and share them with everyone at the holiday party.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 14 minutes
- Total Time: 34 minutes
- Yield: approximately 30 cookies
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Dessert
- ½ cup vegan butter, at room temperature / softened (not melted)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2 ¼ cups of Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend (or make your own gluten-free flour mix by combining: 1 cup brown rice flour, ¾ cup tapioca starch, ½ cup sweet rice flour, ½ tsp guar gum)
- 5 tbsp fruit-sweetened or refined sugar-free jam of your choice (I recommend the classics: raspberry or apricot)
- Optional: some powdered coconut milk for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Have your linzer cookie cutters (these are the kind I use) handy, and prepare a rolling area with two additional sheets of parchment paper for that.
- Place butter in a large mixing bowl and whip it with a mixer until it's creamy. Add sweetener, salt, and vanilla and mix once again to combine. Add in flour and use a wooden spoon to mix. Then get in there with your hands and mix everything together by working the dough with your hands until you can shape it into a ball (note: dough should not be sticky but should press together when pinched -- if it's a little sticky, add a little more flour, but be sure to knead it well first). Divide dough and shape into 2 balls, then flatten each into a disk.
- Roll out one of the dough disks in between two sheets of parchment paper (always rolling away from yourself) into a ¼" thickness. Cut out the cookies using a cookie cutter, cutting half of them with the plain cutter, and half with the center shape cutter (so that you end up with an equal amount of bottom and top layer cookies). Carefully transfer to a prepared cookie sheets, spacing them ½" apart (they won't spread as they bake). Gather up any dough scraps and repeat until all dough is used up. Then repeat the process with the other dough disk.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 13-14 minutes, until the edges begin to become a little golden. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. (Note: cookies will harden a little within minutes of cooling, so don't overbake). Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes.
- If dusting with coconut milk powder or powdered sugar, place all the center cut shaped cookies on a wire rack (ideally lined with parchment or a large plate underneath). Dust with the milk or sugar until you're satisfied with how they look.
- Take the regular shaped cookies (the bottoms) and flip them upside-down. Place ½ teaspoon jam in the middle of each cookie (don't be tempted to over-jam, as it will end up spilling from the sides later -- ½ teaspoon goes a long way!). Cover with the dusted cut out cookies on top and enjoy :) Store at room temperature in an air-tight container.