These vegan hazelnut cookies are easy to make, with ground hazelnuts in the cookie dough, as well as chopped hazels on top for extra crunch. They are a favourite bake for Christmas, but you can enjoy them any time of year!
We created this recipe based on a traditional Christmas cookie from Paul’s homeland of Austria called Nusstaler. Nuss translates as nut, and Taler is an old type of Germanic coin, which makes sense when you see the coin-like shape these small cookies have.
These little cookies are great for sharing and making as gifts or taking to a cookie exchange. We've included a few ideas for variations you can make as well.
These cookies are super moreish too. My family demolished their way through this full tin in just one evening!
There’s just six ingredients for these cookies:
- Hazelnuts - You’ll want to grind some up to go in the cookie dough, and roughly chop some to go on top of the cookies. We buy organic hazelnuts in bulk for better value.
- Vegan butter - We recommend a block type vegan butter for baking such as Naturli, Flora Plant, Earth Balance Sticks or Miyokos.
- Granulated sugar
- Plain flour (or all purpose)
- Ground flaxseed and water - This gets combined to make a gel, which helps bind the cookies (and replaces the egg in the original recipe)
- And a bit of baking powder
Step by step
Step 1 - Mix together the diced vegan butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, ground hazelnuts and flax/water mix until you have a uniform dough that doesn’t stick to the side of the bowl.
Step 2 - Divide the dough into 3 or 4 portions and squeeze then gently roll the dough into log shapes about 1 inch or 3cm thick. Make sure they are firm and don’t have air trapped inside them. Leave them to chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. (We put them on a board or plate and cover with a clean tea towel, as we avoid using clingfilm.)
Step 3 - With a sharp knife slice the logs into discs about ¼ inch or just under 1cm thick.
Step 4 - Top the cookies with chopped hazelnuts. You can either dip them directly into the nuts, press down gently then turn over. Or just cover the tops in the hazels and lightly firm down.
Step 5 - Place on a lined tray and bake at 180C or 355F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. You can put them quite close together because they shouldn't spread very much - we did around 25 cookies per full width baking tray.
Substitutions and variations
Instead of hazelnuts, you could use other nuts such as almonds or walnuts to make these cookies.
To make chocolate dipped cookies
Because chocolate and hazelnuts are such a good flavour combination, these cookies are also amazing dipped in chocolate!
When the cookies are cool, melt some dark vegan chocolate and dip either one half, or roll the edges in the chocolate and leave to set on some baking paper or a silicone sheet.
You’ll get best results if you used tempered chocolate. Alternatively melt half the chocolate, then stir in finely chopped chocolate into it and stir well before dipping.
For cookies with a cocoa edge
Just after you form the cookie dough logs, you can roll them in a mixture of 1 tbsp cocoa mixed with 1 tbsp sugar. This will be enough for about coating about half the dough.
Chill and bake the cocoa edged cookies as for the standard recipe.
Serving and storage
These cookies make a great addition to a Christmas cookie selection, or to give as a gift.
We also really like them with a cup of tea, coffee or some thick vegan hot chocolate!
Keep these cookies in an airtight container. They’ll keep for at least a week and even longer, but they get a bit less crunchy over time.
We hope you enjoy these vegan hazelnut cookies. Here's some more Christmas cookie recipes to try:
Vegan Hazelnut Cookies
- ¼ cup (30 g) hazelnuts coarsely chopped
Mixing the dough
- Stir together the ground flaxseed and water, and let it soak for 5 minutes to make a 'flax egg'.
- Mix the flour, ground hazelnuts, sugar, baking powder, vegan butter and flax egg and using your hands, knead into a smooth dough.
- Shape the dough into logs about 3 cm thick (1 - 1.5 inches). To a make a firm log that holds together well, squeeze the dough into shape, then gently roll on a board with your palms to get an even circular shape.
- Cover the dough logs with a tea towel and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Shape and bake
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F).
- Cut the logs into slices of just under 1cm or about ¼ inch.
- Top one side of each slice with some chopped hazelnuts. Either just press the raw cookies top down into the chopped hazels, or place a small amount on top of each and gently firm down.
- Place cookies on a baking tray lined with baking parchment or reusable baking sheet. You don't need to leave a lot of space between them.
- Bake at 180°C (355°F) for 15-20 minutes, until the rim of the cookies are golden brown.