Chocolate-Topped Linzer Cookies


Makes about 4 dozen cookies


3 cups hazelnuts, toasted, skins removed and divided
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 egg*
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup nougat paste**
1/2 cup seedless red raspberry jam
6 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons shortening

*To measure 1/2 egg, lightly beat 1 egg in glass measuring cup; remove half for use in recipe.

**Nougat paste, a mixture of ground hazelnuts, sugar and semisweet chocolate is available in specialty candy and gourmet food shops. If unavailable, substitute melted semisweet chocolate to attach cookie layers.


  1. In food processor or blender, process 1-1/2 cups hazelnuts until finely ground. (There should be 1/2 cup ground nuts; if necessary, process more nuts.) Set aside remaining whole nuts for garnish.
  2. Beat butter, powdered sugar, lemon peel and salt in large bowl until well blended. (Do not overmix.) Add 1/2 egg; beat until well blended. Stir in ground hazelnuts. Gradually stir in flour. Divide dough into fourths. Wrap each portion; refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough, one fourth at a time, 1/8 to 1/16 inch thick on floured pastry cloth. Cut out with 1-1/4-inch round cookie cutter. Place 3/4 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.
  4. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cookies cool completely on cookie sheets set on wire racks. Spoon nougat paste into pastry bag fitted with 1/4-inch round tip. Pipe about 1/4 teaspoon paste onto centers of 1/3 of cookies. Top with plain cookies; press gently.
  5. Spoon raspberry jam into pastry bag fitted with 1/3-inch round tip. Pipe about 1/3 teaspoon jam onto centers of second cookie layers. Top with plain cookies; press gently. Let cookies stand about 1 hour.
  6. In small heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Press cookie layers lightly together. Dip top of each cookie into chocolate mixture just to cover. Shake to remove excess chocolate. Place cookies, chocolate side up, on wire racks; press reserved whole hazelnuts into soft chocolate in centers of cookies. Let stand until chocolate is set.

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