Hazelnut Saffron Linzer Cookies with Passion Fruit Gelee

October 30, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by Kat Suletzki
  • Makes 36 cookies
Author Notes

A unique and delicious combination of flavors with hazelnuts, saffron, and passion fruit jam dressing up a traditional linzer cookie. Other jams would also work (mango is great in these), but I particularly like the tang of the passion fruit along with the sweetness of the cookie. —Kat Suletzki

Test Kitchen Notes

This cookie includes a variety of ingredients that don't seem to normally appear together. I blitzed hazelnuts in a food processor to get the hazelnut meal, and it lends a really pleasant holiday component to the cookies. The saffron imparts a really pretty color to the cookie, and is its surprising and interesting main note. I could not find passionfruit jam, but did find apricot hibiscus jam in hopes that tropical flavors would be similar. The baking time was surprisingly accurate—I was fearful of underbaked or over baked cookies, but they came out just right. —Emily Weinberger

What You'll Need
  • 1 very large pinch saffron threads
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut meal / flour (ground hazelnuts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon hazelnut extract (substitute vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 cup passion fruit jam or curd
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  1. In a tiny bowl, pour 2 tablespoons of boiling water over the saffron and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, hazelnut meal, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, and egg until light and fluffy. Add in hazelnut extract and saffron (along with the steeping water). Finally, mix in the dry ingredients until smooth and well combined. Chill in refrigerator 2 to 3 hours or until firm enough to be rolled.
  4. Preheat oven to 400° F. Prepare cookie sheets with Silpat or parchment paper.
  5. Roll out half of the dough on a well floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Be careful to get the surface even, otherwise you will have oddly-browned cookies. Also, do not roll the dough too thin, otherwise you will have hard cookies when they come out of the oven. Cut out an equal number of circle cookies and circle cookies with a flower or heart or snowflake cut out of the middle. Repeat this with other half of the dough. Transfer cookies to the prepared sheets.
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown at the edges. Cool completely on wire rack.
  7. Once completely cooled, spoon some passion fruit on the whole cookies and sandwich with the decorated cookie. Repeat until all cookies are used. Using a small sieve or shaker, dust with confectioners' sugar.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • QueenSashy
  • Bevi
  • Kat Suletzki
    Kat Suletzki
  • Nyasha

6 Reviews

Nyasha December 17, 2019
Made these last year for my christmas cookie boxes & they were a smash hit. The aroma in the kitchen while they are baking is enough to make this recipe a permanent component of my annual home made gift assortment! Just delectable.
QueenSashy November 21, 2015
Kat, congrats on the CP, they are such beauties! I would love to make them for holidays, do you mind sharing which passion fruit you used?
Kat S. November 21, 2015
Thanks! And yours look amazing as well. Happy to share, but the specific Passion Fruit Gelee that I used is going to be hard to find. I am from Germany (though I live in the States) and buy a lot of my things when I am back in Munich. I specifically used this: from Leysieffer. That said, in the Food52 Shop, there is a Passion Fruit Curd ( that would also work nicely.
QueenSashy November 21, 2015
Thank you Kat! Need to make sure that jam is firm enough to hold the cookies - I've had quite a few baking glitches with jams that were on the runny side. Appreciate if anyone has a recommendation...
Kat S. November 21, 2015
Other ones (that aren't passion fruit, but I know will work because I have used them in other linzer cookies are: from Bonne Maman, the Golden Plum Mirabelle (a little chunky, but works if you blitz it in a food processor) and from Stonewall Kitchen, the Tropical Fruit Jam and the Mango Peach Jam
Bevi October 31, 2015
Wow! Beautiful!