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.
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 then 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
Yield: makes about 2 dozen
- 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
- 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.
*If dough seems crumbly, knead with your hands until soft and pliable.
INSPIRED FROM MARTHA STEWART'S COOKIES (HAZELNUT JAM COOKIES)
Disclosure: I received free product from Imperial Sugar, Dixie Crystals and Bob’s Red Mill as part of The Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange. I was not compensated for this post. As always, all opinions and recipe are my own.
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!
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 |
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!