Today's recipe is for classic Austrian Christmas Linzer Cookies with Mandarine Marmalade, of course, all vegan!
The combination is quite unusual for mandarine and almonds, but it's so delicious and for sure is a must-try!
Always as easy as possible and it can be gluten-free as well if you wish :)
Here is some history behind Linzer Cookies along with the recipe ;)
The History of the Linzertorte
Way back in 1653, this recipe (originally a tart) was discovered in the cookery manuscript of Countess Anna Margarita Sagramosa In Austria. The tart was baked like a pie with a delicious buttery almond crust, filled with black currant preserves and topped with a latticework crust.
The recipe was developed using a crust made of nuts since they were easier to come by at times than wheat for flour.
While a yummy black currant tart is a perfect way to end a meal, bakers came up with a cookie version they could stock in their shops, and it became a holiday tradition to see these lovely treats in the frosty windows.
The Torte Becomes a Cookie
In Linz, a city in Austria, these bakers would mix up a batch of Linzertorte dough, but instead of making a pie, they would cut out shapes such as stars, circles or hearts. Half of the shapes would get second cutouts in the center. These were called Linzer eyes.
Once baked, these dessert artisans constructed sandwich cookies using a whole cookie and a cutout cookie. In the middle, they would place black or red currant preserves just like the tart. American bakers use raspberry jam, lingonberry preserves, or any kind of sweet filling including hazelnut chocolate spread!
The top cookies are dusted with a liberal sprinkling of powdered sugar or decorated with icing. After the cookie is put together, the jam or preserves peek through the Linzer eye to make a beautiful dessert, perfect for the holidays.
The Linzertorte Comes to America
When Austrian and German immigrants traveled to America they brought the recipe and the tradition of Linzer cookies with them. One fellow, Franz Holzlhuber, immigrated to America as a musician, artist, and poet. He ended up in Wisconsin in the late 1850s.
When his funds ran low, he baked and sold Linzertortes to raise money. He claimed he was the one who introduced the pastry to America, so today we acknowledge his contribution to our holiday traditions.
A hundred years after Holzlhuber shared his dessert secrets with the citizens of Milwaukee, another musical family, the Von Trapps came to Stowe, Vermont bearing their holiday heritage and Linzertorte recipes. You’ll remember them from the movie, The Sound of Music.
Everyone Has Their Own Favorite Recipe
Whether you are in Austria or America, you can find Linzertortes and cookies in plenty around the Christmas holidays. There are multitudes of recipes in cookbooks and dessert recipe books, each one a little different.
The largest collection of historical Linzer torte recipes is housed in a museum in Upper Austria, but plenty of “secret family recipes” abound in the Austrian countryside and around the world.*source
Let's jump to the recipe!
Prep: 45 min
Cook time: 10 min
Servings: 20 cookies
Calories per serving: 134 kcal
Find the recipe & nutrition facts below :
For the dough:
2 cups flour (or almond flour for GF)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup coconut butter (solid) (100 gr.)
1/2 cup water
For the mandarine marmalade:
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp agar powder
Step 1: In a food processor add in flour, almond flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Mix until well combined.
Step 2: Add in solid coconut and blend until completely incorporated. Add the water and blend until well combined.
Step 3: Transfer the dough into a large bowl and form a dough. (Cover with stretch foil and place in the fridge if you are going to save it for later.)
Step 4: For the marmalade, peel and cut the mandarines and add them to a small pan, along with water and lemon juice. Boil for 15-20 minutes. Add the sugar and boil for the other 15 minutes, add agar powder and boil for 5 more minutes. Transfer the marmalade into a sterilized jar. Let it cool down completely.
Step 5: Preheat the oven to 180C.
Step 6: Roll out the dough cut it into around similar 40 cookies. And make in twenty of them holes.
Step 7: Transfer the biscuits onto a baking tray.
Step 8: Bake for around 10 min. Afterward, place a small teaspoon of marmalade in the center of the cookies (without holes) and cover them with the ones with holes.