Chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies – my favorite Christmas holiday cookies! The flavor and the texture of these cookies are really nice: they taste like chocolates with hazelnuts and at the same time crunchy.
These chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies is my fourth and the last cookie recipe in December. I always loved hazelnuts in chocolates but, surprisingly, I never used ground hazelnuts in a Christmas cookie until this recipe. I love chocolate-nut-shortbread combination. My two favorite nuts to use in Christmas cookies are, without question, hazelnut and almond (as in Almond Shortbread Cookies with Amaretto and in Almond Crescent Christmas Cookies recipes).
For these holiday cookies, I used a recipe from Epicurious, and the only thing I changed was that I removed baking soda, because I like my shortbread’s texture without it. The recipe also calls for toasted and husked hazelnuts, which is pretty easy to do. I preheated oven to 350 F, placed raw hazelnuts (with skins still on) on the baking sheet and toasted them for 5-10 minutes. After I took the hazelnuts out of the oven and after they cooled off, I husked them by rubbing a handful of hazelnuts between my hands. This did a pretty good job of getting rid of most of the skins.
Once cookies are baked, they can be decorated in 3 different ways – dipped and covered only in chocolate, like on this photo:
dipped in both chocolate and coarsely chocolate hazelnuts:
or you don’t have to dip them neither in chocolate nor in coarsely chopped nuts. Or, you can do all 3 combinations (plain, dipped in chocolate, dipped in both chocolate and coarsely chopped nuts) for an easy holiday cookie assortment that will look like this:
How to make chocolate covered hazelnut shortbread cookies
Here are step-by-step photos illustrating some of the steps about how to make these hazelnut shortbread cookies. These photos might help you with the recipe instructions.
Place husked toasted hazelnuts in food processor to grind them or coarsely chop
Grind hazelnuts in food processor
Add ground hazelnuts to the cookie batter
Mix ground hazelnuts into the cookie batter until well combined
Cookie batter forms, looking like coarse meal
Roll cookie dough into logs of different sizes (to make cookies of different radius – small and big), then wrap in plastic before placing in the freezer/refrigerator
Slice refrigerated cookie dough logs into thin slices
Place sliced cookies on a baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake them in the oven following the baking instructions in the recipe box below.
To decorate cookies: coarsely chopped hazelnuts and melted chocolate
Dip chocolate covered cookie into ground hazelnuts
Cookie dipped in coarsely chopped hazelnuts
Cookie dipped in coarsely chopped hazelnuts
Cooling cookies on wire rack – some of them are chocolate covered, some of them also have coarsely chopped hazelnuts on top. It’s fun to have different cookies
Cookies on a wire rack
Perfect holiday shortbread cookie recipe: Chocolate Covered Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies. Make these for your Christmas cookie box!
- 1/2 cup butter unsalted, room temperature
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts , toasted, husked, finely ground
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces dark chocolate such as Lindt, chopped
- 1/3 cup hazelnuts , husked toasted
To make finely ground nuts, place husked toasted hazelnuts into food processor and process until finely ground. See my note below the recipe about how to husk hazelnuts once they are toasted (between your two hands – it’s very easy and effective)
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy, then add 1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts and vanilla and beat to combine. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt, then add mixed flour and salt to the creamy butter-sugar mixture. Do not overmix, mix just enough to combine all ingredients and form a cookie batter.
Shape dough into 4 logs of different thickness (to make cookies of different radius – large and small). Wrap each log in plastic wrap and put wrapped cookie dough in the freezer for 30 minutes, then in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 F. After cookie dough has been in the freezer and refrigerator, unwrap plastic and slice each log into thin cookie slices. Place cookie slices on ungreased baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake for about 20 minutes, don’t let the cookies to get brown. After 20 minutes of baking, transfer cookies to rack to cool.
To decorate cookies, melt chocolate in a small skillet over medium heat, just until chocolate melts, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Using spatula, brush half of the cookie on one side only (no chocolate on the bottom of the cookie) and along the cookie side. Transfer to rack to dry. Do that with each cookie (if desired). Then you can dip the chocolate side of the cookie into coarsely chopped hazelnuts. Return to rack. You can leave some cookies just covered with chocolate, without hazelnuts crumbs. You can also leave some cookies just plain (no chocolate, no hazelnuts on top of chocolate). Repeat with remaining cookies. Let cookies dry on rack for at least 1 hour, for chocolate to harden.
Note: The recipe also calls for toasted and husked hazelnuts, which is pretty easy to do. I preheated oven to 350, placed raw hazelnuts (with skins still on) on the baking sheet and toasted them for 5-10 minutes. After I took the hazelnuts out of the oven and after they cooled off, I husked them by rubbing a handful of hazelnuts between my hands. This did a pretty good job of getting rid of most of the skins.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.