Spiced Pineapple Linzer Cookies

Spiced Pineapple Linzer Cookies
Photography by Matt Armendariz/ Recipe development by Christine Carlson

No holiday season passed without a batch of Christine Carlson’s fragrant mini pineapple tarts. These uniquely spiced Linzer cookies are flavored with earthy sage, spicy ginger, and warm toasted coconut. These bright and buttery cookies will have you dreaming of sunny afternoons no matter how distant summer feels.

Spiced Pineapple Linzer Cookies
Makes 18
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (73 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 1 (5-inch) vanilla bean (3 grams), split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) lemon zest
  • 1⅔ cups (208 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups (120 grams) almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • Spiced Pineapple Filling (recipe follows)
  • Toasted Coconut Sugar (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: Candied Sage Leaves (recipe follows)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add egg, vanilla bean seeds, and zest, beating for 1 minute.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flours and salt with a fork. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined. Divide dough in half, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C).
  4. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a work surface, and lightly dust with flour. (Because the dough is fragile and hard to handle, it is best to roll it directly on the parchment paper it will bake on rather than trying to transfer it.) Place half of dough on floured surface, and sprinkle top with more flour. Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Carefully roll dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Remove top piece of parchment. Repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Using a 2-inch square cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps only once. Using a 1-inch square cutter, cut centers from half of cookies. Transfer cookies, on parchment, to baking sheets.
  6. Bake until set, 13 to 15 minutes. (Be careful not to overbake, or cookies will brown and come out crispy.) Let cool completely on pans. Spread about 1 teaspoon Spiced Pineapple Filling on flat side of all solid cookies. Dust cookies with cutouts with Toasted Coconut Sugar. Place cookies with cutouts, flat side down, on top of filling. Garnish with Candied Sage Leaves, if desired. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.



Spiced Pineapple Filling
Makes about 2 cups
  • 2 cups (400 grams) diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup (200 grams) canned pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup (240 grams) pineapple juice
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (2 grams) minced fresh sage leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons (1 gram) grated fresh ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) water
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) cornstarch
  1. In the container of a blender, process fresh pineapple, canned pineapple, and pineapple juice until only small chunks remain.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine pineapple mixture, sugar, lemon zest and juice, sage, ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until thickened and reduced, 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons (45 grams) water and cornstarch. Add cornstarch mixture to pineapple mixture, and simmer until filling has thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool completely before using. Spiced Pineapple Filling will keep in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Toasted Coconut Sugar
Makes about 2 cups
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (84 grams) unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon (8 grams) cornstarch
  1. In the container of a blender, combine all ingredients; blend until powdered, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Candied Sage Leaves
Makes 18
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) water
  • 18 small fresh sage leaves
  1. In a small saucepan, heat ¾ cup (150 grams) sugar and ¾ cup (180 grams) water over low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Pour remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar onto a small plate. Lightly oil a wire rack.
  3. Using tongs or chopsticks, carefully dip sage leaves, 2 to 3 at a time, into melted sugar mixture for about 1 minute. Dip each leaf in sugar on plate, coating both sides. Let dry on prepared rack for at least 4 hours or overnight.


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