Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

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! 

Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

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

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.

Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

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.

Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

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 Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprints

Yield: makes about 2 dozen

Author Maryanne Cabrera


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, skinned, roughly ground
  • 3 Tablespoon turbinado sugar

Chocolate Filling:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. 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.*

  2. Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

  4. Toss together roughly ground hazelnuts and turbinado sugar. Set aside. Whisk egg white until foamy and set aside.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

  8. 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.

Recipe Notes

*If dough seems crumbly, knead with your hands until soft and pliable.


Disclosure: I received free product from Imperial SugarDixie Crystals and Bob’s Red Mill as part of The Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange. As always, all opinions and recipe are my own.

Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

The Sweetest Season Cookie Recipes:

To make sure you have the perfect cookies to share with loved ones (or keep out for Santa) this holiday season, I’ve teamed up with a whole bunch of bloggers to share our favorite cookie recipes.

PLUS… we’ve put together one CRAZY giveaway package so you’ll be be able to make dozens and dozens of cookies with ease!


row one:

Wit Wisdom Food | Beth Cakes | Alyssa and Carla | The Rustic Willow | Chez Catey Lou | Joybilee Farm | Arousing Appetites | The Food in My Beard | Lizzy is Dizzy | Lemon Sugar

row two

 The Speckled Palate | The Gift of Gab | think fruitful | Majorly Delicious | Sugar Dish Me | An Oregon Cottage | A Savory Feast | The Foodie Patootie | Twin Stripe | Hidden Fruits and Veggies

row three:

Appeasing a Food Geek | DC Girl in Pearls | Bessie Bakes | Brunch with Joy | Cooking With Libby | 2 Cookin Mamas | Lou Lou Biscuit | Me and My Pink Mixer | Wetherills Say I Do | The Little Epicurean |

row four:

The Emotional Baker | Cake ‘n Knife | Glisten and Grace | Meredith Noelle | The Secret Ingredient [is love] | SammaSpot | Hey There Sunshine | Natasha Red Blog | Flavors & Sabores | Macheesmo

row five:

Beer Girl Cooks | My California Roots | Butchers Niche | The Skinny Pot | Sustaining the Powers | Feast + West | Not Your Average Southern Belle | Vanilla And Bean | Our Life Inspired | That Square Plate

Be sure to check out our blogs to see all of our cookie recipes throughout the week! We’re using the hashtag #sweetestseasoncookies on social media this week.

And now, on to the BIG giveaway…

A whopping 51 bloggers teamed up to bring you an awesome cookie-centric giveaway! We picked out a stand mixer and other goodies to make baking this season go smoothly.

And, a big thank you goes out to the generous sponsors who helped with The Sweetest Season by organizing, as well as providing products to the participating bloggers and donating some incredible prizes for our giveaway!

Be sure to check out Imperial Sugar, Dixie Crystals, Bob’s Red Mill, Cabot Creamery and The Crumby Cupcake for lots of great recipe ideas. And check out Garnishing Co., who designed our graphics.

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Heather (Delicious Not Gorgeous)

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 (:

Heather | Heather Likes Food

These are a great sweet to give to friends and neighbors! Im excited!

Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious

I’ve always been partial to thumbprint cookies and yours look fantastic!

Jenny | Honey and Birch

These are the prettiest thumbprint cookies I have ever seen!

cathy - Noble Pig

What a fun twist on a classic. They’re pretty too.

June @ How to Philosophize with Cake

What adorable cookies! You really can’t go wrong with chocolate + hazelnut. Love the cute little dollops of chocolate filling!

Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama

These cookies sound fabulous! I mean, hello?? Chocolate and hazelnut= delicious! And what an amazing giveaway! :) Fingers crossed I win!

Michelle | A Latte Food

What a fun giveaway! And these cookies look amazing!

Michelle @ The Complete Savorist

These thumbprints are perfect! and Choc-hazelnut…more perfect.


These are so pretty! They’re almost too beautiful to eat! :)

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