Christmas in Switzerland: Traditional Linzer Cookies
Christmas will soon be here and my son’s class is studying Christmas around the world—and how countries celebrate Christmas similar to and different from right here, in the United States.
So my son wanted to choose a country that reflects our heritage. We have quite a long list, mostly from European decent: German, French, English, Irish…. and Switzerland. The ironic thing is, while researching this project, we have learned a lot about how the Swiss celebrate Christmas—and apparently, none of those traditions continued with our ancestors when they came to the United States.
Part of the project was to learn about the culture and traditions and another part of the assignment was to make a traditional cookies and bring in to share with the class. We may need to start the tradition of making Linzer cookies for Christmas every year… because they are just so good!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup finely ground almonds (approx. 2 oz.)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam
- confectioner's sugar (optional)
- Grind almonds in small coffee grinder or food processor.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, almonds, and cinnamon, set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add egg and vanilla, mix well.
- Add flour mixture; mix only until incorporated.
- Divide dough into two balls.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is firm enough to roll.
- Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
- On floured surface, roll out one ball of dough until it is around 1/8 inch thick.
- Use round cookie cutter on half the dough (this will the bottom of the sandwich cookie).
- On the other half, use the round cookie cutter with the insert (this will be the top of the sandwich cookie).
- Transfer to parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
- Cool on cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before removing.
- Invert bottom cookie and spread with jam.
- Dust the top cookies with confectioner's sugar and gently sandwich cookies together.
Of course, you can use your own cookie cutters, but we bought a Linzer cookie cutter set (it was only $5 at Walmart) because we wanted them to be perfect.
We cut them out in even numbers for the sandwiches, putting the dough back in the refrigerator to chill in between rolling it out and baking.
After the cookies cool, sprinkle powdered sugar over the tops.
Then place on the bottom cookie with jam. We used raspberry jam that has seeds, and it was delicious, but you can opt for seedless jam.