Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesIf you want to know what kind of person I am outside of this blog, you should know that I once spent six months of my life obsessively making jam (and preserves) in a kitchen that is smaller that my current closet. Strawberry, cherry, grapefruit marmalade, gingered nectarine—you name it. I had all the preserving equipment you can imagine and an entire kitchen shelf filled with jars of colorful fruit-based spreads.

Years later, I’m pretty sure all that equipment (except for my beloved jar funnels—great stocking stuffer, btw!) and that jam is still sitting in that apartment because I left it all there when I moved out…because I don’t particularly care for jam. I just like to make it.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesSo, to wrap that up: I am prone to intense kitchen projects (hello, three year-old food blog with 338 unique recipes) and I have never once wanted a linzer cookie.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesI mean, I am all about crunchy, nutty roll-out cookies, but why must they always be sandwiched with jam? Jam is not a dessert food, at least as far as I am concerned. A breakfast food? Sure. Lunch? You bet. Dessert? No way.*

*Except in these.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesChocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesYou know what absolutely *is* a dessert food? Nutella.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesChocolate hazelnut spread = dessert food.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesChocolate hazelnut cookies = dessert food.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesA layer of Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread sandwiched between two crunchy chocolate hazelnut cookies = the dessertiest dessert food.

(“Dessertiest” is a word today.)Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesSo, in conclusion, when it comes to Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies, no jam, no problem.Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies
Looking for more chocolate hazelnut? Check out this cake, this granola, these grain-free cookies, these brownies, and this pie. Oh, and this other pie. And this buttercream. I ❤ chocolate hazelnut.

Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies
makes 22-24 sandwich cookies

1/2 cup raw whole hazelnuts
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably dutch process)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar, for dusting
1/4-1/2 cup Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread (based on preference)

Special Equipment:
rolling pin
2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter
1-inch cookie cutter
sifter or mesh sieve

Preheat oven to 350F. Place hazelnuts on a dry, rimmed sheet pan. Toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant. Immediately transfer hazelnuts to a clean, dry, textured hand towel. Fold towel around the hazelnuts and then rub the towel with the palm of your hand. This will allow the hazelnut skins to loosen. This step does not have to be done perfectly.

Once hazelnuts are cool, transfer them to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a fine meal forms. Set aside.

Make the cookie dough. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer. When butter is fluffy and lighter in color, beat in sugar, followed by egg and vanilla. Mix in hazelnut meal. Add dry ingredients to in two installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Lightly flour a surface and a rolling pin. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut dough with a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Place half the cut cookies on prepared pans. Use a smaller cutter to cut a small hole in the center of the remaining cookies before placing them on the prepared pans. If dough becomes too warm, freeze pans of cut cookies for 10 minutes before baking.

Bake 12-13 minutes, until slightly puffed. They will be a touch soft, but will crisp up as they cool. Let cookies cool at least 10 minutes on their pans before carefully removing to a rack to cool completely. Repeat rolling, cutting, and baking until all dough has been used.

Set a cooling rack over a piece of parchment. Once all cookies are baked and cooled, set the cookies with the centers cut out on a prepared rack. Sift confectioners sugar over the tops.

Spread each whole cookie with 1/2-1 teaspoon of Nutella (amount is based on your preference). Carefully sandwich cookies together. Serve.

Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies will keep in an airtight container for several days. Place wax paper between layers for best storage.
Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer CookiesChocolate Hazelnut Linzer Cookies

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