Yield: About 3 dozen cookies
These light and delicious cookies will delight and surprise at how difficult they look, but they are really not that hard to make. Itís just two layers of cookies put together like a sandwich with jam. This dough freezes well for later preparation and you can keep it in the fridge for a day or two if you want to make the dough ahead and the cookies the following day.
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
1 1/4 cups hazelnuts with skin
1 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Spiced Jam Filling Ingredients
3/4 cup seedless raspberry preserve
1/4 teaspoon anise seeds, ground in a spice grinder
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
In large bowl, add the butter and granulated sugar. Using a hand mixer set on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is smooth.
Add the egg yolks and lemon zest, mixing the ingredients until the yolks and zest are well incorporated.
In a blender, add the hazelnuts and chop until the nuts are finely ground. Add the bread flour, cinnamon, and cloves. Mix well.
In the large bowl, add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the nuts have been incorporated throughout the dough and the dough is smooth.
Divide the dough into two portions and pat each portion into a circle.
Cover each circle in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough has chilled for about 1 hour.
Once the dough has chilled sufficiently, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then lightly grease two cookie sheets, setting them aside.
Lightly flour a large work surface and place the chilled dough on it.
If you have room, roll out both chilled dough circles until they are each 1/4 inch thick. If not, work in batches.
Using a cookie cutter that is about 2 inches wide, gently mark where the first row of cookies will go, making sure to place the cookies as close together as you can. Cut out the first row of cookies. Continue cutting out the remainder of cookies following the spacing of the first row. Remember that a finished cookie will consist of a top and a bottom cookie so think and work in pairs when possible.
Use a small decorative cookie cutter to cut out the center of half the cookies. These will be the top cookies.
Move all of the solid cookie bottoms to one prepared baking sheet, and move all of the cut-out cookie tops to a different baking sheet. Make sure the cookies are divided in this way because you will decorate the tops only and this will make it much easier. Refrigerate any unused dough.
Place the cookie sheets on the upper and middle racks of the oven to bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet.
Once the cookies are cool, dust the cut-out top cookies with confectioners' sugar.
Spiced Jam Filling Instructions
In a small bowl, combine the raspberry preserves, ground anise, and coriander. Mix well. Spoon the fruit filling onto the solid bottom cookies.
Cover the bottom cookies with the sugar-dusted top cookies to create the final product.
Repeat the process until you have used all of your dough and made as many cookies as possible.