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Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

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Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies recipe chocolate

I purchased some marvelous hazelnut oil from an international grocery store in Seattle a week ago. I finally opened it and inhaled…deeply.  The aroma, oh my, the aroma!  I bought it with the intention of using it as a finishing oil, primarily for salads and vegetables.  But as a I smelled it, I had this vision of hazelnut baked goods fresh from the oven and it occurred to me how absolutely wonderful this oil would be for use in baking as well.  Especially baked goods using ground hazelnuts – something to add some extra hazelnut pizzazz to the overall flavor.  I immediately thought of hazelnut shortbread and set to work.  I’m lucky the shortbread ever made it to the oven because after sampling the shortbread cookie dough, I had to exert a great deal of self-control to keep from eating it all.

hazelnut shortbread cookies recipe scottish british english chocolate

Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies Recipe

First let’s toast the hazelnuts in the oven on a cookie sheet.

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The best way to get the skins off is to place the hot hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub them.  Don’t worry about getting all of the skins off.  Let the hazelnuts cool completely and then grind them.

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Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.

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Add the hazelnut oil and vanilla extract.

No, I’m not getting paid by Saveur’s de la Terre to promote their hazelnut oil.  I don’t know that theirs is better than any other, it’s just the one I happened to buy and I was very happy with it.  So inspired by the incredible aroma that I thought it deserved it’s own picture.  And it even got the glossy antique mahogany dining room table treatment.  Yes, the oil is that good.

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Add the hazelnuts and mix just until combined.  If making chocolate hazelnut shortbread cookies, add the cocoa powder in this step.

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Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the wet mixture just until combined.  Be careful not to over-stir.

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I divided the dough to make half with chocolate.

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Form the dough into a log, or two logs if making half with chocolate, about 2 inches in diameter.  You can form it in any shape you like.

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Wrap the shortbread in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

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Unwrap the shortbread and slice in 1/4 inch thick rounds.

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Place the shortbread on cookie sheets.

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Bake in a preheated oven set to 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned.  Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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If you like, you can dip the cookies in melted chocolate, and then again in chopped hazelnuts, and then let the chocolate set.

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I personally prefer them left plain and then eaten with a little Nutella…yummy!

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Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

hazelnut shortbread cookies recipe scottish british french chocolate

Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Scottish


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw whole hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (if making chocolate hazelnut shortbread)


  • To toast the hazelnuts, place them on a cookie sheet and roast in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or until toasted and blistery, tossing occasionally to prevent burning. Remove the hazelnuts and wrap in a clean kitchen towel for a minute, then rub the hazelnuts in the towel to remove as much of the skins as you can. Allow the nuts to cool completely before grinding them.
  • Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
    Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the hazelnut oil, vanilla extract, and ground toasted hazelnuts. Mix until combined. If making chocolate shortbread, add the cocoa powder in this step as well.
    Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour just until combined. Be careful not to over-stir.
    Form the shortbread into a log about 2 inches in diameter and wrap with wax paper. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Remove the log from the wax paper and slice in 1/4 inch thick rounds. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet. Bake the shortbread cookies for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Dip the cookies in chocolate and then chopped hazelnuts and let cool until the chocolate is set, enjoy them plain, or spread them with a little Nutella before eating.
Keyword Hazelnut Shortbread, Shortbread Cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies

kimberly killebrew the daring gourmet

Hi, I’m Kimberly Killebrew and welcome to Daring Gourmet where you'll find delicious originals, revitalized classics, and simply downright good eats from around the world! Originally from Germany, later raised in England, world-traveled, and now living in the U.S., from my globally-influenced kitchen I invite you to tour the world through your taste buds!

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Recipe Rating

5 from 1 vote


  1. Hi Kimberly, Just finished baking and they turned out beautifully, after dipping in chocolate I first sprinkled with a bit of citrus sugar from my candied oranges and lemons and then with chopped hazelnuts. Your recipes are incredible, haven’t tried one yet I didn’t like. Thanks so much!! Still waiting for the springerel recipe. So lucky to live next to where hazelnuts are grown.

    1. Thanks so much, Mary, I really appreciate that. You are lucky indeed. I LOVE hazelnuts, they’re such an integral part of baking in Germany but relatively few people in the U.S. use them – other than eating Nutella ;) The Springerle recipe is coming :)

  2. Hi Kimberly, Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe! I tried this recipe last week, and it turned out amazing! I just have a quick question: how long can I keep the dough in the fridge ? Can I freeze it?
    Thank you :)

    1. Wonderful! You can refrigerate it for at least several days. I haven’t tried freezing this dough but generally any cookie dough with a lot of butter freezes well.

  3. Kimberly, I did go ahead and make these as a last minute addition to my Christmas cookie platter (cookies and ice cream buffet is our family’s Christmas Day dessert). I have three standards I always make, and each year add in a couple of experiments. For this recipe, I used Bob’s Red Mill hazelnut flour instead of starting with whole hazelnuts, and lightly toasted the specified 0.5 cup in a parchment-lined jelly roll pan at 350 (stir frequently) until it was lightly browned. As per our discussion above, I divided the dough in half and made half chocolate (Valrhona cocoa, 1.5T). Dipped in melted Lindt dark 70% (available in the local grocery store), sprinkled with chopped toasted skinned hazelnuts, and a bit of red Christmas decorations. Whoa – they were incredible! My college-aged nephew who has been addicted to Nutella from the day he was born wanted the recipe, and people ate so many there weren’t any left-over for me :(
    Guess I’ll have to make some more, this is a seriously special recipe, which is headed from experimental to standard status!

    1. Yahoo! I’m so thrilled to hear that, Jan. Thanks so much for the feedback and Happy New Year!

  4. Is 3 Tablespoons of cocoa the amount for making the entire recipe chocolate, or half the dough, as in your photo? In other words, if I am going to divide the dough in half, and make half plain and half chocolate, do I want 1.5T or 3T for the chocolate half of the dough? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jan, 3 tablespoons is if you’re making the entire batch chocolate-flavored. So if you’re making a batch of dough and want half of it to be chocolate, then yes, use 1 1/2. If you like it really chocolately you can use a little more. Happy baking!

  5. I love love love hazelnuts. I’ve never used hazelnut oil in baking, but after seeing your shortbread cookies, I need to change that.These look really delicious.

    1. Thanks for the compliment, sweetlab! Absolutely, as a baker you’ll find lots of yummy ways to incorporate hazelnut oil. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    1. Thanks, Kathleen! I’m usually not a raw cookie dough eater, but this dough was divine! The hazelnut flavor was even more pronounced in raw state and I could have easily eaten the whole batch unbaked ;)

    1. They were good…and didn’t last very long. Not overly sweet, which I prefer (unless you load up on Nutella, haha!), but you can always add more sugar if you prefer. I’m going to be experimenting more with the hazelnut oil and post more recipes using it.