Looking for an easy vegan linzer cookie recipe? These cookies are perfect for vegans and non-vegans alike, with their buttery and crumbly base combined with sweet raspberry jam filling. Dusted with powdered sugar, no festive cookie tin is complete with a Linzer cookie.
As someone who suffers from food intolerances, I am always trying out new ingredients that might make life a little bit more comfortable for myself without compromising flavour. And, if that ingredient comes from a natural source rather than a chemical one, then all the better. I also love vegan Linzer Cookies.
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What Is Agave Syrup – A History
Agave Nectar comes from the sap produced in the heart of the Agave Plant. The plant is crushed and put through a process which extracts the syrup in its raw form. It is then filtered and heated to a level which breaks down the raw sugar into fructose. At this stage, the syrup can be further refined to produce a pale amber colour or bottled as is, in the dark, rich chestnut colour.
There are also different genuses of the Agave plant, very much like honey, which infuse the syrup with floral or vanilla top notes. Like Maple Syrup, Agave Nectar comes in various patinas and flavours, all of which have different properties in cooking but with a less aggressive taste than synthetic sugars. This is great for people like myself, who can taste saccharin a mile off. No chemicals whatsoever are used in the production of pure Agave Nectar.
When you try agave syrup neat (probably like me, with your finger stuck in the bottle because you’re not ladylike enough to use a spoon), you will see that the flavour is a rare hybrid of honey and maple syrup but much finer than either. It is 25% sweeter than granulated sugar but it doesn’t have an eye-wincing, tooth-cringing sweetness when you sample it.
Despite being clinically sweeter than sucrose, it has no more calories, which basically means you can use less of it in cooking to a similar or identical effect. The texture of Agave Nectar is thinner even than maple syrup which also makes measuring somewhat less of a sticky process than getting all gummed up with honey or golden syrup.
So, with that in mind, I made some vegan Linzer cookies instead, replacing the usual caster sugar with agave syrup, and filled with homemade (not by me) raspberry jam.
What Are Linzer Cookies?
Also known as Empire Biscuits, the Linzer is a sandwich cookie, made from a rich dough, like a crumbly shortbread, and sandwiched together with jam. The top cookie traditionally has a shape stamped out of it, so you can see the jam popping out through the window!
How Do You Make Vegan Linzer Cookies?
A traditional Linzer Cookie dough is enriched with butter and often an egg yolk. This gives it the unmistakable short, crumbly texture. My version replaces the butter simply with vegan butter and omits the egg yolk.
- Plain Flour or all-purpose flour. You could also use gluten free flour too.
- Vegan Butter, at room temperature
- Agave Syrup or Maple Syrup
- Vanilla Extract
- Jam of your choice
- Icing Sugar or Confectioners Sugar
This is ONLY a list of ingredients for the recipe; please see recipe card below for complete printable recipe.
Place your Linzer cookie dough on a floured surface
Roll out the dough to 1/4″ thick
Cut out an equal number of plain cookies and cookies with a hole in them using your Linzer cooking maker
On the bottom cookie (the one without the hole cut out), add a small dot of jam before baking
Once baked, sandwich together and dust liberally with icing sugar
Cooking with Agave Syrup
If you do plan on using Agave Syrup instead of regular sugar, expect it to be a little hit and miss, particularly in baking, so take into account the following:
- You will need to reduce the amount of other liquids (i.e. milk or egg) to compensate for extra liquid of the Agave.
- You will need to use a smaller quantity of the syrup because it is 25% sweeter.
- You may need to reduce the heat of your oven by 10-20 degrees because the fructose in the syrup seems to burn quicker.
So, my recommendation to anyone wanting to experiment is just to be extra vigilant watching the oven and not to be too upset if your buns come out flat or your cake collapses, you’ll simply know next time to adjust it.
Try my other festive vegan cookies
- Sophisticated and crisp, Cacao Nib Cookies
- Spicy festive Pfeffernusse.
- Easy Florentines
- Nutty and Spiced, Rugelach
- Rich and buttery, Viennese Tartlets
Agave Syrup Linzer Cookies
- Mixing Bowl
- Baking Sheets
- Electric Whisk
- 170g g Vegan Butter
- ¼ cup Agave Syrup - (or Maple Syrup)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1⅔ cups Plain Flour
- pinch Salt
- ¼ cup Jam - or your own flavour choice!
- ¼ cup Confectionary Sugar - sieved
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and syrup until creamy.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the jam and icing sugar) and beat until you have a crumbly dough. It will look like crumbly peas when beating, but it will come together as a dough.
- Form dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least a couple of hours.
- Preheat oven to 170c.
- Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
- Separate your dough into two balls. Clingfilm one ball and return to the fridge.
- Roll out the other ball on a floured work surface, until it's about ½cm thick.
- Using your Linzer Cookie Cutters, cut out equal amounts of top and bottom cookies. Place on baking sheet.
- Bake for 8 minutes or until very pale golden. Let cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet, then let cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Place half a teaspoonful of jam onto the bottom cookies.
- Dredge the tops with icing sugar, then sandwich to a jammy bottom!
Please note that where the recipe asks for milk, butter or yogurt, this refers to any plant-based version that you prefer.