February 10, 2023

Hazelnut Butter Cookies

Crunchy around the edges, chewy in the center, these hazelnut cookies get their flavor from a homemade hazelnut butter paste made by toasting and processing freshly toasted nuts.

5 from 15 votes
Yield: 16 cookies
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If you’re a fan of ferrero rochers or nutella, you’re going to loooove these cookies. I mean, “did I just eat three cookies in five minutes?” kind of love. They’re SO flavorful and the texture has that perfect balance between slight crispy on the outside and nice and chewy in the center. To be honest they might put your favorite classic chocolate chip cookie out of business for awhile because this dough is stellar enough on its own. 


To get to this recipe formula I started working with this small batch peanut butter cookie recipe of mine. I kept most of the things the same but I knew that I wanted a full batch (doubled it), didn’t want to fuss with separating eggs, and I wanted them to spread more than the peanut butter ones (hence the slight increase in granulated sugar). I first tried it with some store-bought cashew butter but didn’t find the taste particularly wonderful. 


With hazelnut butter though, buttery and nutty while also being completely strong and sweet in the best way – damn. 

Recipe Ingredients 




It’s really best to use blanched hazelnuts to make the butter, that way you won’t have to fuss with the skin on the nuts. The skin will turn the nut butter a bit more powdery and the cookies a bit more crumbly. 


If you can’t find blanched, you can attempt to remove the skin yourself: after toasting and while still hot, shake the nuts in a large jar or rub them together in a tea towel. The friction helps remove some of the skin. I’ve never been able to get all of the skin off with this method but I probably wasn’t patient enough. 


Also – don’t use roasted! We’re going to coax the flavor out ourselves by toasting it so it’s nice and fresh to make the butter. 




We’re going for equal amounts of nut butter and dairy butter which is going to make these cookies very rich and well, buttery. No need to soften it, and when melting be careful not to lose any of it to sputtering. 




We’re doing a mix of brown sugar (great flavor, gives cookies a good chewy texture) and granulated sugar (flavor but also provides lots of structure). If you wanted to reduce either slightly, I’d say reduce the granulated bearing in mind the cookie will be slightly dryer and spread less. 




I use KAB which has a protein content of 11%. If you use a brand with a lower protein content the cookies will be a tad softer and spread more. Higher protein like bread flour will mean denser cookies and less spread. 




Because I associate hazelnuts so much with nutella and ferrero rochers, I chopped up some milk chocolate and it is truly *such* a good match here. But if you don’t want cookies that are too sweet, aim for a darker chocolate. 


These cookies will be fine with either a chopped up bar or chocolate chip cookies. Just use something you enjoy eating! 


How to make hazelnut butter 

First: toast the nuts 


Spread them on a baking sheet so they are in one layer. I like to use a rimmed cookie sheet. 


They only need about ten minutes in the oven, but get in there halfway and shake the pan so they can toss a bit and heat evenly. 


We’re doing this because when raw, the hazelnuts aren’t particularly flavorful. Toasting them draws that out and in this particular case, gets them ready to be processed into a paste. 


Second: process into a powder 


While they are still warm, the nuts are fairly easy to grind. A few minutes into the food processor will turn them into bits, bigger than granules of sand – I’d say they’ll be about the size of turbinado sugar. 


Scrape down several times to make sure the blades are not working with air. Eventually it’ll start to clump into a big lump of partial paste but still mostly tiny bits. 


Third: process into a soupy paste 


You’ll keep going after you get to the point of of the big clump, until the processor is working smoothly through the butter. 


But don’t stop yet – keep going for a few more minutes. You want it almost like soup, very pourable. You want to have extracted as much ‘butter’ from the nuts as possible. See the video for how it should look. 

To store hazelnut butter 


Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. It’ll last a month! 


What else can I do with hazelnut butter? 

You can spread it on toast, it’s lovely! Although in this case I’d add a pinch of salt to it, some vanilla and some sugar to sweeten it a bit. 


But it also works great as a peanut butter substitute in many recipes. 


I think it would be particularly fantastic in these chocolate peanut butter brownies, or in the center of these magic in the middle cookies


Why we need to rest this cookie dough 


Chilling is going to do a few things for this dough: 


  1. Reverse the melting: Because the butter is melted to make the dough and incorporate all the ingredients, we want it to solidify again so that it re-melts in the oven. Without sufficient resting time the cookies will spread into a mess. 
  2. Hydration: While the dough rests, the flour is going to absorb the liquids in the dough – the egg, the nut butter and the butter. It’ll dissolve and hydrate so that you get the texture and spread just right. 
  3. Flavor: letting the dough rest allows the salt, vanilla, butters sugar and nut butter all blend together so that the flavor deepens. 


Can I make this dough ahead of time and store it? 


Yes – make it and give it that hour rest at room temperature. Then scoop the dough balls onto a plate or tray and freeze them for 10 minutes, until solid. At this point you can toss the balls into a ziplock bag and store in the freezer. 


If you are baking from frozen you’ll want to add a couple of minutes to the overall bake time. 


Hazelnut Butter Cookies

Crispy edges, chewy centers and positively packed with hazelnut flavor. Studded with milk chocolate chips.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour
Yields: 16 cookies
5 from 15 votes


Hazelnut Butter

  • 2 cups blanched hazelnuts

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Butter Cookies

  • 113 g or ½ cup butter melted
  • 140 g or ½ cup homemade hazelnut butter stirred well
  • 100 g or ½ cup brown sugar
  • 100 g or ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 190 g or 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 150 g or 1 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips I like using milk chocolate here


To make the hazelnut butter:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, shaking the pan after 5 minutes.
  • While they are still warm, pour them into a food processor. Set the speed to high and grind the nuts until they are very fine. Scrape down the food processor and repeat.
  • Keep doing this, the nuts will first stubbornly refuse to do anything but be a powder but as you process them they’ll start to become a very thick paste. After about 5-7 minutes of scraping down the bowl and processing more, the nuts will be a liquid studded with tiny bits of nuts - as thin as a thick soup.
  • You can transfer the butter to a sealable jar and store in the fridge for a few weeks. It'll be more than you need for the cookies.

To make the cookie dough

  • In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter until it’s almost but not fully melted.
  • Add the sugars and whisk for about 60 seconds.
  • Add the vanilla, salt and egg and whisk for another 60 seconds.
  • Pour in the hazelnut butter and whisk well.
  • Add the flour and baking soda and stir with a rubber spatula.
  • When it’s almost fully mixed, add the chocolate until it’s all mixed together.
  • Cover with a tea towel and set on the counter for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two greased cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough onto the prepared sheets, leaving a full one inch space border between cookies.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly browned around the edges.

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Recipe Reviews

  1. I just made the dough and it looks great but I want to bake the cookies next week for a friend. I plan on freezing them but I find that whenever I freeze cookie dough, the cookies always end up looking too thick and don’t spread out as nicely. What should I do? Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve been wanting to try some of your hazelnut recipes for a while, and finally getting to it! When I see hazelnut recipes pop up online, I get frustrated when the only bit of hazelnut is chopped hazelnuts. I want that flavor throughout all of whatever dessert I’m eating… so I was happy to see you posted a few recipes using the homemade hazelnut butter.

    This recipe is a new favorite for me (and my husband). Turned out perfectly and we loved it with the milk chocolate. Thanks again! We found these bake up nicely after being frozen as raw dough balls too, just a few minutes extra in the oven… keeps you from eating them all at once.

    • gwen, this is wonderful! I’m delighted to hear you too wanted the ‘full hazelnut’ experience. it’s just such a special flavor that doesn’t get used enough. Thanks for the review =)

  3. 5 stars
    These were excellent, hazelnut taste carried through well. I baked half the batch following recipe instructions, and let the second half rest overnight in the fridge out of curiosity. Overnight batch had a slightly more airy texture (still crispy edges / chewy center) and the hazelnut taste developed more, but not to the point of being a game changer if you don’t feel like doing that.

  4. 5 stars
    I made these and had to go the raw, roast and deskinned route on the hazelnuts. It wasn’t an issue and the results were infinitely worth it!! Soooo good – a toasty Nutella-like cookie, but way better.

  5. 5 stars
    Wow, these are incredible! (Though I had no doubt they would be.) The skins would not come off my hazelnuts so I kept them in, and I used a mix of dark and milk chocolate. Seriously so, so good!!

  6. I happen to have dry roasted & unsalted hazelnuts on hand. I know you said not to use roasted, but is it truly not worth it to even bother with roasted or it’s okay just not AS great?

    • so it’ll work fine (it’s just not the same as fully freshly toasted) and you’ll want to toast them in the oven for about half the time or until they are fragrant. stay close to the oven, it’ll happen quicker when they are roasted

  7. 5 stars
    I should start off by saying that I made a double recipe, not realizing that the hazelnut butter measurement was for *after* roasting, when the hazelnuts would weigh less. Also I have bought hazelnuts that didn’t say anything about being blanched and they seemed to work fine?? They definitely got to tomato soup consistency. Anyway I was about thirty grams short, but I didn’t have any more hazelnuts. So! Don’t be me! 2 1/2 cups is probably enough for a double recipe but two was not. That said, even with the proportions slightly thrown, these are SO DELICIOUS. I discovered I was out of milk chocolate bars so I used chips and I definitely would prefer these with chopped chocolate (I do most things) but still. SO DELICIOUS. Are these extra work? Yes. Do they make your house smell so amazing you want to live in that smell forever? YES. Am I going to refrigerate the dough and see if they’re even better in two days, à la NYT CCC? HECK YES. Thank you for another recipe that feels very special (I would *totally* make these for a holiday cookie swap) but isn’t really that much extra work. AND TASTES SO GOOD OMG.

  8. 5 stars
    Sam’s right, these really will ruin normal cookies for you! I only used 200g of hazelnuts and there was still some butter leftover, but it didn’t last long in my house. These are chewy, tender, and absolutely delicious warm. I love getting the body and flavour of the nuts without the chunks. Thank you so much for the stroke of genius Sam!

  9. 5 stars
    These are so delicious! I used 55% chopped chocolate and really like the results. I blanched my own hazelnuts because I couldn’t find blanched in stores, and it worked perfectly! (Although disclaimer, blanching your own is a fair amount of added work; next time I will try a few more stores to try and find blanched). I think the egg yolk CCC is still #1 in heart, but these will definitely be added to the rotation.

  10. 5 stars
    These are so delicious and unique! I made the hazelnut butter with hazelnuts from Trader Joe’s. An attempt was made to remove the skins, but to be honest, at least 50% of the nuts still had skins. I had no problem getting the drippy nut butter consistency despite this, even in my 30 year old food processor.

  11. 5 stars
    These cookies are just delicious. I made them this evening and I suspect that my family will finish by morning. The outside is crisp and the inside soft with this amazing hazelnut taste. I used a combination of milk and dark chocolate. I think that next time I will use just dark. Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  12. Hi Sam, would it be possible to use store bought hazelnut butter instead of making it homemade? If so, how much is needed? These cookies look incredible! I love hazelnuts…they’re my favourite! Thank you!

    • Hi Lola, you could I’d just check to see if it has any added ingredients. When I make it it is pure hazelnuts, no sugar or salt or oils added. The other thing I’d think about is the consistency – in the video you can see how loose the homemade one is, I’m not sure what storebought brand you had in mind but see if it’s similar.