I love linzer cookies but also love a good shortcut. These pretty cookies are a good substitute; they have an easy shortbread base but a big wow-factor, which allows me to impress without a ton of effort. Use a thick, quality jam or preserve but not jelly, which is too runny-- my favorites are plum or raspberry jam. Rice flour in the dough helps keep the cookie very tender, but it's fine to use all-purpose flour in its place. Thanks to the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion for the inspiration! —vvvanessa
Lightly butter a 9x13-inch baking pan or quarter sheet pan.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the salt and vanilla and continue to mix until well combined. Stir in the flours until the dough is cohesive.
Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan, creating a smooth surface. Using a fork, prick the dough about 20 times, keeping the marks uniform and being sure to cover all areas of the dough.
Bake the shortbread for 35-40 minutes, or until golden around the edges. Remove the pan from the oven; loosen the edges of from the pan using a dull knife or offset spatula. Cool the pan for about 5 minutes.
Working with the cookies while they're still warm, carefully turn the entire pan of cookies out onto a clean, flat surface. With the topside up, trim away about 1/4 inch around the border of the cookies. Crumble the scraps into a small bowl and set aside.
Cut the slab of cookies into 24 squares, about 2 inches by 2 inches each.
Allow squares to cool. Spread a thick layer of jam onto each cookie, and then distribute the crumbs evenly over them.
Store in an airtight container in a single layer or with a piece of wax or parchment paper between layers.