Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Frangelico Ganache

Hazelnut Linzer Cookies with Frangelico Ganache

  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Servings: 12 to 16

No holiday cookie box is complete without some pretty linzer cookies. In our decadent spin on that much-loved classic, we’ve swapped out the traditional jam for a rich filling of dark chocolate ganache that includes a splash of Frangelico, a hazelnut-infused Italian liqueur that contributes a sweet, nutty flavour. To streamline prep, instead of grinding the hazelnuts yourself, sub in purchased hazelnut flour, available from sources like Bob’s Red Mill. If you want to make your own, simply pulse room-temperature toasted hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground, taking care to stop the machine as soon as the nuts are ground so that the nuts don’t turn into hazelnut butter.

INGREDIENTS

For the cookies:

  • 2 1/4 cups (11 1/2 oz./360 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz./180 g) finely ground toasted hazelnuts or hazelnut flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) (8 oz./250 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

For the ganache:

  • 8 oz. (250 g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) Frangelico
  • 1 tsp. hazelnut extract
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt

Directions:

  • To make the cookies, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground hazelnuts, salt, baking powder and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter, both sugars and vanilla on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat until combined, stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, beating after each addition until no streaks of flour remain.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball, then flatten the balls into disks. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
  • Position 1 rack in the upper third and 1 rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • On a well-floured work surface, roll out a dough disk 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. If the dough cracks while rolling, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes. If using linzer cookie cutters, cut out shapes as desired, cutting out one solid shape and one with a center cutout for each sandwich cookie. If using regular cookie cutters, cut out squares, circles or your favourite shape using a cookie cutter about 2 1/2 inches (6 cm) in diameter. When all of the cookies are cut out, using a small, round cutter about 1/2 inch (12 mm) in diameter, cut a hole in the center of half of the cookies (these will be the top of the sandwich cookies). Using an offset spatula, transfer the cookies to a prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Gather up and reroll the scraps and cut out more cookies. Repeat with the remaining dough disk.
  • Bake until the cookies puff up slightly and are lightly golden on the edges, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets about halfway through the cooking time.
  • Transfer the baking sheets to a wire rack and let cool for about 2 minutes, then carefully transfer the cookies to the racks and let cool completely. Lightly dust the cookies with the cutouts (which will be to the tops of the sandwich cookies) with confectioners’ sugar.
  • To make the ganache, put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cream and Frangelico and bring to a simmer. Whisk if the mixture has separated, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes, then whisk until the chocolate has melted. Whisk in the hazelnut extract and salt. Let the ganache cool at room temperature for 30 minutes; it will thicken but will still be spreadable.
  • Spread a generous layer of the ganache over the surface of the solid cookies, then top with the cookies with the cutout design, pressing gently to adhere. Let the cookies set for 30 minutes. Makes 12 to 16 sandwich cookies.
  • Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen