Filled with toasted and ground hazelnuts, I topped each cookie with a whole hazelnut before baking, because I LOVE hazelnuts. Not to worry if hazelnuts aren’t your thing. You could easily substitute pecans or almonds in this recipe with great results.
Never one to leave a good thing alone, I was inspired by some thumbprint cookies I had seen on Pinterest and decided to try the idea with the same hazelnut cookie dough and created Hazelnut Caramel and Chocolate Cookies. A marriage made in cookie heaven! You will find instructions for both variations below.
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas! We had our first measurable snowfall early this week. Even though much of has melted already, I couldn’t help snap a few shots while the tree limbs were coated with pristine, white snow in the evening.
Have you done any holiday baking yet? What is your favorite Christmas cookie recipe?
Makes about 48 cookies
2/3 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fresh baking powder
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
oven to 300F to toast the nuts. Spread them on a rimmed baking sheet
and bake for about 8-10 minutes until fragrant and toasted. Allow to
cool and place in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground, being
careful not to turn the nuts into a paste.
In a large mixing
bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until blended. Add
the egg and mix until light and fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder
and chopped hazelnuts and mix just until incorporated. Gather dough
together and place in a smaller bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and
refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400F.
Place parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a large, rimmed baking sheet.
dough into balls about the size of small walnuts and place on prepared
baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Press tops of cookies with a fork,
making a criss-cross pattern. Top each with a whole hazelnut, if
Bake for about 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
Hazelnut, Caramel, Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
Use same recipe as above to make cookie dough.
Preheat oven to 400F.
chilled dough into 1″ balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Using
your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each piece of dough.
for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and,
using the back of a round, 1 teaspoon measuring spoon, press lightly
into each indentation in cookie, being careful not to break cookie.
To Make Caramel Filling:
14 Vanilla Caramels, unwrapped
2 Tablespoons heavy (double) cream
a small saucepan, melt caramels and cream together over low heat,
stirring frequently, until smooth. Spoon about a teaspoon of caramel
mixture into the center of each cookie. Cool completely.
To Make Chocolate Drizzle:
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 teaspoon shortening or butter
for 30 second intervals until just melted, stirring after each
interval. Allow to cool slightly and pour into a small pastry bag fitted
with a tip with small round hole and pipe back and forth onto cooled
cookies. Allow chocolate to cool completely. Refrigerating cookies
will help the chocolate to set.
Basic cookie recipe adapted from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojankangas.