Thursday, December 16, 2010

Linzer Bars

Linzer Tarts are an Austrian specialty associated with the city of Linz.  A  raspberry jam-filled tart in an almond nut crust, although hazelnuts have also been used.  These bars are reminiscent of that tart, even down to the criss-cross top crust.  I used ground hazelnuts since they are grown locally in Oregon and in place of the raspberry jam I used my Holiday Jam, which consists of raspberries, cranberries, and pears.

The bars also remind me of the jam bars Kelly would bake.  The last time we did them together was last June for her Neighborhood Yard Sale; it's this memory that inspired me to add Linzer Bars to my Christmas Cookie Bake List this year.

Linzer Bars (From The Gourmet Cookie Book)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup almonds (lightly toasted and ground--I used ground hazelnuts)
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup raspberry jam (I used my Holiday jam)
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 375F-degrees.  Spray a 8 or 9-inch square pan with baking spray; set aside.

In the bowl of the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Stir in the almonds (or hazelnuts) and the egg.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir the mixture into the almond mixture and combine completely.
Pat two-thirds of the dough into the pan and spread with the jam. 
Sprinkle the lemon zest over the jam.  

Roll out, between two sheets of wax paper, the remaining one-third of the dough.  Chill the dough 15 minutes or until firm, in the freezer.

I removed the top sheet of the wax paper, then, flipped the dough over so the surface was lying on the pastry board.  Remove the wax paper carefully and cut into 1/2-inch strips.  Arrange the strips, in a diagonal pattern over the jam.
Bake the Linzer Bars for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.  (Mine baked in 27 minutes.)  Cut into 16 squares.  Dust the top with confectioners' sugar.

Bar cookies are quick to make and the luscious red color of the jam is so festive.  I would also try these with apricot, peach, or even strawberry jam the next time I bake them.  Enjoy!


  1. Linzer cookies are one of my favorite cookies to bake and enjoy during the holiday season, these bars look beautiful and incredibly tasty! I always love hearing your warm loving memories of Kelly. Sending love xoxo

  2. Susan, I love checking in with you everyday to see what you are baking. I serve in the Cafe at my church and people are wowed by what a great baker I am - all thanks to you and your receipes. Merry Christmas from an old CA friend!