I might have mentioned this before, but give me a choice of dessert and I will always choose cake over cookies. Unless it's a really spectacular chocolate chip cookie, I just don't crave them. However, since Christmas is just around the corner, I wanted to make a special cookie that even I would want. With a jar of leftover kaya jam in the fridge, I decided to make kaya Linzer cookies, giving the traditional treat a little Asian twist. Buttery cookies sandwiched with a sweet coconut jam? Now that is one cookie I can get on board with.
Kaya Linzer Cookies
- ½ cup softened butter (113 grams)
- ½ cup powdered sugar (60 grams)
- 1 large egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (210 grams)
- ¾ cup super fine almond flour (80 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup kaya jam
- Beat ½ cup softened butter with ½ cup powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add 1 egg yolk, ½ teaspoon lime zest, and 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until well combined. Scrape the bowl and add 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, ¾ cup superfine almond flour, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Mix until just combined. Shape the cookie dough into a flattened disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 hour.
- Dust a clean work counter with flour and remove the cookie dough from the fridge. Roll out the dough until it's about ⅛ inch thick and cut out 2 ½ inch round circles. Lay the cut cookies on a lined baking sheet and chill in the freezer.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the cookies from the freezer when they are firm, about 10 minutes. Using the smallest cutter, cut out the center of half of the cookies. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Remove cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Spread about 1 tablespoon kaya jam on the bottoms of the cookies. Top with a cookie with the center cut out. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
From what I understand, Linzer cookies originated from Austria. Bakers would use Linzertorte dough, which was actually used for pie, and cut out fun shapes to make cookies. They would bake the cookies and sandwich them with black or red currant preserves to make one special treat. Nowadays, people fill the cookies with all different kinds of jam, Nutella, or in my case, kaya jam.
You can buy kaya jam or make it from scratch. If you want to make the jam yourself, check out my kaya toast recipe for the full details.
To make the cookie dough, cream together the butter with powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk, lime zest, and vanilla, and mix until well combined. Stir in the flour, almond flour, and salt, and mix just until combined. Make sure to use superfine almond flour for a buttery texture.
At this point, the cookie dough will be too soft to roll out easily. So, shape the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic and chill it for at least one hour or overnight.
Once the dough firms up, roll it out and cut out 2 ½ inch round circles. You can have fun with the shapes and cut out whatever your heart desires! Just make sure you have an even amount of cookies to sandwich together later.
Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Let the cookies cool completely before assembling the sandwiches.
These kaya linzer cookies are very delicate so use a light hand when sandwiching them. I found that the easiest way to spread the jam was to use a 1 tablespoon mini scoop and scoop the jam onto half of the cookies. Then, use a butter spreader or small spatula and gently spread the jam. Top the cookie with the tops and repeat with the remaining.
Finish the kaya Linzer cookies with a dusting of powdered sugar for the full festive look. These cookies don't last long because the jam does soften up the cookies over time. However, I doubt they will even last that long because they sure are delightful!
For more cookie inspiration check out these caramel macchiato macarons!