1/2 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour; more for rolling
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
14 tbsps. chilled unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 tbs. cold water
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
Confectioner's sugar for dusting
In a food processor, grind the almonds and hazelnuts with 1/2 cup of the flour until finely textured but not powdered. Add remaining flour, granulated sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Pulse to combine. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add to the flour mixture; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Don't overprocess.
Transfer to a large bowl. Whisk the egg and wather; sprinkle over the flour mixture and toss gently to combine. The dough should hold together when pinched. (If it seems dry, sprinkle on a bit more water.)
Gather the dough into two balls and knead briefly just to blend. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, 2 to 3 hours. I know, my dough balls aren't even, guess I just wasn't paying attention but at the end of the day, it really didn't matter.
Preheat oven to 325F degrees.
Line several cookies sheets with parchment paper. Generously flour a work surface. Roll one ball of the dough 3/16 inch thick. (Keep the rest in the refrigerator, and if the dough warms up to the point of being sticky while you're working with it, return it to the refrigerator.) Cut out as many 2 1/2 inch rounds as possible., rerolling the scraps to make more rounds. Arrange on the cookie sheets about 3/4 inch apart. Cut 1 1/4 inch holes (or other shapes) in the center of half the rounds. Bake until the edges are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool on the sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. (I used my Wilton Linzer cookie cutter).
To assemble, spread a heaping 1/2 tsp preserves on the underside of the whole cookie rounds.
Dust confectioner's sugar over the perforated cookies and then put them on top of the whole cookies, bottom sides against the preserves.
I am SO thrilled with these cookies. I made the dough on Saturday thinking I was going to bake them on Sunday but I was too busy doing other Christmasy things so I waited after dinner tonight. It took me no more than two hours to bake and assemble the cookies. I have never made these before and I can definitely say that these will definitely be a favorite in years to come. The combination of all the spices and nuts are amazing. You can also smell the lovely aroma as your rolling out the dough! The hint of lemon zest is an added touch and the raspberry is the icing on the cake. A must try!!
You can bet I savored every moment!
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