These easy linzer cookies have cute little cutouts (use any shape you wish!) and are filled with a naturally sweetened chia jam! The cookies themselves are free of gluten, eggs, dairy, and refined sugar plus they’re vegan friendly!
As a lover of all things pink, I look forward to Valentine’s day each year. I enjoy walking through the seasonal aisles at Target oohing and ahhing over the kitschy, but cute, love-inspired knickknacks. Not that I actually buy that stuff, but I love looking at it nonetheless! I’ve always been super practical. I remember when my hubby and I were dating, he would buy those teddy bears holding stuffed hearts, red silk roses, and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and I would…smile and pretend to love it! 🙈 At the time, I felt bad being honest. I couldn’t say, “hey thanks, but I really have no place to put all of this stuff!”
Later, I learned he bought all of that stuff because he thought that’s what girls liked. 😂 Crazy how just a little bit of communication could have saved us both—him, lots of money and me, from having to find a place to put all of that tacky stuff! 😜
Having been married for many years now, he knows I prefer hand-written notes to cards and I know he values time spent together over gifts. I also prefer a home-cooked meal by him over going out to eat and he enjoys homemade treats over those from the store. He particularly loves things he can enjoy with afternoon tea!
After visiting England, we have been hooked on teatime! I mean, who wouldn’t love a reason to take a break in the afternoon to enjoy tea with some sweet or savory treats? Let me tell you, these cookies are the perfect accompaniment for tea or coffee. They are similar to shortbread cookies which are sandwiched together with a simple chia jam filling. They are free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar (just omit the powdered sugar) and are not only pretty, but so freaking good too!
I used heart shaped cutters for these cookies, but they are not specifically a Valentine’s Day treat. Think stars for Fourth of July and snowflakes for Christmas! You can also use circle or square cutters for any special occasion. Feel free to use any fruit of your choice for the jam too. Berries are delicious, but cherries or stone fruit would work as well. And if you don’t have time to make your own jam, any quality store-bough jam will also work.
These cookies are our new favorite! They’re even better the next day, so feel free to make them a day or two ahead of time. You can even make the cookies themselves in advance and freeze them until needed. Just thaw and fill them with the jam before serving!
Enjoy these, and I hope you have a happy Valentine’s Day with your love(s)!
- ½ cup dairy-free or regular butter, softened
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1½ cups gluten-free flour blend or unbleached all-purpose flour + extra for dusting (I used King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Measure for Measure flour)
- ½ cup blanched almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- chia jam
- powdered sugar, optional
- 2 cups fresh or frozen berries of choice, hulled and chopped if necessary (I used strawberries and a few raspberries to add color)
- 2–3 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or cane sugar (use more or less to taste)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or orange juice, optional
- 3–4 tablespoons chia seeds
- In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and maple syrup. Mix until well blended. Add flours, salt, and vanilla. Blend until well incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Dough should be like regular cookie dough. If your dough is too dry for some reason, you can add a splash of water to bring it together; too loose add flour a tablespoon at a time until it forms a soft dough.
- Roll dough between two large pieces of parchment or wax paper, about ¼-inch thick. The thinner you roll the dough, the more crisp/crunchy they will be. Dust with a little extra flour if it gets too sticky. To make the cookie sandwiches, you'll need two of the same sized cookie cutter, with a smaller cutter for the "window". Cut one regular cookie and one cookie with a smaller cut out in the center for each sandwich. Place cut outs 1 or 2-inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. If dough is too fragile to transfer, use a spatula or refrigerate until cold and you should be able to handle it better. Re-roll and repeat cutting with remaining dough.
- If you didn't already refrigerate the dough, I like to place pans in the refrigerator for at least 15–20 minutes to chill the dough. This helps the cookies hold their shape better.
- Ten minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350F. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned and center is set. The cookies will be pretty light in color. Allow to cool slightly on the pan and then transfer cookies to a rack to cool thoroughly. They can be crumbly if handled when they're hot.
- Place a small dollop of chia jam onto the bottom cookie and top with the cookie with the cut out. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if you wish, and store in an airtight container in a cool room for up to 24 hours, or in the refrigerator for several days. Makes about 1–2 dozen cookies, depending on the size your cookie cutters.
- To make the chia jam, combine chopped fruit, sweetener, and optional citrus juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, until mixture becomes bubbly and fruit begins to break down. Mash slightly to break up any large chunks. Taste and adjust sweetener, if needed. Remove from the heat and stir in chia seeds. Let sit until mixture begins to thicken. Cool completely before filling cookies. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. Can use leftovers to top toast, ice cream, or oatmeal!