I am sure you have seen a traditional linzer cookie. They are usually beautifully shaped, covered in a snowfall of powdered sugar & sandwiched over sweet, raspberry jam. I love them because the powdered sugar dissolves into the jammy middle & the cookie sandwich softens. The dough of a linzer cookie isn’t very sweet, which is why the center filling’s sweetness makes it the PERFECT Christmas cookie. The traditional linzer cookie needs NO change, but I think a chocolatey version that mimics that sweet center & nutty cookie was definitely in order. Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies are your new addition for this cookie season.
Linzer cookies can be a tiring pain when you are baking alone – two times the amount of work for one cookie!? But that is another reason why you should add the Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookie to your holiday cookie list. They are SO much fun to make with kids, your girlfriends, your mom or grand-mom. Show up in slippers & sweats, and you will be laughing & licking Nutella off of the spoon in no time. Obviously I lick the Nutella off the spoon when I am alone too, but it just doesn’t get the same amount of laughs.
I want to suggest ordering these from Amazon or grabbing them at your local craft store before you start. They are Christmas Linzer Cookie Cutters and they make linzer-life even simpler! That being said, the first time I ever made linzer cookies, I used an old water bottle cap to cut out the centers and a wine glass to cut out the cookies. You can do anything as long as you get creative, right?? Give these hazelnutty cookies a try and tag me in your efforts! There are even more Christmas cookie recipes coming your way.
And finally, I entered these Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer cookies into a contest with Feed Feed & Bob’s Red Mill because I was really proud of how they turned out. Two people are chosen by Bob himself and one is chosen based on votes. AND I just want to say THANKS. Thank you SO SO much for voting for me! I am constantly embarrassed about having to post all over social media in order to get my blog-feelers out, but seeing all the love made it totally worth it. I hope I can bake something for ALL of you voters one day.
Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookie
About 18 cookies
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (best: Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar for dusting
- 12oz Chocolate Hazelnut spread (Nutella or homemade will work!)
- Preheat oven to 350° & spread hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast them in the preheated oven in 5 minute intervals. The hazelnuts will start to darken, smell amazing, and some of the skins will be peeling. For 1 cup of hazelnuts, this takes my oven almost exactly 10 minutes
- Lay nuts in a clean dishtowel and cover with the edges for about 10 minutes. The nuts are going to steam themselves & loosen the skins.
- While you wait for the hazelnuts to cool a bit, whisk together the flour, salt & baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Wrap your hazelnuts into the dishtowel and “scrub.” Rub the towel on the hazelnuts and get rid of as many skins as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you want the loose skins off of the hazelnuts. This will take a few scrubby attempts.
- Pulse your freshly stripped & toasted hazelnuts in a food processor with half of the brown sugar (1/4 cup). About 8 pulses. You want pulverized hazelnuts & no large chunks.
- In your mixing bowl, beat the butter and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar until light & fluffy (3 minutes). Beat in the egg & vanilla until everything is combined.
- On low mixer speed, add your hazelnuts & very slowly add the flour. You don’t want to overmix, so as everything combines, add more & stop when all of your flour is combined. Make sure you are scraping the sides & underneath to keep the flour incorporated.
- Take the dough, shape into two, flat disks & wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the dough is FIRM, but not hard. You want to be able to feel a firmness, but still make a finger indent. For me, this took about 1.5 hours*.
- Preheat oven to 350° & line two baking sheets with parchment.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough fairly thin (about 1/8 inch thick). Cut out cookies with cookie cutter! You can use any cookie cutter, but the linzer cookie cutters make life EASY**. Press out as many cookies as you can and line them on your parchment.
- Your next dough disc is for the tops! Repeat the process, but go through each cut out cookie with a 1-inch cookie cutter and cut out the centers.
- Bake one sheet at a time, about 8-10 minutes. The cookies will become paler and brown SLIGHTLY on the edges. These are fairly delicate cookies & will dry nice and crisp, so you don’t want to over bake. The tops of the cookies baked in about 7 minutes.
- Cool for less than 5 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack until completely cool.
- When the tops have cooled, dust them with the powdered sugar.
- When the bottoms have cooled, spread chocolate-hazelnut spread & sandwich the sugared tops. Press gently to stick them together!
- Keep the cookies in an air tight container, I love them the second day with coffee when they are a bit soft, sweet & salty.
* You can store this dough in the fridge over night, but you will want to leave it on the counter for about 10-20 minutes before rolling. Keep checking for that “firm-but-not-hard” feel.
** See my blog above for awesome linzer cookie cutters!