Thumbprints have always been one of my favorite cookie varieties to bake. They’re easy to make, fun, and can be customized by switching up the base flavor and fillings; like with these chocolate hazelnut thumbprint cookies!
These beautiful cookies are filled with luscious chocolate hazelnut spread and topped with a fresh raspberry. A festive treat for the holiday season or Valentine’s Day!
This post was originally sponsored in 2018 by California Giant Berry Farms. We have since updated the content to best serve our current readers.
While traditionally made with a shortbread-like cookie base and jam filling (Swedish “Hallongrotta“), one of my favorite variations on the thumbprint theme is a cocoa-infused cookie filled with chocolate hazelnut spread. The combination is a chocolate lover’s dream!
To contrast the cookie’s richness and sweetness, and to pay homage to the fruit flavor in the classic recipe, I like top the filled thumbprints with a fresh raspberry. The juicy, sweet-tart berry compliments the creamy chocolate hazelnut spread and chewy cookie base perfectly.
These cookies are everything crave-worthy in a chocolate-berry dessert, wrapped up into a two-bite treat. Plus, the raspberry on top makes a beautiful presentation on a cookie plate.
What You’ll Need for Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies
The easy-to-make base for this recipe is a tender chocolate sugar cookie dough. From the pantry and fridge, you’ll need:
- All-purpose Flour. I use King Arthur.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. For the best flavor and color, I use unsweetened dark or dutch process cocoa powder (such as Droste or Valrohna) in this recipe. You can substitute unsweetened natural cocoa powder, but the cookies will be lighter in color.
- Kosher Salt. I use Diamond Crystal.
- Unsalted Butter. I love to use European-style butters when baking, such as Plugra or Kerrygold, for the best flavor and texture. I have also made these cookies with American-style butter with good results.
- Granulated Sugar. You’ll divide the sugar to use in the cookie dough itself, and to roll the dough before baking (similar to making Peanut Butter Blossoms).
- Egg Yolks. For a rich, tender texture.
- Vanilla Extract. For a classic, warm flavor to complement the chocolate.
- Chocolate Hazelnut Spread. Such as Nutella or Nocciolata.
- Fresh Raspberries. If the berries are especially large, consider cutting them in half.
Tips for Making These Cookies
Thumbprints in general are a cinch to make, and you can get the whole family involved in the assembly. To make the characteristic indentation in the center of the cookies, you can either use your knuckle or thumb (hence; “thumbprint cookies”), or the back of a measuring spoon.
I find that a round measuring spoon creates well-defined, uniform wells that are perfect for holding the chocolate hazelnut spread. I like to start with a 1/4 teaspoon measure on the raw dough, and then use the 1/2 teaspoon to gently re-define the wells right after the cookies are baked
Be sure to wait until the cookies are completely cool before filling. You don’t want the chocolate hazelnut spread to melt and run out of the cookie centers.
Making Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies Ahead
Since the raspberries are delicate, it’s best to assemble these cookies within a few hours of serving. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a jump start and prep them ahead!
You can bake the cookie bases up to 3 days in advance and store them, unfilled, in an airtight container. Before serving, fill them with the chocolate hazelnut spread, top with the raspberries, and you’ll be ready to go.
More of Our Favorite Berry Recipes
- Lemon Cream Mixed Berry Tart
- Homemade Strawberry Soda with Basil
- Strawberry Balsamic Salsa
- Blackberry-Lemon Mint Juleps
Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies with Raspberries
- 2 cups all purpose flour (measured using a spoon-and-level method), 252 grams
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use dark or dutch process )
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter , room temperature (2 sticks)
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar , plus extra for rolling
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
- 36 raspberries
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and mix in egg yolks and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, scraping the bottom and sides of bowl between each addition. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment or nonstick baking mats.
- Scoop dough into 1-1/2 teaspoon portions (I use a small cookie scoop) and roll between your hands into a ball. Place a few tablespoons of granulated sugar in a shallow dish and roll the dough balls in the sugar to coat.
- Place dough onto the prepared baking pans. Using your finger or the back of a 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until cookies are set. Remove from the oven and use the back of a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to gently re-press the indentations. Let cookies stand on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
- Use a spoon or a piping bag, fill each indentation with about 1 teaspoon of chocolate hazelnut spread. Top with a raspberry (cut in half if large) and serve.