Anise Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

anise shortbread linzer cookies
Photo: Louise Hagger
Prep Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
3 dozen

Apricot jam twinkles from each window cut out of these anise-infused shortbread stars.


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon anise seeds

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1 tablespoon anise liqueur, such as Pernod or Sambuca, or water

  • 6 ounces apricot jam


  1. In a food processor, pulse flour, confectioners' sugar, salt, and anise seeds until combined. Add butter; process until mixture becomes sandy. Add yolks and liqueur; pulse until dough comes together (it may be sticky). Divide dough into 2 pieces and pat into disks. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days (or freeze up to 1 month).

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut out shapes using 3 1/2-inch star-shaped cutters. Use a 2 1/8-inch cutter to cut out centers of half of cookies. Transfer like sizes to parchment-lined baking sheets; freeze 15 minutes.

  3. Bake until cookies are barely turning golden around edges, about 14 minutes for smaller cookies, 16 to 18 for larger. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks; let cool completely. (Cookies can be made ahead up to this point and stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days, or frozen up to 3 months.)

  4. Bring jam to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium. Cook 1 minute. Strain through a coarse sieve, discarding any large pieces of fruit. Let cool until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon strained jam onto each large solid cookie, and 1/4 teaspoon on half of the smaller cookies. Lightly dust large tops with confectioners' sugar; sandwich halves together. Serve same day.

Cook's Notes

You can use 2 3/4-inch cutters to make medium-size cookies without cutout tops, if desired -- just remember to make an even amount for sandwiching; use about 1/4 teaspoon jam in each.

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