Espresso Hazelnut Cookies with Dark Chocolate Drizzle

Light and buttery espresso hazelnut cookies with a dark chocolate drizzle!

While I was browsing my recipe archive a few weeks ago, I had a harsh dose of reality. I have not shared nearly enough cookie recipes on this site. As in, I could probably count the number of cookie recipes I’ve made and shared on one hand.

It was about time that I did something about that.

Don’t get me wrong,  I love cookies. I really do. But the on the spectrum of desserts that I crave on a somewhat regular basis, they are near the bottom of the list. Muffins and quick breads are close to the top, along with other casual tea cakes, or simple one-layer cakes.

Espresso Hazelnut Cookies with Dark Chocolate Drizzle

So, when I seek out a cookie recipe to share with you guys, I want it to be extra special and a little unique. I’m all for the classics, but I’m sure you can find a million recipes for those all over the web. I’d rather share something new and different!

These espresso hazelnut cookies are exactly that, and so much more. Anything that involves espresso (and anything in the coffee realm) is an instant winner for me. Have I ever told you that I asked for an espresso machine from my parents when I was three years old?

Totally normal (said no one).

Light and buttery espresso hazelnut cookies with a dark chocolate drizzle!

The cookie dough batter is flavored with my favorite instant espresso coffee powder. It is probably one of my most highly-used baking ingredients. If I’m not using it as a powder, I like to dilute it with a teensy amount of hot water and use it as an extract. Again, it tastes awful when used for drinking purposes, but for adding an espresso touch to glazes or batters, it can’t be beat.

These espresso hazelnut cookies are crisp and buttery, similar to a shortbread or classic sable, and have so much flavor. We can thank butter and whole toasted hazelnuts for that. The hazelnuts are ground down to a coarse meal (similar to almond meal, if you have used that for baking before!) and folded in the cookie batter.

I’m fairly positive that no other nuts can rival the hazelnut in flavor. Nothing’s better.

Light and buttery espresso hazelnut cookies with a dark chocolate drizzle!

On that note though, I must admit that hazelnuts are probably the most high-maintenance of all nuts (strangest sentence ever).

Most affordable hazelnuts (I pick them up at Trader Joe’s!) come with their skins on. Hazelnuts have very bitter skins, and for the most part, you will want to remove them as much as possible for most recipes.

The most common method for removing hazelnut skin involves toasting them, and rubbing the skins off using kitchen towels. Let me tell you (from experience), this is a huge pain in the butt and not nearly as easy as it sounds. I recently came across an amazing trick in Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Biblewhich calls for boiling the hazelnuts in a water and baking soda mixture on the stove-top. It sounds involved, but it does the trick amazingly well and the skins just slide off–it also takes a fraction of the time and effort! {See the recipe notes for full instructions.}

However, if you feel like making your life exponentially easier, seek out blanched hazelnuts or even hazelnut meal! They are both available, just a little bit more pricey.

Light and buttery espresso hazelnut cookies with a dark chocolate drizzle!

These cookies get their intricate shape and lines from the use of a piping bag and star tip! It sounds complicated, but it makes the process extremely quick and painless. Unlike most cookie recipes that produce dozens and dozens of cookies (not necessarily a bad thing), this recipe has also been scaled down to make only 14 to 15 cookies in total–all of which should fit on one single baking sheet. Better for those of us with very little self-control, if you know what I mean! 

As an added bonus, this recipe requires no chilling time. The batter can go from the bowl to the oven in a matter of minutes. The actual batter itself comes together in less than 10 minutes (as long as you have your hazelnuts toasted and ready to go), and is straight-forward and simple!

Once baked and cooled, the cookies are finished with a simple and rustic chocolate drizzle! The bittersweet chocolate compliments the espresso and hazelnut flavors perfectly. Almost like a hazelnut mocha drink–in cookie form! Enjoy.

Light and buttery espresso hazelnut cookies with a dark chocolate drizzle!

Light and buttery espresso hazelnut cookies with a dark chocolate drizzle!

Espresso Hazelnut Cookies with Dark Chocolate Drizzle

Yield: 14-15 Cookies
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


Espresso Hazelnut Cookie Dough:

  • 1/2 cup roasted, blanched hazelnuts (60 grams) (**see notes)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (70 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1.5 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • two pinches of kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 large whole egg* (25 grams or 2 tablespoons), room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dark Chocolate Drizzle:

  • 2 ounces (57 grams) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Place the blanched hazelnuts and two tablespoons of all-purpose flour in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the hazelnuts and flour together repeatedly until it forms an even, coarse meal (do not over pulse, or it will clump and oil will begin to release). Set aside.
  3. Combine remaining flour, espresso powder, and salt in a small bowl, and whisk together.
  4. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the butter at medium speed for 1 minute, or until creamy. Add the granulated sugar, and beat at medium speed for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat at low speed for an additional minute or so, scraping down the bowl to ensure all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  5. On low speed, add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the hazelnut meal with a spatula. Place the cookie batter in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe two=inch strips of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1.5 inches between them (they should all fit on one baking sheet).
  6. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees (F) in center rack for 12 to 14 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking process, or until the edges begin to caramelize and lightly brown. Carefully transfer the cookies immediately to a cooling rack, and allow them to cool completely.
  7. Prepare Chocolate Drizzle: Place chopped chocolate and butter in a small heatproof (microwave-safe) bowl. Microwave the chocolate in 20 to 25 second intervals, stirring with a rubber spatula after each interval, or until the chocolate has completely melted and is smooth. Place the cooled cookies on a wire rack above a sheet of wax paper. Using a spoon or fork, drizzle the cookies with the warm, melted chocolate back and forth over the tops of the cookies–don’t worry if it isn’t perfect! Refrigerate the cookies for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the chocolate has set completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 days.


Tips for Success:

  • To halve an egg easily, whisk one full egg in a small bowl (it should be roughly 50 grams in weight). Use a kitchen scale or tablespoon to measure.
  • To blanch whole hazelnuts and remove their bitter skin, bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil. Add two tablespoons of baking soda (dissolve fully), and add 1/2 cup of whole hazelnuts. Boil hazelnuts for 1 to 2 minutes. The water will turn very black. Drain hazelnuts and rinse under cold water. Skins should rub off easily. Rinse the hazelnuts and pat dry. Toast hazelnuts in a 350 degree (F) oven for 12 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • You can also substitute the whole hazelnuts in this recipe with 60 grams of Bob’s Red Mill hazelnut meal.

Adapted heavily from Chocolatier magazine (January 1989 issue). Hazelnut blanch technique from The Cake Bible.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 58mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

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