These chocolate hazelnut thumbprint cookies are perfect for holiday cookie boxes. It’s a little crunchy, a little chewy, and packed with just enough chocolate!
As a child, I made Santa cookies every year. I baked the only cookies I knew how to make: soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies.
Come Christmas Eve, my younger brother and I would camp out in front of the fireplace in hopes to get a glimpse of Santa. Obviously, we failed every year.
The cookies would be eaten with no sign of the man in red, asides from the gifts he would leave behind.
I should have known better. Those soft, chewy cookies were to blame. I should have made cookies with a crunch. If I had made these chocolate hazelnut thumbprint cookies, I might have met Santa.
Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies
Perhaps these cookies would be more appropriately named thumbprint crunch cookies.
The turbinado sugar and roughly ground hazelnuts create an awesome bite on the outside of the cookie. The crunchy exterior is balanced with the sweet and silky chocolate ganache center.
These cookies start off like any other thumbprint cookie. However, after rolling, the balls of dough get a little bath in a foamy egg white mixture and then are coated in the crunchy hazelnuts.
Once the cookies have completely cooled, they’re filled with chocolate. I used a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, but you can also simply spoon the ganache into the cookie cavities.
And if you’ve had enough chocolate this holiday season, go ahead and swap in your favorite jam instead.
These new thumbprints are little more upscale. They’re a little more grown up. Plus, the combination of chocolate and hazelnut is a sure-fire winner.
Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprints
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temp
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup toasted hazelnuts skinned, roughly ground
- 3 Tablespoon turbinado sugar
- 1 cup dark chocolate finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Beat butter and salt until smooth. Add sugar and mix until incorporated. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add flour and stir until dough comes together.*
- Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Toss together roughly ground hazelnuts and turbinado sugar. Set aside. Whisk egg white until foamy and set aside.
- Scoop tablespoons of the chilled cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Dip cookie ball into egg whites and then coat in hazelnut-sugar mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing cookie balls about 2-inches apart. Indent the center of the cookie ball with your thumb or the bottom of a wooden spoon.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and indent the center of the cookie ball once again. Continue to bake for another 6-8 minutes until the edges of the cookie are golden brown and set.
- Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
- To make chocolate filling: Gently melt chocolate over a double boiler. Once chocolate has melted, remove from heat. Add butter and stir until butter has melted. Allow to chocolate to cool and slightly thicken. Transfer chocolate filling to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. When cookies have completely cooled, pipe chocolate filling into the cookie cavities. Enjoy immediately, or allow chocolate to set up.
Disclosure: I received free product from Imperial Sugar, Dixie Crystals and Bob’s Red Mill as part of The Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange. As always, all opinions and recipe are my own.
Reader Questions and Reviews
i love the idea of rolling the thumbprints in hazelnuts and raw sugar! whenever i don’t put nuts in a dessert, someone in my family inevitably tells me that nuts would make it even better, so these sound perfect (:
These are a great sweet to give to friends and neighbors! Im excited!
I’ve always been partial to thumbprint cookies and yours look fantastic!
These are the prettiest thumbprint cookies I have ever seen!
What a fun twist on a classic. They’re pretty too.
What adorable cookies! You really can’t go wrong with chocolate + hazelnut. Love the cute little dollops of chocolate filling!
These cookies sound fabulous! I mean, hello?? Chocolate and hazelnut= delicious! And what an amazing giveaway! :) Fingers crossed I win!
What a fun giveaway! And these cookies look amazing!
These thumbprints are perfect! and Choc-hazelnut…more perfect.
These are so pretty! They’re almost too beautiful to eat! :)