These cookies are a cousin of the linzertorte and use many of the same ingredients. A lightly spiced, buttery dough made with ground nuts is sandwiched around jam (typically black currant) and dusted with powdered sugar.
Special equipment: You’ll need one 2-inch and one 3/4-inch round or fluted cookie cutter.
What to buy: Almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts can be used, but we prefer these cookies with hazelnuts.
Game plan: The finished cookies can be stored in an airtight container, layered between pieces of waxed paper, for about 3 days. The baked cookies minus the powdered sugar can be frozen for up to 2 months.
This recipe was featured as part of our Holiday Cookies photo gallery.
- 1Combine nuts, flour, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a large bowl and whisk to aerate; set aside. Place egg and water in a small bowl and beat with a fork until pale yellow and mixed thoroughly; set aside.
- 2Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer) and beat on medium speed until smooth and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add the egg mixture and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle with a rubber spatula.
- 3With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture, mixing only until the flour disappears into the dough, about 1 minute. (Don’t work the dough much once the flour is incorporated. If the dough comes together but some dry crumbs remain in the bottom of the bowl, stop the mixer and finish mixing the ingredients with a rubber spatula.)
- 4Divide the dough in half and form it into 2 balls. Place 1 ball between 2 large pieces of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Flatten the ball with your hands into a disk, then roll with a rolling pin, turning the dough over frequently so that the paper doesn’t cut into it, until it’s 1/8 inch thick. With the waxed paper or plastic wrap intact, transfer the dough to a baking sheet; set aside. Repeat with the second ball and place on top of the first piece. Refrigerate or freeze until the dough is very firm, about 2 hours in the refrigerator or 45 minutes in the freezer. (The rolled-out dough can be wrapped tightly and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw the dough enough to cut the cookies, and go on from there.)
- 5Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- 6Remove a round of dough from the refrigerator or freezer and place on a work surface. Remove and discard the top sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Using a 2-inch round or fluted cutter, stamp out as many rounds as possible. Using a 3/4-inch round or fluted cutter, stamp out the centers of half the rounds. (Reserve the stamped centers in a scrap pile to reroll later.) Transfer all the rounds to the prepared baking sheet and space them 1/2 inch apart. Repeat rolling and cutting with the second piece of dough until the baking sheet has 24 rounds.
- 7Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, dry, and just firm to the touch, about 9 to 11 minutes. Immediately transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
- 8While the first batch is baking, gather the scraps, press into a disk, and roll between sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate or freeze until firm. Repeat cutting, baking, and cooling with the remaining dough. (You can reuse the parchment.)
- 1Dust powdered sugar over the cookies with the cut-out centers—these are the tops of the sandwiches; set aside.
- 2Flip the remaining cookies upside down and evenly spread 1 teaspoon of jam on each—these are the bottoms of the sandwiches. Gently place a powdered-sugar-dusted cookie top on each bottom.