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Recipe

Hazelnut–Raspberry Sandwich Cookie Wreaths

Featured in our 2017 Christmas Guide
Tina Rupp

Yield: Makes 48 sandwich cookies

These festive cookies are inspired by the Linzer torte, a famous lattice-topped Austrian pastry made with a rich, buttery nut crust and jam filling. The secret to this cookie’s deep, earthy flavor begins with toasting the hazelnuts. While the cookies are delicious on their own, sandwiching them with raspberry jelly adds a jewel-toned sparkle as well as a bright, fresh flavor.

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 2 cups (9 oz./255 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3⁄4 cup (3 oz./85 g) hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and finely ground
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp. table salt
  • 1⁄8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 16 Tbs. (8 oz./227 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3⁄4 cup (3 oz./85 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For assembly

  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jelly

Preparation

Make the dough

  • Have ready several sheets of parchment and a cookie sheet. Whisk the flour, ground hazelnuts, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a medium bowl until well blended.
  • Put the butter and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using an electric handheld mixer fitted with wire beaters). Beat on medium speed until creamy and lighter in color, about 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat on medium until blended and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until the dough forms moist clumps.
  • Scrape the dough onto the work surface and divide into two approximately equal piles. Put one pile of the dough in the center of a sheet of parchment. Cover with another piece of parchment and press down on the dough to flatten. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough between the parchment to a 3⁄16-inch (4.8 mm) thickness, turning, lifting, and repositioning the parchment and lightly flouring throughout the rolling. Slide the dough and parchment onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate. Repeat with more parchment and the remaining dough, stack on top of the other one, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Bake and assemble the cookies

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F (180°C/gas 4). Line cookie sheets (four, if you have them) with parchment or nonstick liners.
  • Working with one sheet of dough at a time, remove the top sheet of parchment. Using a 2-inch (5 cm) fluted cookie cutter, cut out rounds from the chilled dough. Arrange the rounds about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Using a 3⁄4-inch (2 cm) fluted or plain cookie cutter, cut out the centers of half of the rounds and remove. Stack the scraps and gently press together. Reroll, chill, and cut.
  • Bake, one sheet at a time, until the edges and bottom of the cookies are golden brown, 9 to 11 minutes. Move the sheet to a rack and let cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough using cooled cookie sheets and parchment or liners.
  • Arrange the cookies with the center stamped out, top side up, on a work surface and, using a sifter, dust the tops with confectioners’ sugar. Arrange the whole cookies, bottom side up, on the work surface. Put a scant 1 tsp. of the jelly in the center of each cookie. Cover with the confectioners’ sugar-coated cookies and press down very gently to evenly spread the jelly until it just reaches the edges. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Serve immediately or cover and stow at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Make Ahead Tips

The rolled cookie dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.

Stow the baked and cooled cookies between sheets of parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature or freeze for up to 6 weeks before thawing at room temperature and sandwiching with the jam.

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