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Apricot Linzer Cookies

Apricot Linzer Cookies
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Apricot Linzer Cookies

Prep: 45 minutes plus chilling & cooling
Bake: 10 minutes per batch • Serves: 24

1-1/2 cups chopped hazelnuts
1/2cup packed brown sugar
2-1/2cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2teaspoon salt
1 cup Land O’ Lakes unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2cup apricot preserves
Powdered sugar for dusting

1.In large skillet, toast hazelnuts over medium heat 7 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally; transfer to plate to cool. In bowl of food processor with knife blade attached, process 1/4 cup brown sugar and hazelnuts until very finely ground.

2.In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In separate medium bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar 3 minutes or until fluffy, scraping bowl occasionally with rubber spatula. Add hazelnut mixture and beat until well combined; scrape bowl. Add egg, zest and vanilla; beat 1 minute. Scrape bowl and reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.

3.With floured hands, form dough into 2 equal balls; flatten each into 5-inch disk. Wrap disks with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

4.Preheat oven to 350°; line baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Place 1 dough disk between 2 sheets waxed paper; with rolling pin, roll dough disk into 11-inch round (dough should be about 1/8-inch thick). Remove top piece of waxed paper; with 2-1/2-inch round cutter, cut out cookies. With offset spatula, transfer cookies to prepared baking sheet in single layer about 1 inch apart. With 1-inch cutter, cut out center from half the cookies; reserve center cutouts. Gather dough scraps with center cutouts; roll out dough scraps and repeat.

5.Bake cookies 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. With spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with second dough disk to make additional cookies.

6.With fine-mesh strainer, dust cookies with center cutouts with powdered sugar. With knife, spread about 1 teaspoon preserves on bottom side of each solid cookie; place cookies with center cutouts, bottom side down, over preserves to make cookie sandwiches. Store cookies in airtight container with parchment or waxed paper between layers up to 5 days.

Approximate nutritional values per serving (1 cookie):
197 Calories, 12g Fat (5g Saturated), 28mg Cholesterol,
76mg Sodium, 20g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 3g Protein

Chef Tip:
If dough becomes sticky, rewrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 10 minutes.

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