Tessa Huff

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Pistachio Linzer Cookies

Pistachio Linzer Cookies

Pistachio Linzer Cookies with raspberry jam filling

Pistachio linzer cookies with festive raspberry jam centers and a flurry of powdered sugar. These sandwich cookies are sure to dazzle and delight this holiday season!

Pistachio Linzer Cookies with raspberry jam filling
Pistachio Linzer Cookies with raspberry jam filling
Pistachio Linzer Cookies with raspberry jam filling

My cookie cravings are so strong right now. I don’t know if it’s because cookies are typically the baked good of choice around Christmas (hello Santa and his milk & cookies, cookie exchanges, etc) or because I’m finding them much easier to throw together than my usual cake when I need a sugar fix. I mean, most cookies bake in less than 15 minutes and cool in even less! Even a filled and decorated cookie like these Pistachio Linzer Cookies take half the time to assemble than a layer cake.

Okay, so I might be doing myself a disservice my complaining about just how long it takes to bake, cool, assemble, and decorate a layer cake since layer cakes are totally my jam. But surprise, surprise - raising two small children around the holidays is very time consuming! Anyone else with kids is probably not surprised at all by this statement - more like “Duh, Tessa. Why would you ever think it was going to be easy?”

But it’s my favorite time of year and despite taking a laughably short maternity leave and minimal childcare, diving straight into butter, flour, and sugar was really the only option that made sense to me. I mean, the clock is ticking on how long it’s acceptable for me to still wear maternity clothes, so I better make the most of all the treat making and eating, right?

Yeah, things are hectic. But who’s life isn’t? So I choose to solider on and continue with my baking because I truly love it. But instead of elaborate layers cakes, I’ve really been enjoying cookie making.

Pistachio Linzer Cookies with raspberry jam filling

These cookies in particular are super festive and fun. They are dressed to impress with very little effort - like dust-with-powered-sugar-while-holding-a-baby kind of easy. Their simplicity, however, doesn’t take away from the gourmet blend of ground pistachios, vanilla bean, and tart raspberry jam. Where a traditional linzer typically uses ground hazelnuts or almonds in the cookie dough, this recipe from French Pastry 101 by Betty Hung uses pistachios!

Betty is the owner of one of the best pastry and coffee shops here in Vancouver, Beaucoup Bakery. Seriously guys, I’ve been going there for years - so sinfully good! While the cookbook doesn’t share all of the bakery secrets, I just knew any book by Betty would be brilliant.

And I wasn’t wrong! Betty shares step-by-step images for nearly all of the recipes so you can literally teach yourself the basics of French pastry at home. From choux to gateau, she covers all of the classics. I’ll probably still go the Beaucoup Bakery for the almond croissants (to die for), but if you don’t live in Vancouver, now you can make your own!

Pistachio Linzer Cookies with raspberry jam filling
Pistachio Linzer Cookies with raspberry jam filling

Pistachio Linzer Cookies
recipe from French Pastry 101

1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons granulates sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
2 tablespoons whisked egg
raspberry jam for filling
powdered sugar for dusting

Grind the pistachios in a food processor until finely chopped (but before they turn to butter). Stir pistachios together with the flour and set aside. If your pistachios aren’t salted (mine were), add a pinch of salt here.

Using an electric mixer (bowl or stand), beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla bean until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. If using vanilla extract instead, add in after the butter and sugar has creamed. With the mixer on medium, add in part of the whisked egg (as in, whisk a whole egg, then measure out only 2 tablespoons). Mix until combined.

With the mixer on low, add in the dry ingredients in two batches. Mix just long enough for the dough to come together.

Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disk. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for an over or overnight.

When ready to roll, preheat the oven to 325F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Divide the dough in half and roll between two sheets of parchment paper until about 1/8-inch thick. Use a flutted biscuit cutter to cut out the cookies. Use a small heart (or whatever shape of your choice), to cut out centers from half of the cookies. Using a small offset spatula, carefully move the cookies to the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the edges start to turn slightly golden.

Repeat with the remaining dough, gathering up the scraps and re-rolling.

Once cooled, spread raspberry jam on the bottom halves (those without a cut-out). Place the tops on a piece of parchment or cutting board and dust with powdered sugar. Carefully sandwich the cookies together and enjoy!

Cookies are best served within in a few hours of assembly, but I definitely still ate them days after (storing at room temperature in an air-tight container).

Thank you Betty for providing the beautiful book and generously sharing your pastry knowledge! Congrats!!!

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