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Hazelnut-Brown Butter Linzer Cookies

'Tis the season for Christmas cookies and these linzer cookies are extra-special — both in their look and taste. Here we opted for a bit of brown butter for nuttiness, swapped in hazelnuts for traditional almonds, and red currant jelly in lieu of the usual raspberry.


2 dozen sandwich cookies

Total Time

2 hours + chilling

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For the cookies, melt 2 sticks butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, swirling pan, until brown specks appear, 58 minutes. Transfer brown butter to a bowl and cool until nearly solidified.

Pulse hazelnuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add 1⅓ cups powdered sugar and process until the texture of fine meal, about 30 seconds. Transfer hazelnut mixture to a bowl with remaining 1 stick softened butter; beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Beat in brown butter until combined, then beat in yolks, vanilla, and zest until combined.

Whisk together flour, salt, and nutmeg; gradually beat into butter mixture just until blended.

Divide dough in half; shape each into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill, 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll each dough half on a generously floured surface to ⅛-inch thick.

Cut dough with a 3-inch cookie cutter, then cut out centers of half with a 11/2-inch cutter. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, and chill until firm, 10 minutes. Reroll, cut, and chill scraps twice.

Bake cookies until golden, 1213 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on baking sheets, 23 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

For the filling, melt jelly with crème de cassis and zest in a saucepan over medium heat; let cool.

Sprinkle hollow cookies with powdered sugar.

Spread a heaping ½ tsp. filling on solid cookies; top with hollow cookies, then fill centers with ¼ tsp. more filling.

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