The Linzer torte is an Austrian pastry made with flour, ground nuts and spices, filled with fruit preserves and topped with a lattice crust.
In cookie form, the dessert features two shortbread-style cookies sandwiched together with jam and finished with a flourish of powdered sugar. Although Linzer cookies are traditionally made with almonds, this recipe uses hazelnuts for a wintery feel, and you can fill the cookies with any flavor of jam you desire. Festive and stunning, they’re absolutely irresistible on the holiday table.
Yields | 12 cookies |
- ¾ cup hazelnuts
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¹⁄₈ tsp freshly grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp finely grated orange zest
- 2 large egg yolks
- ¾ tsp vanilla extract
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- 1 cup jam (try cranberry, black raspberry or blood orange jam for a more seasonal flavor)
| Preparation | Preheat oven to 350°F. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet; bake until lightly toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set on wire rack to cool, 5 minutes. Wrap hazelnuts in a large kitchen towel and rub them together to remove skins (it’s OK if some skins don’t rub off). Discard skins and place hazelnuts back on baking sheet to cool completely. Transfer cooled hazelnuts to a food processor and grind until fine. Measure out ¾ cup finely ground hazelnuts and set aside. (Store leftover ground hazelnuts in an airtight container and use for other holiday baking projects or sprinkle on top of oatmeal, yogurt and other desserts.)
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; set aside until ready to use. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla; mix until combined. (Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.) Add ¾ cup finely ground hazelnuts; mix until combined. On low speed, add flour mixture; mix until combined. Transfer dough to a large sheet of parchment paper; set a second sheet of parchment paper on top. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thick. Place the parchment paper-encased dough on a baking sheet and set in freezer, at least 2 hours or until dough is thoroughly frozen.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove dough from freezer. Using a 2-inch fluted round cookie cutter, cut out dough rounds. Lightly reroll scraps and then cut out remaining rounds. Using a smaller decorative cookie cutter, cut out the centers of half of the dough rounds (you can bake these pieces of dough separately – just finish them with powdered sugar and enjoy later). Place all rounds on prepared baking sheet, 1 inch apart; bake, 11 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and set on wire rack to cool. Once cooled, place the cookies with cutouts on a piece of parchment paper or baking sheet and sift powdered sugar over the tops. Turn over the remaining cookies and completely cover the bottoms with a thin layer of jam; place one dusted cookie on top of each. Using a spoon, fill the remaining space of the cutouts with more jam. Enjoy!