These soft, decadent, chewy chocolate hazelnut cookies are made with wholesome, nourishing ingredients: perfect to satisfy your chocolate cravings. A guilt-free treat that you won’t be able to stop eating!
Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies: Indulgent and Delicious!
I wanted to make something special as a Christmas gift this year, to give to family and friends.
And everyone loves Christmas cookies!
But as I am trying to eat much healthier than ever before, I was looking for something without refined sugar that only used whole natural ingredients.
Inspired by my vegan chocolate amaretti, made with almond flour, I decided to try a cookie with ground hazelnuts.
And one of my favorite combinations, since I was a child, is chocolate and hazelnut (Nutella, anyone?). So I thought I should take inspiration from this indulgent combination.
The toasted rich nutty flavor of hazelnut mixed with chocolate is something out of this world. And these cookies are not just perfect for Christmas. They are absolutely delicious to eat all year round.
Chocolate lovers will go crazy for these cookies!
But to make this special treat as healthy as possible, instead of using coconut sugar or brown sugar, like in the original amaretti recipe, I thought: why not use Medjool dates? They have a rich, almost caramel-like taste and a soft, chewy texture that works perfectly with the dark cocoa powder and ground hazelnut.
These chocolate hazelnut cookies are simply delicious. Plus, they take such a little time and effort, and they look spectacular. And they are vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, making them ideal for anyone on a special diet.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Chopped and ground hazelnuts: I used organic whole crunchy hazelnuts. I find that grinding my hazelnuts helps to get the perfect nutty texture and a deeper flavor, but you can use hazelnut meal if you want.
- Cocoa powder: I used organic raw cocoa powder, but any dark cocoa powder will work.
- Medjool dates: These dates are much softer than regular dates. When you grind them in the food processor, they dissolve into a chewy caramel-like paste, and that’s what makes them perfect for sweetening these cookies.
- Ground flax seeds: Ground flax seeds are a crucial part of vegan baking. You can use them to make flax eggs to substitute regular eggs.
- Water: To bind the ingredients together.
- Sea salt: Just a pinch to enhance the chocolaty flavor.
How to make chocolate hazelnut cookies
- Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 320F (160C) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Make the flax egg: Add the ground flax seeds and water to a small bowl and stir. Let it rest for 5 minutes to thicken.
- Grind and chop: If you are not using hazelnut meal, place one cup of whole hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor and grind them into a coarse powder. Don’t worry if you get some bigger chunks. They will add extra texture to the cookies. Set aside the ground hazelnuts in a large bowl. In the same food processor bowl, add the Medjool dates and blitz into a paste by adding 1 tablespoon of water and the flax egg. Chop the remaining 1/3 cup of hazelnuts into chunkier pieces and spread them onto a tray or a plate.
- Combine: Combine all the ingredients with the ground hazelnuts, to form a soft, sticky ball.
- Shape the cookies: Make 10 cookie dough balls roughly the same size. Squash the ball a bit to give it a cookie shape, then lightly press each one into the chopped hazelnuts to coat.
- Bake: Place the cookies on the baking tray, and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
- Cool: Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool down on a cooling rack before moving them to a plate or airtight container. Be careful as they are pretty soft when they are hot, but they will reach the right consistency when they cool down.
How to store
You can store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Tips and notes
Make it extra special: You can use toasted hazelnuts for the hazelnuts you will grind, as they will have a nuttier richer flavor. And use untoasted hazelnuts for the chopped hazelnuts you will use for coating. I tried using toasted nuts on top, but as they toast in the oven, I found that they can burn a little.
Not vegan? You can use 1 egg white instead of the flax egg.
Make more cookies: You can make smaller cookies if you want to make bite-size treats.
Want each cookie to be extra decadent? Try adding dark chocolate chips to the dough. You’ll get some incredible double chocolate hazelnut cookies!
Why I love these chocolate hazelnut cookies
- Rich, decadent cookies filled with chocolate and hazelnut flavors.
- So good you won’t resist baking a second batch of cookies straight away!
- Flourless, refined sugar-free cookies, and made with wholesome, nourishing ingredients.
- Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
- The perfect edible gift!
And if you are looking for more chocolaty gifts this year, check out this incredibly creamy hot chocolate mix.
More cookies recipes you’ll love
- Hazelnut Gingerbread Man Sandwich Cookies
- Vegan Chocolate Amaretti
- Almond Crescent Cookies
- Almond Thumbprint Cookies
- Bounty Balls
If you make these chocolate hazelnut cookies, let me know how much you like them in the comments!
Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies (Sugar-Free)
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds - (note 2)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 cup ground hazelnuts - (note 1)
- 1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts - (note 1)
- 1/2 cup Medjool dates - pitted
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon water
- A pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 160°C/320F and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Make the flax egg: add the ground flax seeds and water to a small bowl and stir. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes to thicken (see note 2).
- Take 1 cup of hazelnuts and grind them into a coarse powder in a food processor. Don't worry if you get some bigger chunks. They will add extra texture to the cookies. Set aside the ground hazelnuts in a mixing bowl.
- In the same food processor, blend the Medjool dates into a paste by adding 1 tablespoon of water and the flax egg.
- Chop the remaining 1/3 cup (50 g) of hazelnuts into chunkier pieces and spread them onto a tray or a plate.
- Combine the ground hazelnuts, date paste, salt, and cacao powder in a large mixing bowl. Mix it all well to bind all the ingredients together and produce a thick, sticky dough.
- Divide the dough into 10 equally sized pieces. Roll each portion of dough between the palms of your hands to form a ball. Squash the ball a bit to give it a cookie shape, then lightly press each one into the chopped hazelnuts to coat.
- Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool down before moving them to a plate or airtight container. Be careful as they are pretty soft when they are hot. Resist the urge to try one warm, as they are much better when they cool down.
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