Linzer Hearts still beating after all these years

Michelle’s spattered and battered paperback edition of The Silver Palate Cookbook is full of notes, as during the Eighties it was one of our most-used volumes. We don’t turn to it much these days, as it seems a bit dated (Brie cheese baked in phyllo and a pound of butter, anyone?) and a bit embarrassing (why on earth did we note that baked garlic was “strange”?).  But we keep the volume on our bookshelves, in large part because of these marvelously nutty, buttery sweet delights that Michelle’s friend, Carla, pines for every Christmas.

Perhaps at another time we will return to the Silver Palate, reflecting on how much has changed since we had big hair, wore immense shoulder pads and were made to endure Huey Lewis & The News (although, come to think of it, we could probably still find all those things at the casino downriver).  While we still shun “The Heart of Rock & Roll,” we always welcome this delicious cookie—even after all these years.


  • Servings: about 4 dozen
  • Print

(adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook)

  • 3/4 lb. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2-1/3 c. all purpose flour
  • 2/3 c. cornstarch
  • 2 c. finely grated walnuts
  • 1 c. red raspberry preserves (seeds strained out)
  • extra confectioners’ sugar for rolling and dipping

Cream butter with 1 c. confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg and beat a bit more.

Sift together flour and cornstarch.  Add to butter mixture and mix well.  Mix in walnuts.

Divide dough in half.  Form each half into a flattened circle.  Wrap in wax paper.  Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Roll dough to 1/4″ thickness.  Cut out cookies with a small (approx. 1-1/2″) heart-shaped cutter.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets.  Chill in freezer until hard.  Re-roll remaining scraps as many times as you need to, using confectioners’ sugar rather than flour to keep from sticking.

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes.  They should be only very lightly browned.  Remove and cool on a rack.

Match cookies into pairs that are about the same size and shape.  (If rolled to same thickness and properly chilled before baking there shouldn’t be too much variation.)

While still warm, hold a cookie in one hand and spread the under side with a thin layer of preserves, keeping a bit away from the edge.  Cover with another cookie (under side to preserves) and press together gently.  Repeat until all cookies are made into sandwiches.

Sift some confectioners’ sugar into a bowl.  Press the cookies, top and bottom, into the sugar to coat.

Merry Christmas, Carla!



  1. These are lovely. Just the thing to end a Chicken Marbella meal. :-> Tried Linzer cookies for the first time yesterday – a dramatically different recipe from this (hazelnuts, too much cinnamon, regular sugar and flour.) Had fun making them even though I can’t eat the little things (gluten.)

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