These beautiful Hazelnut Linzer Cookies are sure to impress the lucky people you share them with. Along with being gluten free and dairy free, they are completely sugar free and sweetened only with stevia. These cookies really showcase the natural sweet nuttiness of hazelnuts and the perfect something special for your someone special.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved Linzer Cookies. Their crumbly, buttery dough. Their sweet jam centers. The powdered sugar delicately sprinkled on top like snow if snow wasn’t actually made of ice. Sigh. For me, they evoke the image of cozy cafes and bakeries fragrant with warm cookies.
But could I still indulge in my dream cookie after giving up gluten, dairy, and sugar? That was the question.
And the answer is a resounding YES!
This cookie recipe has been years in the making, and there have been numerous attempts with altering variations of flours, shortenings, sugar substitutes and spices. Finally, though, I have my dream cookie. And my daughter loves them, too! She’s the bluntest taste tester ever, so if she approves, I know they’re really good. Or, in her words – super duper good.
Hazelnuts have such a natural sweetness that only a small amount of stevia is needed to give a touch of sweetness. In addition, the fruit sweetened raspberry jam also adds sweetness. So, this recipe was actually a pretty easy one to make without sugar. Well, not easy exactly. But it was a good candidate for a sugar free makeover.
Hazelnuts are one of my favorite nuts, and I’m sure that anyone who has indulged in chocolate hazelnut creams will sing the praises of hazelnuts with me. But they don’t often get to take the lead without chocolate along for the ride. Which is a shame, because they have such a beautiful nuttiness, and they pair well with so many other flavors other than chocolate, like raspberry jam, for example.
This recipe is slightly more involved simply because it requires refrigerating the dough before cutting out the cookies. I highly recommend rolling out the dough before refrigerating. It makes life so much easier.
And about that snow dusting on top? I honestly don’t think it’s necessary. These cookies are pretty enough without it. Simple is good. These cookies might be replicas of the original sugary Linzer Cookies, but at this point, they’re also really their own thing and they stand on their own. Without sugar.
Why You’ll LOVE this Recipe:
- Gluten Free
- Completely Sugar Free
- Dairy Free
- Beautiful cookies
- High in fiber and protein
Ingredients for Hazelnut Linzer Cookies:
- Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
- large eggs
- egg yolk
- liquid stevia
- Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour
- kosher salt
- hazelnut flour
- raspberry jam, fruit sweetened
Notes on Ingredients:
Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks – This shortening gives the perfect neutral flavor and the right consistency for these cookies. Those are important attributes, because these cookies need to have a base that isn’t too greasy and that won’t overpower the flavor of the hazelnuts.
Large eggs + egg yolk - This is my winning combination for providing the right structure for cookies made without any sugar.
Liquid stevia – Liquid stevia is less bitter than powdered stevia. It works wonders.
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour – I’m all for simplicity and efficiency, and this blend works consistently well in almost everything I bake.
Kosher salt – Baked goods almost always need salt. It brings out all of the other flavors in the cookies.
Hazelnut flour – I like Bob’s Red Mill brand. Honestly, I haven’t seen many other brands. I know it’s very expensive, but this recipe only uses 1 cup. So you’ll probably get about 3 batches out of one bag. Like I said before, these are special cookies for special people.
Raspberry jam, fruit sweetened – There are lots of good brands of jams sweetened only with fruit. Make sure that it is only sweetened with fruit.
How to Make Hazelnut Linzer Cookies From Scratch
Make the Dough
You need a stand mixer or a hand mixer for making this dough, because you need the mechanical action to whip air into the shortening. It’s important for the structure of the cookie, and I’m not sure that you’ll get the same results making it by hand – unless you’re super, super strong. In which case, you do you.
But for the rest of us, use a stand mixer. Beat the shortening until it’s fluffy. Add the eggs and the egg yolk in along with the stevia, and beat until mostly combined. It won’t be perfectly combined, but leave the mixer on a little bit longer just to get the eggs to incorporate with the shortening a little.
Add the flour and the salt. Mix on low until well combined. Then, add the hazelnut flour, and again, mix until well combined.
Prepare the Dough for Cutting Out
Get 4 large rectangles (baking sheet sized) of parchment paper ready.
Divide the cookie dough into two parts. Place one part on one piece of parchment paper and cover it with a second piece of parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough between the parchment paper until the dough is thin. Not papery thin, just about 1-2 centimeters. Then, place the dough keeping it sandwiched between the parchment paper sheets into the refrigerator.
Repeat the same process of rolling out the cookie dough with the second part of dough.
Let your rolled out cookie dough disks chill in the refrigerator for about an hour. (If you want to save yourself some time and make the dough ahead of time, you can get it into the fridge one day ahead and then roll out and bake the cookies the following day.)
Cut and Bake
When you’re ready to take your dough out of the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350 F.
Find your cookie cutters. You need one medium sized heart cutter and one small sized heart cutter.
Take one disk of dough out at a time. Place it on a smooth surface. Peel off the top layer of parchment paper. Using a medium sized heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many hearts as you can from the disk of dough. Don’t worry if the hearts don’t pop out neatly with the cutter, just keep cutting the hearts. When you’re finished, you can use a plastic or rubber turner (the thing you use to flip pancakes) to gently lift the cookies off and place them on the baking sheet.
Use the small heart cutter to cut out a small heart in half of the heart cookies on the baking sheet.
Repeat all of the cutting out instructions for the second disk of dough. While you’re working with the second disk of dough, it’s a good idea to put the baking sheet that already has cut-out cookies on it into the fridge if you can fit it in. If not, no big deal. But keeping this dough chilled as much as possible helps to keep the cookies neat and tidy and firm.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Assemble the Cookies
To assemble the cookies, use a regular knife to spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on the cookies without the smaller heart cut-outs. Don’t put too much, just a thin layer is perfect. Otherwise, it will ooze and the top cookie will slide all over the place.
Then, place one of the cookies with the smaller heart cut-out on top to make a heart-shaped jam cookie sandwich.
These cookies don’t last long around my house, but for storing, I place them in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature.
I hope that you will take the opportunity to treat yourself to these beautiful and delicious cookies. Please let me know how these cookies turn out for you in the comments below. Enjoy!
More Sugar Free & Gluten Free Cookies:
- Black and White Cookies
- Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Sugar Free Alfajores Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookies
Hazelnut Linzer Cookies – Sugar Free, Gluten Free
- In a stand mixer, beat the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks until fluffy.
- Add the eggs, egg yolk, and liquid stevia. Mix until well combined.
- Add the flour and salt. Mix until combined.
- Add the hazelnut flour. Mix until well combined.
- Divide the dough into two parts. Roll out each part between two sheets of parchment paper. Keep the rolled out dough between the parchment sheets and place them in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- When you’re ready to take the dough out of the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place one disk of refrigerated dough on a cutting board. Remove the top layer of parchment paper. Cut out heart shapes and place them on a baking sheet. Use a small heart-shaped cutter to cut small hearts out of HALF of the heart shapes.
- Repeat with the other disk of refrigerated dough.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- Assemble the cookies by spreading raspberry jam on one cookie without any cut-out. Then make a sandwich by placing a cookie with a small heart cut-out on top.