Hazelnut Thumbprints

2 dozen

These crispy, crunchy, nutty delights are perfect for the holidays.


  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 large egg, separated, each part lightly beaten

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

  • teaspoon coarse salt

  • ½ cup toasted skinned hazelnuts, ground

  • Strawberry jam, for filling


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put butter and 1/2 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla, and mix well. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt, and mix until just combined. Refrigerate dough for 2 hours.

  2. Stir together toasted hazelnuts and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls; dip balls in egg white, then in hazelnut-sugar mixture. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press down center of each ball with your thumb. Bake for 10 minutes.Remove from oven; press down centers again with the end of a wooden spoon. Return to oven. Bake cookies until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes more. Let cool slightly on sheets on wire racks. Fill each center with jam.

Cook's Notes

To toast the nuts for these cookies, place them on a rimmed baking sheet in an oven heated to 350 degrees for 10 minutes; then transfer them to a clean kitchen towel and rub them until the skins come off. Grind them in a food processor.

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