chocolate hazelnut linzer hearts

I’m sorry. These are really, really cute. Borderline twee. And it gets worse, too. You see, there was a parent event at my son’s preschool this week that included a cookie swap and I hadn’t much considered what I would bring until my apparent reputation preceded me and the other parents started to ask with a tone that suggested they expected something grand. Oops. And so I enlisted what I’ve decided will be my strategy for all future cooking indecisions: What Would Alex Eat?*

well-toasted hazelnuts for best flavor
ground hazelnuts + dry ingredients

I’ve come to the conclusion after eight years of marriage that my husband simply orders better than the rest of us at restaurants (and, I mean obviously in life partners, right? …hello?). I’ll be pushing some kale salad and winter squash thing around my plate and he’ll be eating a garlic butter drenched surf-and-turf. I’ll have fallen for the insanely-too-rich egg-stuffed ravioli in cream sauce and he’ll be eating a pork chop with crackling shishitos. I suggest mushroom tacos; he suggests brisket. So, rather than go through my usual lines of cookie rationale — a gingersnap meets a snickerdoodle meets salted peanut brittle plus brown butter! — I instead tried to dream up the Perfect Alex Cookie, and it’s really no surprise that it required the purchase of a jar of Nutella.

fluffy hazelnut dough

dough (doubled), ready to chill
hazelnut cookies, ready to bake

The cookie is essentially a linzer (the cookie kind, not the tart, though they relate), which were incidentally one of my favorites to assemble at the bakery where I worked in high school. We would sift a blizzard of powdered sugar onto the upper cookie lids, and then try to see if we could lift onto their raspberry-slicked bases without a snowflake of sugar falling out of place. The negative shape from the cookies left on the tray delighted me, which should answer your unasked question, “have you always been this weird, Deb?”

all cooled and ready to fill
powdering the lids
a schmear of nutella
chocolate hazelnut linzer heart
negative space

Except instead of almonds or walnuts, the usual choice of linzer nuts, here we’re using hazelnuts. And while I’m typically more DIY with fillings, seriously, those packaged chocolate-hazelnut spreads know what they’re doing here. They spread perfectly thin, sticking without being sticky, adhering the cookies to one another without them sliding around or squeezing an excess of filling out onto your hands and they remain glossy at room temperature, should you be charmingly optimistic enough to imagine these might last a few days.

powdered + nutella-ed assembly line
nutella linzers, stacked
chocolate hazelnut linzer hearts

* Wait, you consider what your spouses would want to eat before making something new? That’s adorable.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Hearts
Adapted from Aida Mollencamp

I was all set to start tweaking my usual nut roll-out cookie when I discovered Aida Mollencamp had already done it for us — sweet! I nixed the orange zest and cinnamon, because I really wanted to taste the hazelnuts, which I always toast extra dark for best flavor, reduced the baking time and added a powdered sugar lid, for old time’s sake.

Yield: 25 2 1/2-inch sandwiched cookies (i.e. 50 individual cookies). I used the 2 1/2-inch and 1 1/4-inch (smallest size) hearts from this set. I actually doubled the recipe to serve a crowd.

1 cup (140 grams) toasted hazelnuts (see directions below)
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks (1 cup or 225 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (145 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 cup (150 grams) chocolate-hazelnut spread, such as Nutella

Place the nuts, flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until the nuts are finely ground, as powdery as you can get them without letting them turn to a paste. (You can tell when it’s beginning to turn to a paste and you should immediately stop when a ring of moist crumbs adheres to base edges of the bowl and doesn’t get picked up when you run the machine.)

Place butter and both sugars in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat it until light and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add yolks and vanilla, then beat until incorporated, about another 30 seconds. Sprinkle ground hazelnuts and other dry ingredients over butter mixture and mix until just incorporated. Divide dough in half and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill dough packets in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Heat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Roll out the first dough packet until between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick. Use a 2-inch cutter of your choice to cut out rounds of dough. Use a smaller cookie cutter (a 3/4-inch is ideal) to remove the centers of half of the cookies, creating ring shapes that will later form the lids. If the dough becomes too soft as you’re using it, just slip it into the freezer for a few minutes so that it firms up again.

Bake cookies until golden at edges, rotating trays as needed, about 8 to 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat with remaining dough; you can re-chill and re-roll cookie scraps.

If powdering the linzer lids, arrange the ring-shaped cookies (the ones you removed the centers of) on a baking rack with a tray or paper underneath to catch the mess. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Spread each of the cookie bases with about 1 teaspoon chocolate-hazelnut spread. Fit a ring-shaped lid on each. Cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for several days, or so I’ve heard.

To toast your hazelnuts: Hazelnuts can be toasted on a baking sheet in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes, but don’t take them out just yet. I like to toast them until they’re all the color of milky coffee under their loose skins, and roll them around on the tray every few minutes to make sure they’re toasting evenly. This can take an extra 1, 2, or even 5 minutes, and you should check on them frequently, so don’t go far from the oven after the 10 minute mark. Well-toasted hazelnuts don’t just taste better, with a deeper nutty flavor, but their skins come off more easily. (I even toast already-toasted hazelnuts from Trader Joe’s, as they’re never as golden as I want them.) There are two methods to skin hazelnuts, everyone else’s (rub them with a towel while they’re warm, getting off all the skins that you can) and mine (let them cool until you can hold them, and roll them around, a fistful at a time, in your dry hands, letting the skins fall back on the baking sheet; I do it this way because the towel method always leaves me with hazelnut flakes all over my kitchen when I go to shake it out/bring it to the hamper). Both work.

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192 comments on chocolate hazelnut linzer hearts

  1. You’re right… these are totally adorable and they look delicious. I am a sucker for a linzer cookie. Normally I go with jam filled, but, really, I’ll take any flavor. Also, how did you resist eating all that cookie dough? I’m not sure it would have made it to the oven.

  2. This looks like the perfect Valentine cookie project to work on with my son next week. I think I’ll take the shortcut of using almond meal and then a chocolate-almond spread to match. I’ll report back on how this combination works for us. Thank you, as usual, for the inspiring recipes!

  3. Grace

    I just finished the last of the nutella yesterday, but can’t wait to make these as I am sure they would taste just as good on their own!

  4. Erin

    Thank you for making a personal and business instagram! I love to follow people’s personal lives on instagram, so I’ll follow you there, but I hate the ruined surprise of a new blog post via instagram. I’m sure most of your other followers aren’t as weird, but I love this move.

  5. Marla

    Now that you’ve got an (awesome) Pinterest and Instagram feed and constantly have to update Flickr, etc etc – have you hired an intern to help you?? I can’t imagine keeping up with all that social media but if you’re doing it alone then kudos to you girl!

    Also – this post has inspired me to bake a cake for my sweetie, just the exact one he’d like (it might have to do with coconut and blackberry…).

  6. Amy

    Wow, a preschool where you can bring desserts, and ones made with nuts, no less, and where Deb is going to swap her cookies with you: *dreamy*.

  7. I bake these cookies and fill mine with raspberry – just to show off to my friends! These cookies are insanely DELISH – but to fill with NUTELLA–WINNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I eat these cookies I feel like I’m getting the 2nd cookie for free (i.e. NO CALORIES IF YOU PLEASE! HAHAHAHAHAHA!)

  8. Maura

    Can’t help but wonder what would happen if I mixed the Nutella with a little bit of peanut butter (my husband’s favorite on toast). Would that change the consistency at all? Make them more perishable?

  9. These look so delicious! I can’t wait to try them soon since pretty much every single cookie I’ve baked from your site/book has turned out great. In fact, my cookie jar is currently filled with “in which world peace eludes me” cookies. (and by “filled” I mean there’s only a few left from when I baked them a couple days ago. And that recipe makes quite an abundance of cookies.)

  10. Anna

    Is it just me, or do you have to buy the Nutella and make these cookies while your husband is out of the house lest half the jar have disappeared when you go to bake with it?

  11. Riva

    Another way to skin hazelnuts is to let them cool under a towel, then put them into a small mesh bag (like the ones onions or garlic come in). Hold them over the wastebasket and rub them around in the bag.

  12. Marta

    I actually have hazelnut flour, which I think is basically pulverized hazelnuts, thanks to Jenni (In Jenni’s Kitchen). I’m guessing a cup of that in place of the nuts in the recipe would be too much — maybe a half cup? This recipe sounds so yummy….

  13. Aarthi

    Oh my- now this is what I am making for my co workers on Valentines day. Do you bake up the centers(the small hearts) for a treat?

  14. Clearly, your husband is a wise, decisive man, with good taste! : ) I can only imagine the kind of expectations that swirl around you at something like a preschool cookie swap! As a hazelnut, Nutella, and cookie lover – these cookies are spot on! Love ’em!

  15. Kate

    Feel silly asking this, but can you gather the inner hearts and reroll them to make more cutouts with? Or do you just bake up the cut-outs separately?

    1. deb

      Kate — I just baked them and (predictably) brought them into preschool for the kids, unfilled. They were the perfect size for little snacks. But you can of course reroll them.

      Marta — Go by weight for the swap (about 5 ounces).

      Anna — We actually had a half-empty jar leftover from making these popsicles (once I ran out of the stuff I brought back from Rome) and my husband didn’t know about it! But it was all warm and separated looking (i.e. thick at the bottom like natural peanut butter) after being in our really hot kitchen for months (shame on us), so I bought a fresh jar. But yes! I keep seeing spoons in the sink that look like they were recently swiped through the jar. :)

      Maura — It should be fine. Peanut butter (or at least the Skippy that I buy) is fine at room temperature. It would probably make the filling thicker.

      abbie/Amy — Err, kinda. It was okay to bring nuts for a parent event, but the classrooms are technically nut- and seed-free, though they tend to be flexible if there aren’t actually any kids in the class with an allergy that year. It’s scary stuff.

      P. — I haven’t tried it but suspect that a gluten-free baking blend would work here.

      World Nutella Day — I had no idea! Purely accidental.

      Erin — Don’t worry, I’m totally that weird. I feel like personal feeds should be for personal interests (i.e. my Twitter is just random blatherings, Instagram is photos from here and there, my personal Facebook page is mostly for friends and family) and I don’t promote the site on any of them, ever. (Seriously got in trouble for not evening mentioning that I was going to be on The Today show last year on my FB.) And business/site feeds should be just about the site so I’m not going to be using the SK Pinterest to suggest that you buy some expensive dishware or anything that would reflect the site’s values.

  16. Ada

    I don’t know why you’re on a hazelnut kick lately (or maybe you’re not and it’s just my imagination), but please don’t stop. They’re my favourite nut, and that’s saying a lot. These look delightful, I just don’t think I’d want to give them away.

  17. Your hearts are really beautiful and surely are delicious!! I usually make that kind of cookie for Valentine’s day…here in Italy, we call them “occhi di bue”, which means “the eyes of an ox”. Best wishes, Mary

  18. Dahlink

    I am very sympathetic to allergy concerns. We have a family berry allergy. With me, it’s strawberries, one son can’t eat cranberries and the younger son must avoid blueberries. No mixed berry desserts for us, sigh …

  19. Molly

    Ha ha! Asking what people want IS adorable! I’m worse and go a step further – – purposely making things I know my mate “claims” to dislike in such a delicious and sneaky way that he eats at least half before becoming suspicious and putting his fork down. He’s just wrong about certain things and needs to be convinced, just like Alex and coconut!! Dude, you are WRONG!

  20. Oh, these cookies might just break me! I’ve been trying to hold off on the baking this week to just give my body a sugar break, but these cookies will probably just ruin that because they look amazing and I must be off now to make them…

  21. Liz

    Deb – Should there ever be a “What would Alex eat: Ice Cream Edition”, may I please suggest Gianduja Stracciatella Gelato from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop? For his last 2 birthdays, my fiance has refused a cake and insisted on this ice cream. I happily indulge him. It’s the perfect chocolate-hazelnut combination with the added bonus of having chips of dark chocolate throughout!

  22. Heather

    I’ve been reading your blog for years and your cookbook is my go-to book for dinner parties and potlucks. I never comment and just wanted to say thank you for doing what you do so well!

  23. jennifer

    A thousand times, yum! I bet these would be amazing with Biscoff as well. I swore I wasn’t making Valentine cookies this year, but now I am tempted.

  24. I was lucky enough to enjoy these at that parent event and they were delicious, so much that I wound up eating the one I brought home to share with my husband! I’ll be making these soon, as I have a bag of Costco hazelnuts calling my name. Thanks, Deb! It was a pleasure meeting you (as well as eating your cookies!).

  25. My husband always order better than me, too! So, lately I just order after him and say ‘same as him!’ He’s never steered me wrong.

    Small teeny tiny typo: LIFT onto their raspberry-slicked bases. Sorry to be annoying, but I would want someone to tell me :)

    Gorgeous cookies! :)

  26. JP

    Anything with Nutella is worth eating…btw, just one small typo “to see if we could life”…could that be “lift”? These cookies would be great at any time of the year. Have you tried simmering the hazelnuts in water to remove the skins? I think I read that somewhere. Seems easiest, because, after all, you have to toast them anyway and that would dry them out, but…

  27. This recipe is absolutely perfect for valentines day, love it! Is there anyway you can swamp hazelnuts for a different kind, like walnuts or pecans? Hazelnuts are so expensive, although I guess for valentines day it could be a special treat :)

  28. Rebeca

    Oh man, these look delicious! I’ll probably fill some with a different spread because I don’t love Nutella… I know, I know! I must be weird or something. But I owe some cookies to the neighbours’ kids and they’re going to love these, I’m sure.

  29. anne

    Giiiirrrrlllll! You are reading my mind. AGAIN. Just got home from the store with a large jar of Nutella!!! Ha! I never bought the big jar before and now I am even more excited that I did! It is finally raining in San Francisco, so I am going to make a nutella hot chocolate and Saturday, it is really going to pour, so I’ll make these cookies.

  30. Lauren

    These cookies look lovely and the dang snow ( more yet) will allow ample time for baking!Just finished looking up the egg salad w/ pickled celery ( I moved~ it’s here “somewhere”) and noticed that it has been a YEAR already that I have been loving this stuff! My daughter asked if it was a “recipe” once when she spied it and helped herself . She’s 35 and has been used to the less imaginative kind appearing in my fridge for her whole life… I passed it on, naturally!

  31. Sarahb1313

    My all time favorite cookie. Even the poor substitute one can find in NYC deli’s.
    I used the Silver Palate recipe for years, always around Valentine’s day, but used walnuts, almonds, but my preferred nut (when I was too poor for hazelnuts) was pecans, just dreamy.

    I now keep most nuts stocked in my pantry (fairway sells pre skinned hazelnuts and I will splurge for those!!) and my last Linzer Tart was hazelnut.

    Try the pecans- you’ll love it!

  32. Malorie

    I once made tiny versions of your snickerdoodles and sandwiched them together with Nutella for gifts–it was extremely delicious.

  33. I bet the other parents had a lot of expectations from you, who wouldn’t after all? ;)
    With these cookies you lived up to your reputation Deb, they look amazing!

  34. Gabrielle

    Just made these – they are LITERALLY the BEST biscuits I have EVER TASTED! Thanks so much for the recipe! Nothing tastes better than things made from ground hazelnuts!

  35. Matt

    Do you think this idea would work with the world peace chocolate sable cookies and a homemade Reese’s peanut butter filling? I know you would probably have to do circles because you slice those off a log of cookie dough, just want to make sure there wouldn’t be any other problems.

  36. Hi Deb, these are lovely and playful and look delicious. Just curious, I’ve had bad experiences buying nuts in the past… do you have any recommendations for buying nuts in New York?

  37. megan

    I do the exact same thing when it comes to ordering dinner!! All of my most memorable meals came from my husband’s plate- like the most amazing dry-aged steak in the world for one of our anniversaries- I honestly couldn’t tell you what I ordered, but it probably was some so-so vegetarian pasta plate. Unfortunately his dessert tastes change with the wind, though this sounds like something he’d love on most days. Again with a fabulous cookie I’ll have to put on my list…

  38. These cookies were one of my faves growing up…with raspberry jam in the middle, but hey, nutella is good too! This may be a great recipe to try with my kids’ classes. Who doesn’t love hearts?

  39. Rebecca

    These look so beautiful! I have the hazelnuts for the blood-orange and fennel salad- but will need to steal them from the salad to make these cookies..thank you for suggesting the walnut sub-out for the salad. That negative shape thing- I had it on my mind too, for the 100th day of school celebration. To make a large amount of cake for the school party, I baked regular layers in two 9 inch rounds, and baked two “layers” in two tube pans. I covered the bottom layers with your marshmallow frosting, topped them with the tube pan layers and covered those with more frosting. The kids loved the 3-D effect for the 00’s! (The “1” was cut from a 9 by 13 rectangle; three stacked and filled layers). Thank you for all of your recipes and your beautiful book. You are my hero!

  40. Emily K

    PS – i was forced to buy 18 oz of hazelnuts last week for the Chocolate Hazelnut Torte, and was wondering what i was going to do with the extra 6oz… clearly it was meant to be!

  41. Pey-Lih

    Absolutely perfect! They are grand, yet simplistic and what Alex and many people would eat. Love, love…nutella! Thank you for sharing.

  42. Helen M.

    If I use the weight measurement, can I use pecans instead of hazelnuts in the cookie dough? I made some overly-thick blueberry jam this summer and am thinking that the pecan cookie and the blueberry jam would be really good. Big plus–I have all that stuff on hand. Thank you!

  43. Genevieve

    This recipe seems like a wonderful variation of my favorite “oma” cookie — the cookies my German grandmother used to make every Chanukah, which my mom and I still make together every year. We use almond meal rather than hazelnuts, fill them with melted dark chocolate rather than nutella, and once the cookies are all sandwiched up, we coat both sides in granulated sugar. I would love to try making your’s and introducing them to my family – a beautiful twist on a recipe that holds so much love and so many memories!

  44. If I considered what my man would want above all else, I’d be eating bacon-wrapped bacon for dinner, watching a tv show about bacon before bed, and curling up in a bacon-lined bacon + down comforter to sleep (with the noise-maker set to “sizzling bacon” instead of “relaxing ocean waves”).

    Woman, I’m glad you had nutella to work with.

  45. Dina

    Last year in France, they wanted to tax Nutella higher because it contain palm oil, transfats, whatever they found in there. They said, either you change that or we tax it. Nutella said, it’s not changing its formula. Whole of France agreed to the higher tax. NO ONE IS READY TO LET GO OFF NUTELLA. Ever. If I could, I would post my photo of me hiding in the bottom shelf of the bookshelf, smeared all over with nutella, with my hand in the family sized jar. To this day, I do the same, but I am bit more civilized in my eating manners now… No one judges you in the “filling is from a jar” department here. Not when we’re talking Nutella <3

  46. When I’ve made Linzer cookies before with ground almonds, they are quite crumbly and shortbread like, do the roasted hazelnuts give the same texture or do they bake up to be a firmer, snappier cookie?

  47. Phyllis

    Can anyone help me? I love the recipes all the time, but the blog and site is sometimes so long (this one is 25 pages) that I cannot figure out how to just print the actual recipe? I really am pretty good at the computer, but I am habing trouble with this one… thanks
    ps… this looks wonderful.

  48. Rebeca

    Phyllis, just below the recipe, on the right, you’ll find the option to print it.

    I made them today and they are AMAZING. This is dangerous, delicious stuff, people.

  49. AussieBeth

    what? You didn’t use your chocolate-peanut spread?!!! Ah, but then it’s for a school gig so perhaps you were concerned about allergies.

  50. Susan

    Phyllis #86 – There is a “print” feature to click on the line starting with “do more” just below the last paragraph of the recipe. It will print only the recipe for you.

  51. Topol

    Have you tried the so-called Julia Child method of removing skins from hazelnuts? It’s my go-to technique now, especially when a lot of nuts are involved. I make romanesco sauce with hazelnuts.

    Everyone can look the recipe up online. It involves boiling water with baking soda, tossing in the hazelnuts, and then removing the nuts.

  52. Hi, Deb! These look just delicious. I’d love to make them, but I don’t have a food processor, though I do have a hand mixer. How would you do these with the equipment I have? Because I must. Thanks so much.

    1. deb

      Betsy — What size is yours? You can just grind the hazelnuts with some of the flour (I find it helps get a finer grind before they are too eager to go to paste) and whisk the rest of the dry ingredients together. If it’s still too small, just do it in batches.

      Phyllis — Every recipe has a print template that will limit the recipe to 1 to 2 pages, no comments or photos. Just click on the “Print” link at the bottom of each recipe, before the comments begin.

      Susan — Thank you.

      AussieBeth — Ha! Tempting. But my husband just really loves Nutella and hazelnuts, so I made it easy on myself.

      Dina — That story made me smile.

      Katherine {eggton} — THIS. Also, I’ve used the same argument as to why I don’t only share recipes I know would be popular/click-bait.

      Emily — Did you like the torte? I think they’d hold up okay, but seeing as they have a lot of nuts replacing what would otherwise be flour in them, nuts have no gluten and all that, they’re on the fragile side.

      Kate — Remember that Bazzini store? Was so sad when it closed. I’m deeply lukewarm about most nuts available for purchase in NYC. I only want to buy vacuum or professionally sealed ones, and so many are in those little deli containers with just a thin plastic tape keeping them airtight. Anyway, I mostly just buy them at Trader Joes. Not blown away by the quality, but they’re good enough for baking and the price is excellent.

      Matt — I am sure it would be delicious, but it might be a little thick. A few places to point you to: I have a Peanutella (peanuts + chocolate spread) in the archives. And, in the SK cookbook, there are peanut butter roll out-cookies with a chocolate-peanut butter ganache filling, if any of those ideas interest you instead. You could also use either to fill these thin chocolate wafers.

      Nicole — No, but I have made Peanutella (with peanuts, linked in previous paragraph) and know that many have swapped the peanuts with hazelnuts successfully.

      JP — Thanks, now fixed.

      Nancy — Yes and yes. But if you’re nervous, just keep an eye on the oven for the first batch.

      Liz — Sorry, I had to delete your comment because I cannot let Alex find out that such a thing exists. (Okay, just kidding.)

  53. Maybe it’s a solidarity of Deb’s, but your way of getting the skins off the toasted hazelnuts is my way too – hate having that towel full of flakes. After rolling, I cup the nuts in one hand, and pluck the skinned ones off with the other, so I can make sure the skin-flakes go back onto the baking tray, instead of into the bowl where I’m collecting the skinned one. Totally OCD.

  54. My roommate brought home dozens of meyer lemons from her sister’s tree (oh, California). The plan for this rainy weekend is to make meyer lemon curd and sandwich it between these cookies (with almonds instead of hazelnuts – I never did like the flavor much, despite 2 years of trying while living in Austria).


  55. Melanie G

    These look beautiful and delicious!

    And also, my usual M.O. is to plan, cook and then consider not whether my spouse will like it, but rather *how I can convince him it’s the best thinh he’s ever put in his mouth,* even contrary to all prior experience.


  56. Val

    So I made the mistake and made the dough when the rest of the family was up and around. Half of it went, raw, like that. Had to make another batch. The gall these people have! Once I kicked them out, I could enjoy a handful of the dough by myself in peace. It is divine. Can’t wait to try them baked tomorrow.

  57. Wow, these look amazingly cute and I bet they taste just as good as they look!
    And yes, it is charmingly thoughtful of you to think of your significant other and what would they want to eat and then come up with an idea of what to cook. :)
    I definitely want to try making these, thanks for linking the heart cutter set, I ordered one for myself right away!

    I’d also like to thank you for keeping this blog, I come here from time to time and it’s really a great source of inspiration!

  58. Celine

    How could one resist these? The “bottoms” took a little longer in my oven (about 20 mins) and then i accidentally slightly overcooked the “tops” not thinking that there was less cookie to them so wouldn’t need as much time. Whoops. No biggie but worth thinking about. Made these gluten free by using Bob’s Red Mill GF all purpose flour -my husband didn’t even notice ;)

  59. Kelly

    I decided to be a little lazier and made these with Trader Joe’s almond meal (went by weight) and their Cocoa Almond Spread and they were AMAZING!!! I happen to have the exact same heart cookie cutter set that I bought on post-Valentine’s clearance last year so I was so excited to have a use for them. I am definitely making these again, thanks!

  60. Kate L.

    Thank you for posting this, and saving me! My girlfriends and I have a singles-only Valentine’s dinner this Friday and I can’t wait to make these for them!

    One important question: how do I store/ pack/ gift-wrap them without smudging the dusting???

  61. Sam Ram

    You are the cutest! I have been following your blog since college and it has inspired me so much (as a young adult) to take healthy eating and beautiful eating into account when learning how to cook for myself. These cookies are definitely an indulgence that I am going to make for my boyfriend this Valentines Day. :) Thank you for being so consistent in your postings and for taking the time to post all of your beautiful recipes. Following you on Instagram now :)

    PS I am moving to NYC next month!! Maybe I will see you around Bedford :)

  62. rts

    trying not to panic but i made the dough last night, wrapped in plastic into the fridge and hope to roll out later tonight….(my 1st generation from Austria hubby – land of linzer torte – can’t wait)-
    however the dough is now so hard i could use them in a curling event! hoping it will soften after a few minutes? will let you know how it turns out but afraid i must have done something wrong.

  63. Judy

    It was so fun to make these! I appreciate all your tips on the process – very helpful for sure! I did make a double batch and decided to do the powdered sugar and frosting on day 2 when I had renewed energy. These cookies are definitely gift worthy – so yummy and pretty! Thanks for sharing!

  64. Was going to make strawberry jam-filled linzer hearts for Valentine’s Day because the hubs loves them… but I love chocolate more than jam. Your recipe has solved our dilemma– making half a batch jam filled and half this incredible-looking recipe– thank you!

  65. Emily K

    Deb – the torte, yes, was PHENOMENAL. this was my second time around making it. It literally makes me want to cry it is so good. THANKS!

  66. Heather

    Help! I’ve toasted my hazelnuts for about 15 min to a lovely milky coffee colour but about half the skins won’t come off. Any suggestions? Don’t want to toast longer in case they burn..

  67. Francoise

    Hey Deb,
    I was looking for your carrot soup with turkey meatballs recipe. Where is it? Perhaps I got it from a different publication that you write for? I wanted to comment that I made it and, while delicious, it was lacking a little something something. So I added a few grates of nutmeg – it complemented the carrots, meatballs, and kale perfectly.

  68. Love the Linzer Heart recipe! I am responsible for dessert at a group Valentine dinner Friday night and this is it. I will add fresh whipped cream on the side of the plate and some raspberries. Maybe a piece of chocolate too…

  69. Lisa

    I also had a hard time getting all the shells to come off the nuts and kept putting them back in the oven at least 4 or 5 times. Even then, some still wouldn’t come off! Oh well, these cookies were amazing. I actually liked them better without the nutella.Thanks for the recipe!

  70. Vaish

    Deb, Is there anyway I can make these without the hazelnuts . I would like to bake them for a bake sale at school but there is a very strict nut-free policy as many kids suffer from severe nut allergies! Many thanks

  71. this sort of thing ALWAYS happens to me at a restaurant and what’s worse is, before ordering i’ll be toying between two dishes and the one I end up not picking, someone else will choose and of course upon arrival, i’ll spend the entire dinner drooling over what could have been my meal

    I love linzer biscuits, they are my fave thing to order and i recently baked some too x

  72. Caroline

    Just baked these last night, and they turned out to be delicious. The cookies themselves are very nutty and buttery. I don’t have a large enough food processor to have incorporated the flour and nut mixtures, so my cookies appear to be a bit nuttier looking in texture. Also, when I took the dough out of the fridge (after 1 day), I had to really knead it with my hands to get it to roll out. Not sure if this is standard?

    1. deb

      Caroline — Yes, it should be very firm from the fridge. I just roll it slowly and it’s always just right (not too soft, not too hard) by the time I’ve gotten it to the right thinness. Cold cookie dough cuts better.

      Vaish — You’d have to use a nut-free butter roll-out cookie and maybe a chocolate ganache filling. Different recipe entirely, but not a bad one.

      Re, getting the skins off the hazelnuts — They don’t all come off for me ever. It’s not a big deal. Just toast them as deep as you can without letting them burn (this is great for flavor, as well as skin-peeling ease) and get off what you can.

      Francoise — It was; the recipe ran in Parade Magazine’s food insert, Dash. Here’s the link.

  73. Anna

    I made these last night and they are SO GOOD!

    I don’t have a food processor so I just chopped the nuts finely by hand, which was time-consuming but worth it as these cookies are great. I was worried my cookies would fall apart as they were pretty delicate when I rolled them out (had to use a flat spatula to transfer them to the cookie sheet) but they were fine. Mine spread a bit more than I thought they would and needed a little extra oven time, FWIW.

    I baked the mini-hearts left over from making the “lids” and sandwiched them together with nutella too…they look really cute mixed in with the big heart cookies.

    The cookies themselves are great and would be good even without the nutella filling.

  74. Saskia

    I’m not sure what I did wrong, but these turned out a little bland. The dough tasted heavenly, but the finished cookies barely had any hazelnut flavor. Could it be that I didn’t toast them long enough (I toasted for 12 minutes, but they weren’t particularly dark)? I think if I make them again I would add 1/4-1/2 cup more hazelnuts. Any ideas? I say this having LOVED every other recipe of yours I’ve ever made, Deb.

  75. JOANNE

    I made five-dozen of these today for Valentine’s Day.

    They were fabulous! Easy to roll and very tasty. Everyone at my workplace loved them!

  76. Paula

    Just made these and they are wonderful! Dough was a treat to work with – rolled out easily and cooked up to the perfect texture. Not too soft, nor too crispy. Have not filled them yet, but am planning to do half with Nutella and the other half with raspberry preserves. Going to make your French onion tart again soon. Love that recipe as well. Thanks.

  77. Wife To An Amazing Cook

    Made these today for our Valentine’s Day dessert and OMG – so good! I loved the flavor and texture, though ours were made with raspberry preserve instead of Nutella. A few things that I found helpful — I rolled the dough between pieces of parchment and then chilled the rolled dough briefly before cutting, then I covered the cut cookies with parchment again, flipped the parchment “packet” over, peeled away the top parchment and the stamped shapes were easily moved to the cookie sheet. And for those last few scraps that I didn’t want to roll out again, I turned them into a couple of thumbprint cookies…. yum!

  78. Kristin G

    I made these last week, and they were FABULOUS. My co-workers have already requested a repeat :) Thanks so much for the recipe and the nutella filling idea! Huge winner.

  79. Miche

    Hey Deb! I made these for my boyfriend (who loves all things hazelnut) on Valentine’s Day, and they came out spectacularly!

    Just in case anyone else has a tiny food processor like me, I wanted to add that I wound up grinding the hazelnuts alone in the food processor before combining them with the remaining dry ingredients using my pastry blender.

  80. Ryan

    My wife and I made these on Valentine’s day, and I have to say:
    1) Do not try to buy heart-shaped cookie cutters on Valentine’s Day. The Sur la Table by me was COMPLETELY sold out.
    2) These were without a doubt, the best tasting cookies I have ever made.

  81. Erin

    I made these yesterday to take to a friend recovering from surgery, and they are fabulous. They were relatively easy for a multi-step cookie, rolled perfectly, didn’t spread too much in the oven, and brought a bit of sunshine to my friend’s day. Thanks!

  82. Tonya

    I made these yesterday & they were wonderful! I also made homemade Nutella & used that as the filling. Such a delicious alternative to traditional linger cookies. The dough was yummy as well – I had a hard time not eating it all! Thanks for another great recipe.

  83. Morgan

    I’ve made these twice now, once around Valentine’s Day and then this weekend for my sister’s wedding. Both times they have been raved about and loved by all! I tripled the recipe for the wedding and it came out spectacularly. Thanks so much for a great recipe!

  84. Liz

    Hi there! I just made these last night for my cookie exchange today at work!!! They were DELICIOUS and very popular!!! So amazing. I will keep this recipe forever!

  85. Petra

    What exactly is “Linzer” about these cookies???
    Linzer cookies have four ingredients: flour, butter, sugar, almonds. And red currant jam. I am sure these are nice cookies, but definitely not “Linzer”.

    Petra from Linz (in Austria)

    1. deb

      These are a riff not on the linzer torte from Austria but on the linzer sable, a popular cookie here. It uses a similar nut-based dough, cut into cookie shapes and is filled with jam. This is a hazelnut-chocolate riff on it. For a classic linzer torte, I’ve got my favorite recipe over here.

  86. Allison

    I need make-ahead advice! I want to bring these to a Galentine’s Day party next week, but would like to get most of the prep done over this weekend. How far would you go in the recipe? Make the dough and freeze it for a few days? Or just keep it in the fridge?

  87. deb

    You can make the cookies and just fill them the night before or day-of so they don’t soften at all. The cookies should keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or more. Use the powdered sugar right before you fill them, or it will wear off/not look as pretty.

  88. Jess

    Just FYI, due to a bizarre hazelnut shortage at my local store (honestly, they had every other kind of nut imaginable and then a big sad empty hazelnut bin—maybe everyone else saw this recipe, too?) I wound up making these with cashews. I figured, well, I have no hazelnuts, but cashews are yummy, so why not? I followed the rest of the recipe, substituting cashews for hazelnuts…AND THEY WERE AMAZING. They predictably didn’t taste much like hazelnut, but they did taste like omg melt in your mouth nutty deliciousness.

  89. Sugarmama

    admittedly I don’t LOVE nutella. I know, crazy woman I am. but I wanted to make these today. instead I substituted in your ganache frosting recipe from the double chocolate birthday cake:
    1 pound (455 grams) fine-quality semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut
    1 cup (235 ml) heavy cream
    2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
    2 tablespoons (40 grams) light corn syrup
    1/2 stick (1/4 cup or 55 grams) unsalted butter
    I made them sandwich cookies (and a few window cookies) and threw them in the fridge. now I just need to remove myself from the house because I am eating WAY too many of them!!

  90. Jane

    Deb, Thank you so so much for this recipe. I made them today (Valentine’s Day) for the second year in a row. These cookies are officially a tradition! There are absolutely wonderful!

  91. Anna

    Maybe the best cookie I’ve ever made. But I’m wild for hazelnuts, so of course I loved them. My 4 year old wouldn’t stop stealing bits of dough. So a crowd pleaser all around! My dough was a little dry (I live in the high desert of the rocky mountains) so I added a bit of the egg whites to help the dough stick together and they turned out great.

  92. rose

    How do you have your cookies maintain their shape so well? I refrigerated the cookie cut outs before baking but still ended up with blobs… The hole even disappeared on some.

  93. Noemi

    I made these with almonds instead of hazelnuts, and they were so amazing. Perfect for cutout cookies, fantastic buttery, nutty taste. Then, tragedy struck. The entire plate of three dozen cookies fell from the top of the refrigerator and smashed to crumbs on the ground. I ate some of it, but then I was overwhelmed with the sadness of the loss of my hard work (how could I hand out crumbs and broken cookie bits for Christmas gifts?) and I wept. These cookies were so delicious and delicate– but too delicate for this world. RIP delicious, delicious cookies. I will make these again as soon as I get over the heartbreak.

  94. Cate

    These are absolutely delicious and a big hit! I have also made them and half dipped in chocolate, although I prefer the nutella. From memory the dough is hard to work with unless chilled – don’t skip that step.

  95. Sarah

    I’ve made these for V-day three years in a row. They are so good! I always do half with Nutella in the middle and half with raspberry jam in the middle. Both versions are winners!

  96. Crystine

    These look amazing and I’m trying to make them for Valentine’s Day. But the dough turned out very sticky and difficult to work with even after refrigerating for 2+ hours. Any ideas? Thanks!

  97. Arielle

    Just made these and had a LOT of trouble rolling out the dough. It did not stay together at all, totally crumbly. I had to forgo punching out the centers of the lids because they were falling apart. Instead I made them into regular sandwich cookies. Thoughts on what went wrong? Maybe I should have used weight instead of volume to measure? I also did a pretty lazy job skinning the hazelnuts, a lot of the skins remained on. Could that have affected things?

    Also, I took them out at 9 minutes, they were slightly browned but only a bit, and I wish I had left the in longer. They were not crispy.

    1. deb

      Did the nuts seem to get very finely chopped? If not, this could be something making the dough more difficult. Was it still impossible to roll without crumbling as the dough warmed up?

      1. Arielle

        Yes, the nuts seemed pretty finely chopped. And no, it didn’t get easier to work with as it warmed up. Towards the end I actually sprinkled some water on it to get it to be more cohesive, which sort of worked. Wondering if using weight instead of volume would have solved it.

        I will say, the cookies were better today than when I first made them — they aged well. I still think a little more time in the oven, and maybe rolling them even thinner than I did, would have helped, as they are a little heavy now and I think they would be particularly good if they were thinner and crisper.

        They are also very good with coffee!

  98. Abby

    I love,love,love these! So tasty and remind me of my childhood. :) I did find it easier to roll out the dough between sheets of plastic wrap so I didn’t have to keep adding flour. I also chilled it between rolling and cutting out the shapes because it just made it easier to work with. Next time I will skip the window in the top cookie because the stars I did didn’t really hold up well in the bake and I think I’d like these better as smaller sandwich cookies.

  99. Jane

    These look fabulous! I made the dough yesterday but didn’t end up baking the cookies. How long can I keep the dough in the fridge? Should I freeze it if I am hoping to bake these in 5 days? Thank you!

  100. Preeya

    These cookies are always a huge hit. Whenever I bake them, my coworkers say they’re the best cookies I’ve ever made. I’ve made them just like the recipe, but this week I made them nut-free due to my daughter’s treenut allergy. I substituted a 4oz bar of semisweet chocolate for the hazelnuts and Hershey’s chocolate spread for the Nutella. Otherwise I followed the recipe (e.g. I added the chopped chocolate to the food processor). Still a huge success and a nice alternative for those with nut allergies.

  101. Leti

    I made these last night and due to missing ingredients made a few changes. I only had almonds and not a full cup so finished off the cup with salted pretzel pieces. I lowered the salt too. The dough was nice and maybe I had to be a bit careful rolling it out but nothing tricky and I am no expert. I filled some with raspberry jelly ( these are heart shaped cookies) and then lacking Nutella I melted some Trader Joe chocolate chips with evaporated milk, added some butter and whipped it to a frosting like consistency. The cookies are great and I will make again with a full cup of nuts! Apologies to SK for the changes but without Deb and this wonderful site I would honestly never attempt most of my adventures in the kitchen. Thank you!

  102. Lisa

    Definitely worth the effort. These are outstanding.

    I put my dough in the refrigerator over night. The next morning it was hard as a rock. I guess my refrigerator is really cold? Anyway I had to let the dough sit out at room temperature for over an hour before I could even begin to roll it out. Even then the dough was dry and cracking somewhat. I kept at it because the dough tasted so good raw I knew the cookies would be delicious. In the end my husband said they were the best cookies I ever made and they are certainly fancy enough to make a good impression at the Holiday Cookie party next week.

  103. Amy Audrey

    These were so incredibly good. I used Bob Red Mill ground hazelnuts and toasted that for a few minutes before adding to dry ingredients. That way I didn’t need to break out the food processor. I also loved how well they keep; linzer cookies with jam go soft after a day but the Nutella held up for 3!

  104. Emma

    These were so good that I rerolled several times and then finally decided to bake off the random scraps I had left so that I could scoop nutella with them like an animal. Five stars.

  105. Stacy

    This is really random but these cookie mold sets cannot ship to CA on Amazon (literally just put 40+ different ones in my cart and none would ship to Amazon). I looked on Williams Sonoma and Sur La Tab for something similar but found nothing.. any ideas? Seriously I have no idea why CA regulates what type of cookie cutters we can buy – so weird!

  106. Diana

    Just made these for Valentine’s Day. Delicious! I did not mess with skinning the hazelnuts, and didn’t notice any skin in the final result. I made half with Nutella and half with raspberry jam and though both were great and I had no complaints from anyone, I preferred the zip of the raspberry jam against the richness of the cookies (my toddler, however, preferred the Nutella and was heartbroken that we made half with jam, so, know your audience). I also made some with the whole cutting-the-heart-out thing and some I just made as cookie sandwiches with little cookie hearts, and if I do it again I think I’ll just make the little sandwiches, showered with powdered sugar. Less fussy (which means the kiddos will be able to participate more fully and not have me anxiously hovering over them when we cut out the shapes) and just as tasty and cute!

  107. Jackie

    Have these baking now, used a 2 inch heart shaped cutter and will be finishing them with a drizzle of dark chocolate as I abhor Nutella (blasphemy I know). I think the dark chocolate will be a nice balance to the sweetness of the cookie. Thanks for what looks to be another winner 😊.

  108. Jennifer

    Love your recipes! Was hoping you had a solution other than Nutella for this cookie(?) I am trying to stay away from palm oil which seems to be in everything. My kids love Nutella and I would love to let them eat a good hazelnut chocolate spread if you can recommend how to make.

  109. Linda in Indiana

    I would love it if there was a homemade filling for these beauties instead of Nutella, which is mostly sugar and palm oil. I won’t touch the stuff. According to Wikipedia:

    “The main ingredients of Nutella are sugar and palm oil (greater than 50%). It also contains hazelnut at 13%, cocoa solids, and skimmed milk…. The traditional Piedmont recipe, gianduja, was a mixture containing approximately 71.5% hazelnut paste and 19.5% chocolate. It was developed in Piedmont, Italy, due to a lack of cocoa beans after post-war rationing reduced availability of the raw material.”

  110. Jill anderson

    Just made these. I love anything chocolate vazelnut. They are spectacular! Lots of hazelnut flavour in the cookie which is slightly crispy and a bit chewy I used Kraft chocolate hazelnut as ivoreferascivorrfer it over Nutella. Will make these again for sure!!

  111. Nancy R

    Made these for the first time this week, as part of our Christmas cookie tray. We happened to have some extra homemade caramel sauce, and tried that with half the cookies instead of the Nutella. Best decision! Seriously, try these with a caramel filling, you won’t be sorry!
    Also, the cookie is perfect, just the best texture. :-)