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Stawberry Moon Linzer Cookies

I made a batch of strawberry jam a few weeks ago and was a little lazy about skimming off the foam. The jam was delicious, but looked too cloudy to sell at my pop-up. It whispered to me, asking to become a cake or pastry filling.

Jam-filled cookies are one of my favorite families of cookies, and the linzer cookie is a standout among them. It’s a cookie sandwich made with soft, buttery, almond flour cutout cookies and a jammy filling. They are often baked for winter holidays but I crave them year-round. After a week or two of daydreaming Victoria sponge cakes or strawberry lemon tarts, I couldn’t get the linzers out of my mind, so here they are.

I know it was the sturgeon supermoon this weekend, but I don’t have a cute tiny sturgeon cookie cutter, so here’s the strawberry moon version.

Strawberry Moon Linzer Cookies

makes about 24 2-inch sandwich cookies

210 g (1 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour

70 g (3/4 cup) almond flour

170 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar

zest of one lemon

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

225 g (3/4 cup, or about one 8 oz jar) strawberry jam for filling (process in a food processor or blender to make it smooth if jam is chunky like mine was.)

confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

1. Whisk together all-purpose flour and almond flour and set aside.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes, until lighter and fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula as needed.

3. Add lemon zest and egg and mix until incorporated. Add vanilla and sea salt and again, mix until incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula once or twice.

4. Add the flours to the wet ingredients and mix gently, just until all incorporated.

5. Flatten the dough into a disc and seal it from air. You can use beeswax wrap or parchment paper. Alternatively, place it in a low, flat container just bigger than the disc. Chill at least four hours or overnight.

6. When you’re ready to roll out the dough, remove it from the refrigerator and let it temper for about ten minutes. Split it into two roughly equal pieces. Roll the first half out to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut 2-inch round circles from the dough and place them on lined sheet tray. Place them in the refrigerator.

This dough is soft, use as much flour as you need to keep it from sticking. It’s also very recoverable, so you can re-ball and re-roll it as much as you need to.

7. Roll the second half of the dough out, and again cut out 2-inch rounds and place on a lined sheet tray. Place the tray in the refrigerator.

8. Pre-heat the oven to 325F

9. Remove your first tray from the refrigerator. Use a tiny cutter to cut a crescent moon shape from each round. Chill both sheets until the oven is heated.

10. Bake the cookies for 5 minutes at 325F. After 5 minutes, rotate the sheets 180 degrees. Bake for 3-5 minutes more, until golden and fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

11. Once the cookies are cool, flip all the rounds without moons over, so that the smooth, baked side is on the bottom. Place about 1/2 tsp of jam in the middle of each round.

12. Cover each jammy cookie with a moon cutout cookie. Press down gently so that the jam evens out in the sandwich and smooshes up through the moon a little.

13. Once all the cookies are assembled, dust the tops with powdered sugar by putting the sugar in a fine-mesh sieve and sprinkling it over the tops. Don’t worry about occluding the moons; the jam will dissolve the sugar.

These cookies keep well in a sealed container at room temperature for about a week. You can put them in the refrigerator if they seem like they are getting soft. They are particularly good with a bracing black tea.

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