Food & dining

Recipe: Viennese linzer torte, with cinnamon pastry and jam filling, made into little squares

Raspberry linzer squares
Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe
Raspberry linzer squares

Makes 2 dozen

The classic Viennese linzer torte, made with a hazelnut or almond dough, and filled with jam, comes together in pretty little squares to set out on a holiday cookie platter. The dough is very soft, which makes it easy to press into a baking pan. It rolls out easily, too, but needs to firm in the freezer before cutting into strips for the cross-hatch topping. Raspberry jam is traditional and contrasts nicely with the cinnamon-spiced dough.

1cup roasted, unsalted almonds or hazelnuts
cups flour
teaspoons baking powder
¼teaspoon salt
teaspoons ground cinnamon
1cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1cup granulated sugar
1teaspoon vanilla extract
1cups raspberry jam
Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Line it with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the 2 long sides.

2. In a food processor, pulse the nuts until finely ground.


3. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon to blend them. Stir in the nuts.

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4. In an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter and granulated sugar until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. On low speed, gradually add the flour and nut mixture, beating only until combined.

5. Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a flat rectangle. Divide it into 2 equal pieces.

6. Press half the dough into the pan. With a small spatula, spread the jam over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border all around.

7. Cut another sheet of parchment. Roll the other piece of dough on the parchment into a 9-by-13-inch rectangle. Transfer to a baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes, or until firm.


8. With a chef’s knife or pizza cutter, cut the chilled dough into ½-inch-wide strips. Set 5 strips lengthwise on the jam, to within ½ inch of the edges.

9. To form the lattice, starting in the middle of the pan, place 1 strip over the lengthwise strips at a 45-degree angle. Working from the center out, place strips 1 inch apart. The jam will not be completely covered. Finally, set more strips on all 4 edges to make a border.

10. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven; cool completely.

11. Using the parchment paper as handles, carefully lift the pastry from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Make 5 vertical cuts and 3 horizontal cuts to form 24 squares. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Store in an airtight container. Sally Pasley Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas can be reached at