For the love of cookies

Hazelnut Cookies

Hazelnut Cookies

Roasted hazelnuts, lemon zest, and crisp turbinado sugar, transform a basic shortbread cookie into a masterpiece. Dark chocolate and bourbon ganache layered on top create an irresistible creamy chocolate topping that will have your Valentine swooning with adoration for you.

Hazelnut Cookies
Decadent Hazelnut Cookies.

Here I go bringing you yet again another shortbread recipe. But hear me out, this one is good. Like good, good. After weeks in recovery from surgery I had to jump in headfirst into developing a recipe for a shortbread cookie appropriate to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Enough of the healing. I miss baking, sugar, being creative (and chaotic) in the kitchen, and I needed a killer recipe to revitalize the baking spirit inside me. And this recipe, exquisite, if I do say so myself has invigorated my lust for all things beautiful and gorgeous tasting. I feel alive once again.

This recipe is made (almost) entirely in a food processor which cuts down on time and cleanup. It comes together in minutes and the hardest part of the recipe is trying not to eat the cookies as they cool on the baking sheet. The dough is formed into a slab then chilled overnight. The bag is cut and then used as a make shift work station to roll the dough smooth and cut out shapes without having to use extra flour to roll out. Adding flour to the dough while rolling out and cutting out cookies can lead to drier tougher cookies, something I try to avoid when preparing shortbread.

This hazelnut cookie has everything you need in two dainty little bites. In terms of flavor the hazelnuts and lemon is a playful take on nutty with a bright pop of sunny flavor which is lovely when the days are cold and gloomy in February. The textures are crisp, delicate, creamy, and the dark chocolate ganache ties everything together with a smooth and slightly bitter bite. A truer love does not exist than when I take a bite of this hazelnut cookie and am taken into a world of true foodie ecstasy. I adore this hazelnut cookie and I do hope you try this recipe soon.

Hazelnut Cookies
Say, ‘I love you’ with cookies.

Need more dark chocolate cookie recipes? Here are my yummiest recipes:

Why I Love This Recipe

Flavor-Let’s start off with the base. I am using roasted hazelnuts finely ground with sugar as the base of the shortbread. Hazelnuts have a buttery, sweet, and earthy nuttiness which pair well with the additional flavorings I am adding to the recipe: vanilla and lemon zest. The addition of lemon zest helps to brighten the roasted hazelnut flavor while also cutting through the sweetness of the turbinado sugar on top. There is a slight vanilla flavor tying the hazelnut and lemon flavors together and salt is added to make the vanilla and lemon pop.

Whole wheat pastry flour is used in the base to highlight the nutty flavor of the hazelnuts and also add texture to the hazelnut cookie. The dark chocolate ganache I flavored with a teaspoon of good quality Bourbon which compliment the vanilla, lemon zest, and hazelnut. The slight bitterness of the dark chocolate works with the salt in the hazelnut cookie to balance the flavors present. A delicate dance on the tastebuds, not any of the flavors competing, yet they sway carelessly and joyfully across the palate.

Hazelnut Cookies
Cookies are my love language.

Texture-So many textures, so little time. The hazelnut cookie is light and crisp with a nice chewiness from the ground hazelnuts. The whole wheat flour which includes the bran of the wheat also add to the chewiness of the shortbread but I wouldn’t describe the texture as chewy per se as the crumb is very light and slightly crumbly. It melts in the mouth as you take a bite which is why I love shortbread so much.

The turbinado sugar on top adds a very crisp sugar layer creating a contrast of chewiness from the hazelnuts and a crisp sugar topping. The bottoms of the cookies are wonderfully crisp as well. The cookie overall is light and airy making it very easy to enjoy. The dark chocolate ganache paired on top of the cookie is a luscious velvety texture that melts into a pool of creamy soft chocolate upon biting. Together with the crisp top, the chewy and nutty center, and the crisp bottom, the ganache adds a nice finishing touch texturally to this cookie.

Love-True love in cookie form? YES. This cookie is easy to put together, has amazing and simple flavors, and is the perfect dainty bite of satisfying textures. This is the type of cookie I would like to be wowed with on Valentine’s Day, or any day for that matter. I am a baker and make hundreds of desserts a year, but this cookie, this cookie impresses me. I am nothing shy but in love with the flavor of this recipe and I am not ashamed to say it. If you are looking for a fancy little treat to make your significant other or want a dessert to treat yourself, this wonderous little cookie is the cookie for you!

Hazelnut Cookies
Turbinado sugar adds crunch and a touch of sweetness to the tops of these cookies.

Ingredients You Need

-Butter- unsalted room temperature butter. I cut the butter into 8 pieces.



-Vanilla Extract

-Salt-for flavor.


-Whole Wheat Pastry Flour- I used a local favorite of mine form Mill&Refill. You can use a whole wheat flour or simply substitute with all-purpose flour.


-Lemon- I used the zest of half a lemon. I wanted the brightness of the lemon flavor with out it being lemon-y. If you love lemon, you can use more as you wish.

-Dark Chocolate-Use the highest quality of dark chocolate you can afford. I used Guittard dark chocolate. You can also use semisweet chocolate if you are not a fan of bitter flavors.

-Heavy Cream

-Bourbon- I used Treaty Oak Bourbon in this recipe, you can easily substitute vanilla extract in its place if you do not wish to use bourbon. I wanted to play into the vanilla flavor of the bourbon and also add a little more bitterness to the ganache.

-Egg-for an egg wash on the tops of the cookies. This will also give the turbinado sugar something to adhere to.

-Water-to thin out the egg wash.

Hazelnut Cookies
Thick cut hazelnut shortbread cookies.

Falling in Love with Cookies

These cookies are very easy to put together as most shortbread cookies are since they are simple cookies with few ingredients.

**I have posted video on how I make the cookie dough in the food processor on: InstagramFacebook , and Pinterest , if you want a visual aide on how quick and easy this cookie dough is to make.**

The most important step I start with first is roasting the hazelnuts. I place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350*F. The nutty and buttery flavors of hazelnuts is amplified when roasted and I want all the flavor I can possibly get out of them for this recipe.

I roast the hazelnuts for 6 minutes, they are fragrant and toasty brown. I let the nuts cool for 15 minutes before adding to the food processor.

Once cooled, I add them to the food processor with the sugar and pulse blend until the mixture looks like wet sand. There shouldn’t be any large chunks of hazelnuts left.

I then add the flours, cornstarch, and salt and pulse 3-4 times until mixed through.

Using a zester, I zest half of the lemon into the bowl of the food processor along with the vanilla and chopped butter.

I pulse until the dough comes together into a soft dough.

Hazelnut Cookies
Perfect circles of cookie dough. Ready to bake.

A gallon plastic freezer bag works incredibly well for shortbread dough. I place the dough into the bag and tap it down into a rectangle about a half inch thick. This will help the dough chill faster and be easier to roll out.

The dough is ready to rest in the fridge overnight. I wouldn’t try to bake this dough until it has adequate chill time, at least 4 hours. You can store the dough in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze the dough in the bag for up to 3 months.

After the dough has chilled, I take it out if the fridge to warm up for 15 minutes. It’s important to allow the dough to be flexible enough to handle while not being too soft. If it is too soft it will be hard to cut and sticky, if it is too cold it will be brittle and break. Usually 15-20  minutes is enough time to let the dough come up in temperature so it is easiest to handle.

Hazelnut Cookies
Using a plastic zip top bag helps make chilling and rolling out dough easy.

During the time I am waiting for the dough to soften I prepare a baking sheet with parchment, my 1.5 inch round cookie cutter, and I preheat the oven to 325*F.

Break open the plastic bag at the seams to create a rectangular workspace that lays flat on my kitchen counter. This will help me not to use too much flour and keep my workstation clean while I cut cookies out. No need for extra parchment here!

With a rolling pin, you can also use your hands, I gently smooth out the dough and make sure it is a half inch deep across the slab of dough. Using a lightly floured cookie cutter, I begin to cut out cookies and place them on the parchment lined baking sheet.

Reroll the dough and pat out to half inch thickness and repeat cutting out cookies until all the dough is used.

Make an egg wash with the water and egg and very lightly glaze the tops of the cookie dough. Sprinkle a healthy amount of turbinado sugar evenly on top of the egg washed cookie tops then off to the oven they go.

Bake the hazelnut cookies for 10-12 minutes or until they are slightly gold brown and dry to the touch. I let the cookies cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

These cookies are wonderful as is or can be paired with the dark chocolate ganache recipe below.

The cookie will stay fresh for a week without the ganache on top. Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature.

Hazelnut Cookies
These are wonderful on their own or paired with dark chocolate ganache.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

In a microwave safe bowl I pour the heavy cream and heat on high in two 30 second intervals. I want the cream to be very hot.

Pour the dark chocolate into the hot cream with a sprinkle of salt and the bourbon. I cover the bowl with a plate and place back in the microwave to rest for 5 minutes. After the five minutes I whisk the mixture until the chocolate is melted and creamy.

You can serve the ganache in a bowl with the cookie to dunk in. Perhaps even have fresh fruit like strawberries to dunk in the ganache as well, how romantic!

OR, you can place the ganache in the fridge to firm up for 10-15 minutes. The ganache should be the consistency of thick frosting before piping on top of the hazelnut cookies.

Hazelnut Cookies
Not all of my piped ganache came out perfect but they sure did taste perfect!

Once the ganache has set and is the consistency of thick frosting, scoop into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe a generous dollop of ganache on top of the cookies. The star tip has a nice decorative effect on the tops of the cookie, but any piping tip will do. Be creative and have fun.

These tasty little morsels of love are best eaten day of (with ganache) and can be stored in a tightly fitted container in the fridge after a day. If there is any left.

Enjoy and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you try this recipe and love it as much as I do, please tag, follow, and like @sunshinetxcookies on Instagram and Facebook. New posts every Thursday so be sure to follow me for more delicious cookie recipes. Happy Baking!

Hazelnut Cookies

Chrissy Grundy
Hazelnut shortbread with dark chocolate ganache on top. Perfection in a cookie.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24


  • 1 stick butter unsalted, room temperature. Cut into 1 inch pieces.
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup hazelnuts roasted at 350* for 6-8 minutes.
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour I used Mill&Grain whole wheat pastry flour.
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tspn salt
  • ½ tspn vanilla extract
  • ½ tspn lemon zest optional.
  • 1 egg for egg wash.
  • 3 tbsp water for egg wash.
  • cup turbinado sugar for the topping.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • 8 ounces dark chocolate
  • 4 ounces heavy cream
  • ¼ tspn salt
  • 1 tspn Bourbon you can substitute vanilla extract


  • First, start by roasting your hazelnuts. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  • Spread out the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 6-8 minutes or until the nuts are toasted and fragrant. Be careful not to burn.
  • Allow the hazelnuts to cool to room temperature.
  • Place toasted hazelnuts in a food processor with sugar and salt. Pulse on high until a fine crumb forms. It should resemble wet sand.
  • Add both types of flour and cornstarch and pulse to combine.
  • Add vanilla extract, zest of half a lemon, and softened butter to food processor. Pulse until a soft dough forms. The dough will be quite soft.
  • Place in a gallon freezer bag and smooth into a half inch slab of cookie dough.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • Cut the plastic from the sides of the dough and peel off. Roll out dough very lightly to even the edges. You want the dough around half an inch in thickness.
  • Using a lightly floured one inch round cookie cutter, cut out one inch round cookies.
  • Place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing at least 2 inches apart.
  • Make an egg glaze by beating one egg with 3 tablespoons of water.
  • Glaze the tops of the cookies then generously sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
  • Bake at 325*F for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will be lightly golden on the edges and top.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • Heat heavy cream in a microwave safe dish until very hot, this took me 2 30 second intervals in the microwave.
  • Pour the cream on top of the dark chocolate, add the bourbon and salt. Cover with a plate. Allow to sit for a minute or two.
  • Whisk the chocolate and cream together until smooth and creamy.
  • Place the ganache in the fridge until it is set around 10-15 minutes.
  • The ganache should be thick like frosting before piping on top of cookies. Place into a piping bag with a large star tip and pipe a large star on the tops.
  • Alternatively, you can serve the warm ganache in a small dish to dip the cookies into instead of piping the ganache on top. Yum.


Crisp hazelnut lemon shortbread with a crunchy sugar top is paired with a velvet smooth dark chocolate ganache. Can a cookie taste like love? This one does.
Keyword dark chocolate, ganache, hazelnut, shortbread, valentines cookies

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Chrissy Grundy

Content Creator

Howdy! I love creating delicious cookie recipes. I enjoy spending time with my kids and husband in Buda, Texas and I am a huge supporter of local Texas producers. I am so happy you are here! Let’s start baking!

Chrissy Grundy

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