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 Thumbprint Cookies
Yield: makes about 2 dozen
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, separated
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, skinned and roughly ground
- 3 Tbsp turbinado sugar
- 1 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp 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.
*Note: If dough seems crumbly, knead with your hands until soft and pliable.
inspired from Martha Stewart's Cookies (Hazelnut Jam Cookies)
The Little Epicurean
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!
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.
We’re giving away The Sweetest Cookie Prize Pack, and it is worth $690! See the Rafflecopter below to enter to win this amazing set of cookie baking goodies. The prize pack includes:
- One KitchenAid 5-Qt. Artisan Design Series Stand Mixer with Glass Bowl in Sugar Pearl Silver // $315 value
- One $50 Bob’s Red Mill gift card and one exclusive set of Bob’s Red Mill products: One 5-lb. bag Organic All Purpose Flour, one 5-lb. bag Organic Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, one 40-oz. bag Almond Meal, one 28-oz. bag Sparkling Sugar, one 28-oz. bag Cane Sugar // $95 value
- Two 4-lb. bags of Imperial Sugar/Dixie Crystals granulated sugar, one My First Cookbook and a silicone baking mat // $50 value
- Coupons for $40 worth of Cabot Creamery products, including butter and yogurt // $40 value
- One OXO Good Grips 5-Quart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl // $35 value
- One Jenaluca Stainless Steel Medium Cookie Scoop // $33 value
- One 2-piece Calphalon Nonstick Baking Sheet Set // $30 value
- One 10” x 15” Stainless Steel Metal Cooling Rack // $25 value
- One 7-piece OXO Good Grips Multi-colored Nesting Measuring Beaker Set // $20 value
- One GIR: Get It Right Ultimate Spatula in Gray // $19 value
- One 5-piece R & M Snowflake Cookie Cutter Set // $10 value
- One OXO Good Grips 11” Balloon Whisk // $10 value
- One OXO Good Grips Silicone Cookie Spatula // $8 value
- Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter widget below. Everyone gets a free entry! You can enter multiple times, up to 65 total entries by following the giveaway sponsors on social media. (If you’ve followed in the past, that counts! Just enter the information as prompted.) All entries will be verified. No purchase is necessary to win.
- The giveaway is open until Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. CST. One winner will be chosen at random and e-mailed within 48 hours. Winners must claim prize within 48 hours of initial contact. The retail value of the prize is $690. Prizes listed above are the only ones available.
- Open to U.S. residents with a valid shipping address only. Must be 18 years of age as of December 5, 2015.
- To read all giveaway terms and conditions, visit the giveaway terms and conditions page or click the option in the Rafflecopter below to review them.