Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

With just getting back from Hawaii last week and already knee deep in the Christmas holiday season, I’ve decided to take a break from my hard core food travels for the remainder of the month. There’s simply not enough time in the precious two days that make up the weekend to do all of your standard weekend activities (both fun and non-fun) along with decorating, card writing, shopping and of course baking! I wasn’t feeling the greatest this weekend so I only baked two types of cookies, ginger-lemon pinwheel and chocolate-hazelnut thumbprint. I hope next weekend to bake one more batch as well as my Christmas breads (I have a great recipe for gingerbread but this year I also hope to try a banana bread recipe in honor of our recent travels).

(The tangerine is from Morocco and decided to add it to the scene for some extra color)

Of the two, I think I like the ginger-lemon pinwheel cookies more only because I’m a ginger fiend. But the chocolate-hazelnut thumbprints are equally delicious mainly due to the Nutella (hazelnut-chocolate spread) and the teaspoon of espresso that is added.



About one cup of flour

1 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon instant espresso (optional)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted

1/3 cup hazelnut-chocolate spread (such as Nutella)


-Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with knife. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt; stir with a whisk. Place butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Stir egg yolks with a whisk, adding espresso, if desired.  Add the yolk mixture and vanilla to butter; beat well. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat at a low speed just until combined. 

-Turn dough out onto a sheet of wax paper; knead 6 times or until smooth and shiny. Shape dough into 28 (1-inch) balls. Roll side of balls in nuts, pressing gently. Arrange balls 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press thumb into center of each cookie, leaving an indentation. Bake, 1 batch at a time, at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks. Spoon a scant 1/2 teaspoon hazelnut-chocolate spread into center of each cookie. 


(Recipe courtesy of the December 2009 issue of Cooking Light)

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  • Reply
    December 12, 2011 at 2:40 am

    Those pinwheels look amazing! I also love ginger!

  • Reply
    the red headed traveler
    December 12, 2011 at 2:42 am

    The dough was a bit “ornery” in terms of rolling it out (it did not come out in a perfect rectangular shape) but the end result was pretty good!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2011 at 2:57 am

    I often struggle with doughs that need rolled out. I think I just figured out why most of my favorite cookies are ones I roll into balls and pop in the oven!

  • Reply
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