SS loves nutty chocolates (think diary milk with hazelnuts, or fererro rocher). It is rumoured that so deep is this love, there have been instances when a whole box has been depleted, in such a short time as to guarantee some kind of sugar induced rush.
I love this blog, so when hazelnut chocolate linzer cookies appeared in these adorable heart shapes with a dusting of icing sugar and a peep of molten nutella peeping up at me, it seemed like the perfect harmony of SS’s love and mine, perfectly timed for V-Day.
The recipe of this cookie is similar in base to the popcorn cookies – a healthy loveable portion of sugars and butter, but what really sets this apart and lifts it from a regular cookie to a piece of art is the inclusion of ground roasted hazelnuts in the dough. The rude awakening started a few minutes after I pulled out the chilled cookie dough from the refrigerator, where it spent the night. The dough despite tasting heavenly and being of the perfect consistency, doesn’t respond too well to daytime warm-ish temperatures. I had to keep dousing some flour on it to to able to successfully roll it out, without big blobs attaching themselves tightly and rather inconventinetly onto the rolling pin. After alternating the dough between the freezer and the baking tray, and after an hour of testing my patience, these pretty little delicate and golden brown cookies beckoned from the oven, and all the hard work and labour suddenly seemed worth it.
A word of advice: While doing the top layer, if you (like me) found that the dough was getting too soft to tear it off the cookie cutter and transfer to the baking sheet, eliminate that effort by actually rolling out the dough for 2 cookies at a time, on the silpat sheet/parchment paper itself (similar to that shown in the image below). Albiet this increases the time consumed, but tremendously reduces the risk of breakage, ensure neatness and is a more practical solution to the woes of buttery cookie doughs.
The nutella just makes such a beautiful layer between the cookies, and the icing sugar dusting on the hollow hearts lend a delicate touch. What an amazing way to show your loved one what affection looks like, especially when folded in with butter and nutella 🙂
- 1. 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts (roast at 180*c for 10 minutes until you are greeted with a nutty aroma)
- 2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3. scant 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4. 1/4 tsp salt
- 5. 1/2 cup or 115 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6. scant 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar ( I used dark)
- 7. 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 8. 1 tbs cornflour mixed with 2 tbs water to make a slurry
- 9. 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 10. 1/4 cup Nutella (or 1 tsp per cookie sandwich)
- 11. 1/4 cup icing sugar, to dust the top layer of the cookie sandwiches
- Place the roasted nuts, sifted flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground.
- Place butter and both sugars in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat it until light and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add cornflour slurry and vanilla extract, then beat until just incorporated, about 30 seconds.
- Pour the ground hazelnuts mixture over the butter mixture and mix until just incorporated. You should be welcomed by a amazingly tasteful cookie dough right about now.
- Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days prior to proceeding.
- Pre-heat oven to 180*c and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. At this point, remove only one half of the cookie dough from the refrigerator. Roll out the dough until between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick. Use a 2-inch cutter of your choice to cut out desired shapes of dough. Use a smaller cookie cutter (a 3/4-inch is ideal) to remove the centers of half of the cookies, creating a hollow shape in the centre that will later form the lids. You should have 12 bases and 12 lids (or up to 15 of each).
- If the dough becomes too soft as you’re using it - which it will, just slip it into the freezer for a few minutes so that it firms up again and add just a sprinkle of flour while rolling.
- Bake cookies until golden at edges for about 8 to 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Repeat with remaining dough untill you have equal number of bases and lids for the cookie sandwiches.
- Once all the cookies are out of the oven, we move on to powdering the linzer lids. For the sake of ease while winding up, arrange the cookie lids (the ones you removed the centers of) on a baking rack with a napkin or paper underneath to catch the mess. Dust with icing sugar.
- Spread each of the cookie bases with about 1 teaspoon chocolate-hazelnut spread. Fit an icing dusted lid on each. Done!
- 1. This recipe is versatile in its nature, and you can swap the nutella for dark chocolate ganache, fruit jam or even dulce de leche.
- 2. The yield is for 12-15 sandwiches, i.e. 24-30 individual cookies.
- 3. You can also easily double the recipe, and change the shape of the cut out from hearts to circles, for a less cheesy occasion!
Last Year on V-Day: Bite Sized Bliss
Two Years Ago: Lower Fat Deep Chocolate Cake and Strawberry & Creme Tarts