X’mas Hazelnut Cookies (Dolcetti alle Nocciole)


The Christmas season is heralded in my house with the inebriating smell of sweet treats baking in the oven, may they be my almond pastries, favoured by my boys for their resemblance with Rudolph’s red, shiny nose, or my dad’s morsel of choice, soft hazelnut cookies. These rustic looking nuggets are simply irresistible and they can happily carry you throughout your busy festive day: perfectly dunked in your morning coffee, afternoon tea or after dinner digestivo, they are sure to become your new best friend. The fact that they are rolled and baked in under 30 minutes will make them highly addictive…You are warned!


2 egg whites

1 cup of hazelnut meal (ground hazelnuts)

1-1/2 cup of icing sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies in

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, or the seeds from half vanilla bean


1. Heat up your oven to 180 C (350 F)

2. Mix egg whites, gournd hazelnut, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl until a thick paste forms.

3. Pinch off small bits of paste to shape balls the size of a large walnut.

4. Generously roll the balls in plenty of icing sugar.

5. Place the cookies, well distanced apart, onto an oven tray lined with baking paper.


6. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cracked and beautifully puffed up.


Cool at room temperature and merrily consume with glee.


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21 Comments Add yours

  1. These cookies look delicious, Silvia. I just happen to have hazelnut meal in my freezer. Now I have something to bake with it.

    1. I have never thought of keeping hazelnut meal in the freezer, what a great idea!

      1. I keep all my nut products there, so they do not spoil.

  2. Not sure what icing sugar is Silvia…could I sub almonds or walnuts? Great easy recipe ! xo ~~ally

    1. Hi Ally, do you call is powdered sugar or confectioner sugar in the US?
      xxx Merry X’mas!

  3. Ally, of course, you can mix almonds and hazelnut together too, yum!

    1. Great…and powdered sugar it is!! 🙂 Thanks, Beautiful!!

  4. Silvia, These look beautiful! And, so simple to make. We can’t use almonds because of my son’s allergy, but hazelnuts are OK. Ground hazelnuts are easy to find here in Switzerland, so I throw them in oatmeal, cookies, cakes, and more. So happy to have found your blog. Many thanks, Heddi

    1. Thanks Heidi! I hope you had a wonderful festive season!

  5. Rita says:

    Where can I get your cookbook in Canada? I would really like to purchase it as I enjoy your recipes so much!

    1. HI Rita! At the moment the book is available in Australia only. I will let you know as soon as it is sold internationally.

  6. Alex says:

    I loove hazelnut, these sound so perfect and simple!

    1. So simple…too simple, I can’t stop baking these!

  7. I love all the flavors here and of course the simple ingredients! these will spice up my table this season.

    1. HI Ale! I hope you and family had a great holiday

  8. Lyn says:

    Thanks Silvia, a wonderfully quick recipe. They are currently baking in oven and smell wonderful. Hoping to give them as gifts for Christmas, but not sure if they’ll make it out the front door!

    1. How wonderful Lyn! I hope you had a great Xmas.

  9. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but these looks too good to pass up! I love the way they cookies open up as they bake, revealing a beautiful crumb.

    1. Thanks Frank! Yes, I don’t think you necessarily need a sweet tooth to enjoy these!

  10. Deborah says:

    Have just taken them out of the oven and need to store them until Tuesday, what do you suggest ? So easy and they look amazing , thank you !

    1. Of course! They will keep for 2 weeks, at least! Store in an air-tight container once they have cooled down.

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