Chocolate-Cinnamon-Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies
These moist, delicious cookies will quickly become a favorite. The blend of chocolate, hazelnut, and cinnamon is perfect. I wish I had a better photo to share!
You’ll need a spice mill or food processor to grind the nuts, and a mixer, but aside from that, no other unusual cooking tools are required.
½ Cup whole hazelnuts (you’ll also need 2 Tbsps (about 10 nuts) in a later step)
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1-1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 cup softened butter
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
½ Cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup (4 ozs) semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 Tbsp softened or melted butter
2 Tbsp (about 10 nuts) Hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 350F
Toast hazelnuts on a baking sheet for about 10-12 minutes. Go ahead and toast the ones you’ll be using later to save time (so toast ½ cup plus 2 tbsp). It’s best to use one with a rim because you’ll need to toss the hazelnuts around every three minutes so they toast evenly.
Immediately wrap the hazelnuts in a clean cloth and let them steam for 1 minute. Then rub them roughly to remove the skins. It’s okay if some of the skins remain. Set aside ten of the nuts for the topping and finely grind the rest in in your food processor.
Transfer the nuts to a small bowl. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and 1-1/4 tsp cinnamon. Mix together and set aside.
In a larger bowl and your electric mixer, beat sugar and butter for about 2 minutes until they are pale and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients. Beat until the ingredients are combined.
Mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Roll heaping 1-Tbsp rounds of dough into balls and then roll each ball in the Sugar Mixture. Arrange the balls on a non-stick baking sheet at 2” intervals. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. They should be puffy and set, but still moist.
As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven, use the bottom of a 1-tsp measuring spoon to press an indentation into the center of each cookie. The small end of melon-baller works well too. This is where the filling will go.
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Finely chop the last ten hazelnuts and set aside. You will sprinkle these on top of the cookies later.
Heat the chocolate chips and the remaining 4 Tbsp of butter in a 2-cup glass measuring cup in 20 second intervals in the microwave. Stir frequently and continue the cycle until the mixture is completely melted.
Pour the chocolate mixture into a pastry bag or a ziplock style bag. Cut the corner off the bag and pipe the mixture into the center of the cookies.
Immediately sprinkle the hazelnuts onto the cookies. Let the cookies set for about 20 minutes.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.