These Heart Cookies with Jam are a version of a classic Linzer cookie, but perfect for Valentine's Day or any time you really need a heart-shaped treat! And let's be honest, they could really be any shape, so feel free to make them however you like! The cookies are a buttery, nutty cookie with a hint of orange zest and the raspberry jam brings a bit of brightness to the recipe! Don't forget the powdered sugar: that extra addition is not only beautiful but adds a nice sweet coating.
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Most of the ingredients you'll need are pantry staples! Here is what you'll need to get started.
- All-purpose flour: I recommend sifting the flour to make sure the cookies are as smooth as possible.
- Almond flour: I also recommend sifting the almond flour. This isn't as easy to sift because it's a bit more grainy than all-purpose flour, but be patient. This will help make a smoother cookie in the end by breaking up any clumps!
- Unsalted butter: Make sure the butter is softened to room temperature so it creams correctly with the granulated sugar.
- Vanilla extract: If you're looking for a fun baking project, you can make your own homemade vanilla extract.
- Almond extract: If you don't have any almond extract, you can omit this, but it does add some additional almond flavor to the cookies.
- Orange zest: This adds a bit of brightness to the cookie. If you want, you can easily dial this up or down to suit your tastes. Don't have an orange? You can substitute with lemon zest.
- Raspberry jam: I highly recommend raspberry jam for the filling, but you could really use any flavor. A smooth jam (rather than something chunky) will work better for filling the cookies.
See full recipe below for detailed instructions.
Making the dough is very easy and then the hands-on part really comes in with cutting and assembling the cookies.
Cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl).
Add vanilla extract, almond extract, egg yolk and orange zest to the butter mixture and stir to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, almond flour and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until a smooth dough forms.
Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Press into a slightly flattened disk. Chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
Transfer dough to a floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough to ¼-inch thickness. Press your cookie cutter into the dough to cut your shapes.
Transfer cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gather the dough scraps and re-roll to cut additional cookies.
Optional: use a small round cookie cutter or an icing piping tip to cut a small hole in about ¼ of the cookies.
Bake the cookies, then let cool completely. Dust half the cookies (the top pieces) with powdered sugar.
Spoon about 1 teaspoon raspberry jam on a bottom piece (doesn't need to have powdered sugar on it). Lightly press a top cookie piece on top of the jam to make your cookie sandwich.
The number of cookie sandwiches you make, as well as the amount of jam you use for each cookie will depend on the size of your cookie cutter. For smaller cookies, you will need to use less jam. For larger cookies, you may need to use more jam.
Hint: Remember that half the cookies you cut will be top pieces, and half will be bottom pieces once you make the cookie sandwiches. If you're using a piping tip to cut holes in the center of the cookies, remember that those are only needed for the top pieces. I recommend cutting holes in about ¼ of the cookies so you have a nice mix.
There are a few small tweaks you could make for slight variations on these Heart Cookies with Jam:
- Use different jam - Rather than raspberry jam, try another flavor! Remember that a smoother jam will work better than a chunky jam.
- Use lemon zest - Instead of orange zest, use lemon zest for a different citrus flavor.
- Change the shape - You can always change the shape of these cookies! Rather than cutting hearts, try circles, stars, or any shape you like! And if you don't want to cut the small holes in the center, you don't have to! It would also work well to use letter cookie cutters in the center if you wanted your cookies to be lettered or spell out a phrase.
I like to mix my dough in a 5-Quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer, but it would also work just as well in a large mixing bowl with an electric hand-held mixer. You'll need a few baking sheets (ideally two baking sheets) lined with parchment paper, as well as a rolling pin and cookie cutter of your choice. These are the heart-shaped cookie cutters I used.
I also used an icing piping tip to cut the circles in the middle of the cookies. I used the round end, so it doesn't matter what pattern of piping tip is used. You could also use a very small round cookie or biscuit cutter.
These Heart Cookies with Jam can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Be prepared that the cookies will soften over time, as the jam soaks into the cookies a bit.
You can also freeze these fully assembled cookies in an airtight container for up to one month. Another option: freeze the cookies before assembling or coating with powdered sugar and then assemble them when you're ready to serve.
The key to success with these cookies is making sure not to roll the dough too thin, and then keeping an eye on the cookies as they bake for the last few minutes. As with Linzer cookies, you ideally want these to be very pale in color, and not browning on the edges. If the edges are browned, they've cooked a little too long.
I recommend raspberry, but you could use another flavor of jam. Keep in mind that a smooth jam will work better than a chunky jam.
I used an icing piping tip (the large round end) to punch the circle in the middle. You could also use a very small round cookie or biscuit cutter. The circle is completely optional, and you could choose to leave the cookies whole, as well!
If you add the powdered sugar before the cookies are fully cooled, the sugar will melt into the cookie. Make sure to let the cookies cool completely before dusting with the sugar!
This will depend on the size of the cookie you're making, but I recommend using about 1 teaspoon of jam for each cookie.
Heart Cookies with Jam
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour sifted
- ¾ cup almond flour sifted
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ cup powdered sugar for assembly
- ½ cup raspberry jam for assembly
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and granulated sugar. Mix on low and gradually increase to medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, orange zest, vanilla extract, and almond extract, and mix until combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sifted all-purpose flour, almond flour and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined, then increase speed until a smooth dough has formed. Gather dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll to ¼-inch thickness. Press your cookie cutter into the dough to cut your shapes. Transfer cut cookies the prepared baking sheet and gather any dough scraps. Re-roll the dough to cut additional cookies.
- When the cookies are on the baking sheet, use the large round end of an icing piping tip to cut the circles in the middle of ¼ of the cookies (remember: half the cookies will be top pieces, half bottom pieces).
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are set, and just barely browning at the edges. Watch carefully during the last few minutes as they can burn quickly. Let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, dust half the cookies with powdered sugar. These will be the tops of the sandwiches. Spoon approximately 1 teaspoon jam onto a bottom cookie (doesn't need to have powdered sugar on it), then lightly press a top cookie (with powdered sugar) on top to make the cookie sandwich. Repeat with all remaining cookies.