Linzer cookies are sandwich cookies that are usually filled with a fruit jam or spread. I came up with this Hazelnut Linzer Cookie recipe by simply substituting some of the all-purpose flour called for in my standard sugar cookie recipe with hazelnut flour. Hazelnut flour (I found this flour at Trader Joe’s) has a slightly nutty flavor and subtle texture that creates an aromatic dough with little flecks of ground hazelnut throughout.

To further the hazelnut flavor I added in 2 teaspoons of Frangelico Liqueur (a hazelnut liqueur) along with the vanilla in the recipe. For the sandwich filling, I decided to use Nutella Chocolate spread in most of my cookies. The Nutella intensifies the hazelnut flavor and who doesn’t love chocolate? Some of the cookies I spread with a seedless raspberry jam.

This recipe makes 23- 2 1/2″ sandwich cookies. They bake up slightly crisp and buttery with a nice hazelnut flavor accent and texture from the hazelnut flour. The addition of the Nutella or raspberry jam and a light dusting of powdered sugar is the perfect finishing touch to turn a regular cookie into something really special. Here is how you make them:

Rolled Sugar Cookies Recipe (adapted from the Cookie Craft cook book)
Makes approximately 23- 2 1/2″ round sandwich cookies
1 cup (119 grams) of hazelnut flour
2 cups (357 grams) of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur or hazelnut extract
Nutella Chocolate Spread
Seedless Raspberry Jam
powdered sugar for dusting

Prepare baking sheets with parchment or Silpats and set aside. You will also need a 2 1/2″ round cookie cutter and tiny cookie cutters for the center window cut-outs.

Whisk together the flours and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, vanilla and Frangelico until well blended. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until well combined into a dough. Turn dough out onto a work surface and roll to 1/8 inch thickness.

At this point I like to freeze the dough until stiff, it makes it easier to cut out the shapes. When the dough is fairly stiff, use a 2 1/2″ round cutter and quickly cut out rounds–a top and a bottom for each sandwich–placing onto the prepared baking sheets.

Use a tiny cookie cutter to cut a “window” from half of the rounds. These will be the tops. Re-roll scraps and repeat.

When all the rounds are cut, place in freezer again for around 30 minutes and preheat oven to 350 degrees. When 30 minutes are up, bake the cookies for 12-16 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges.

Cool the cookies on a wire rack. When completely cool you can lightly sprinkle powdered sugar over the “window” cookies for decoration. I left some of mine bare because I like the rustic look of the dough. Carefully spread a small dollop of Nutella or jam on the “bottom” cookie and top with the “window” cookies. If you are not eating them right away, store in airtight container in the fridge.

To give these as a gift, I used a 4″x2″ plastic bag and cut out small squares of wax paper to place between each cookie, stacking them into the bag. I used a grosgrain ribbon to tie the top and made a tag to glue on the front saying what’s inside.

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