12 Days of Holiday Treats: Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

Tray of chocolate hazelnut thumbprint cookies.Welcome to Day 4 of

The Twelve Days of Holiday Treats!

Once again, this year, from December 1st-12th I’ll post a new holiday treat recipe every day – inspiration for your holiday entertaining!

The recipes I’m sharing are small-er batch (perfect for this year when many of us will still be attending/ hosting smaller gatherings) – each recipe makes 1-dozen or a few more smaller-sized treats that are simple to prepare and that use everyday ingredients and equipment so hopefully you’ll be able to whip up any of these on a whim. Check out the treats from 2019 and 2020 at the bottom of this post too for more inspiration!

Today’s recipe is inspired by my love of Jam Drops (aka thumbprints) and a recent recipe we made from Dorie’s Cookies (Coco-Almond Thumbprints). I love a good thumprint – jam drops are one of my favourite easy cookie recipes – but Dorie’s recipe made me think about incorporating nuts somehow. Initially I thought about almonds but then settled on hazelnuts as I had a lovely bag of hazelnut meal in my pantry needing using up!  I also considered plain cookies with a chocolate filling – I loved the idea of the chocolate filling but wanted something a bit “more” than just a simple sugar cookie as the base.

Close up of chocolate hazelnut thumbprint cookies.And what better combination than chocolate and hazelnut? Right?

These cookies come together really quickly and easily and use a combination of all-purpose flour and hazelnut meal. Hazelnut meal is simple ground hazelnuts (skins on) and I use the version made by Nuts.com (< affiliate link but it’s the one I use!) and it brings a lovely depth to the flavour of these cookies, not to mention a bit of texture and visual appeal from the flecks of skin you can see in the cookie.

One chocolate hazelnut thumbprint cookie.

Yield: 12

Chocolate hazelnut thumbprint cookies

One chocolate hazelnut thumbprint cookie.

Thumbprint cookies with a chocolate-hazelnut twist!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


for the cookies:

  • 57g (1/2 stick/ 4 tablespoons) salted butter, room temperature
  • 50g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 75g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 50g (1/2 cup) hazelnut flour (ground hazelnuts)

for the filling:

  • 100g (1/2 cup) chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons crushed hazelnuts (skinned - see note)


Make the cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the butter using electric hand beaters on high speed until it's light and fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar and continue to beat on high speed until the mixture is creamy and pale.
  4. Add the vanilla and egg yolk and mix on low speed until just combined.
  5. Add the flour and hazelnut flour and continue to mix on low speed until the flour is just mixed in.
  6. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each portion into a round ball. If the dough feels a little dry or like it's not rolling smoothly, hold the dough in your hand for a few seconds until it starts to warm up, then roll it immediately.
  7. Place each ball on the baking tray and use your thumb to make a deep indentation in the top of each cookie.
  8. Bake for 17-20 minutes until the cookies are lightly golden.
  9. Remove from the oven and place on wire cooling rack until the cookies are at room temperature.

Fill the cookies

  1. Melt the chocolate in a metal or ceramic bowl set over a pot of simmering water or at low power in the microwave (50%) in bursts of 30 seconds until melted.
  2. Fill the indentations with the melted chocolate and top with a sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts..
  3. Place the filled cookies on a parchment-lined baking tray and continue until all cookies are filled.
  4. Place tray in fridge for about 30 minutes until the chocolate is set.


Cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for a few
days. Make sure to layer parchment paper in between the cookie layers
so they don't stick together.

To skin hazelnuts for the topping:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300˚F (150˚C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Spread hazelnuts on the prepared baking tray. Roast the hazelnuts for 15 minutes. You’ll see the skins starting to come away from the nuts
  3. Remove the hazelnuts from the oven and immediately place them on a clean tea towel. Let them sit for a few minutes to cool slightly, then wrap them up tightly and rub a hand back and forth against the tea towel to loosen the skins. You might have to do this a few times before most of the
    skins have detached themselves, so keep peeking inside the tea towel to check. It’s okay if some of the skins remain as long as you have removed most of them.

did you make this recipe?

please leave a comment or review on the blog or share a photo and tag me on Instagram @eatlivtravwrite !

These cookies would have been perfectly fine just with a dollop of melted chocolate in the centre but I had some extra hazelnuts in my pantry that needed using up so I removed their skins and chopped them up to sprinkle on top. These cookies are what you’d call “substantial” (as in, they feel a bit healthy – the nuts? – and fill you up) but are still pretty for a cookie exchange.

Chocolate hazelnut thumbprint cookies on a baking tray.

Not a traditional holiday favour combination but  I think it works – don’t you?


Baking up a storm? Check out Nuts.com for all your baking and cooking needs!

Buy bulk nuts, snack mixes, dried fruits, candies &amp; sweets by the pound at Nuts.com!

(this is an affiliate link, but I genuinely use Nuts.com products and love them. Highly recommended if you are in the US/ Canada where they currently ship)

Check out 2021’s 12 Days of Holiday Treats:

Day 1: Speculoos financiers

Day 2: Chocolate Dipped Orange Sugar Cookies

Day 3: Madeleines à la Clémentine

Day 4: Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

Day 5: Sunbutter and Jam Chocolate Cups

Day 6: Hot Chocolate and Marshmallow Cookies

Day 7: Linzer Cookies

Day 8: Chocolate-Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies

Day 9: Choc-Mint Thumbprint Cookies

Day 10: Pailles (Puff Pastry and Jam Cookies)

Day 11: Strawberry Santa Hats

Day 12: Mulled Wine Jam


Check out 2020’s 12 Days of Holiday Treats:

Day 1: Rice Krispie Wreaths

Day 2: Cranberry Cheesecake Bars

Day 3: Peppermint Bark

Day 4: Orangettes

Day 5: Rocky Road Chocolate Crackle Slice

Day 6: Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

Day 7: Orange Pim’s

Day 8: Mendiants

Day 9: Chewy Chocolate Mint Crackle Cookies

Day 10: Apricot, Coconut and Cranberry “truffles”

Day 11: Chocolate, Cherry and Almond Brownies

Day 12: Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Check out 2019’s 12 Days of Holiday Cookies:

Day 1: Easy Three Ingredient Shortbread

Day 2: Jam Drops

Day 3: Chocolate Caramel Slice

Day 4: Melting Moments

Day 5: White Christmas

Day 6: Langues de Chat

Day 7: Chocolate Coconut Slice

Day 8: Cornflake Biscuits

Day 9: Rocky Road

Day 10: Honey Joys

Day 11: Rum Ball Truffles

Day 12: Giant Florentine Cookie (to share)


Buy my books! In the French kitchen with kids and French Food for Everyone: le goûter are out now! Click here for details and how to order!

Books by Mardi Michels

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