When I look at the recipes I had bookmarked to try this year, I wonder if I will ever be able to reach the end of my list. Actually, is there an end…will there ever be one! No…not for me! I feel I am just getting started. The holiday season is bringing plenty of excitement to my baking repertoire and my oven is doing a bit of over time already.
Can you believe it, I have not posted a single Nutella recipe till now. So without wasting a moment, I made these Nutella Linzer Cookies. I love everything about these cookies..the nutty texture, the chocolale-y centre and the various shapes and sizes you can do with them. You can also fill them up with jam, the way it is done traditionally or any other filling like lemon curd, ganache etc.
I have used ground hazelnuts in the mix to complement the Nutella filling. Any nut meal will work. These are put together pretty much like any other cookie. The only tricky part is to get the shapes out intact after rolling out the dough. To ease the process, I roll out the dough on a baking paper and then place my cookie cutter all over the dough to make the cookies. Then I remove the balance dough from around the cookies and place the baking paper on a baking tray to bake. I do this twice. Once for the bottom cookie and a second batch for the tops with the centres cut out.
Nutella Filled Linzer Cookies
Makes 20 sandwiched cookies
1 cup hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts)
2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup Nutella, for the filling
Icing Sugar, to dust
In a bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract and egg yolks. Finally, beat in the ground hazelnuts and then the flour mixture. Divide the dough in half, cover each half with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm (30-60 minutes, or up to two days).
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove one ball of dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch (.5 cm) thick. Using a 3 inch (7.5 cm) cookie cutter (round, square, heart, etc.) cut out the cookies. Place the cookies about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheet. Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the centers of half of the cookies on the baking sheet. Re roll any scraps and cut out the remaining cookies. Repeat with the second ball of dough. (Note: If you find the cookies are soft, place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to chill the dough. This will prevent the cookies from spreading and losing their shape when baked.) Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Place the cut out cookies on a baking sheet and lightly dust the tops with icing sugar. Spread a thin layer of Nutella on the bottom surface of the full cookie. Place the cut-out cookie on top and gently sandwich them together.