These chocolate-dipped hazelnut shortbread cookies are tender, buttery and so dang flavorful. Made with less than 10 ingredients, these lightly spiced cookies are to die for.

This treat was mostly developed with my mother in mind. Every year around the holidays she makes 100+ cookies for a cookie exchange among her friends, and she’s always looking for something new and interesting that’s also easy enough to get done on a weeknight.

With her schedule in mind and my desire to create something worth writing about I decided to take the classic shortbread cookie and turn it up a notch.

Photograph of shortbread cookies stacked on top of each other

Swapping out half of the flour for ground toasted hazelnuts creates dynamite texture and toasty, nutty flavor. (I could add a little nugget about health here, but I’ll be honest, it just makes these cookies damn good.) A generous amount of cardamom offers a surprising and additive spicy-warmth and a dunk in dark chocolate never did a cookie any harm.

Photograph of shortbread cookie being dunked in melted dark chocolate

What’s in hazelnut shortbread cookies?

These cookies require less than 10 ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand! Here’s what you need:

  • Flour
  • Toasted hazelnuts
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Cardamom
  • Vanilla
  • Dark chocolate
Chocolate dipped shortbread cookies being topped with chopped nuts

How to make hazelnut shortbread cookies:

The process of making these cookies is somewhat similar to how you make regular shortbread cookies. The largest difference is that ground hazelnuts take the place of some of the flour.

  1. Process flour, hazelnuts, cornstarch and salt together in a food processor
  2. Beat butter and sugar together in a stand mixer
  3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix
  4. Form dough into a rectangle and chill
  5. Slice dough; transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet and bake
  6. Dip cookies in melted chocolate

Hazelnut & Cardamom Shortbread Cookies with Dark Chocolate

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours
Yield 26 cookies
Author Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen



  • 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) toasted and husked hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (3 ½ ounces) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup toasted and husked hazelnuts, chopped


  • Process flour, hazelnuts, cornstarch, and salt in a food processor until hazelnuts are finely ground, about 40 seconds, stopping to stir halfway through.
  • Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl, add cardamom and vanilla and mix to combine.
  • Add flour-hazelnut mixture and beat on medium until dough resembles damp sand and holds together when pressed between fingers, 3-4 minutes. (Make sure to mix for at least 3 minutes for best results.)
  • Turn dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and firmly press together to form a 7×3-inch rectangle. Tightly wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 3 days.
  • Preheat oven to 325° and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice chilled dough into ¼-inch thick slices and transfer to prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake 18-20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until edges begin to brown. Cool cookies on sheet pan 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  • In a glass bowl, melt chocolate chips in microwave on high in 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until completely melted.
  • Dip cookies in chocolate, transfer to wire racks, and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Once chocolate has set, store cookies in an airtight container with parchment paper between each layer.


So you might be reading over the recipe thinking, “uhmm hello, these cookies have to chill for two hours, how is this a weeknight-friendly recipe?” Well you see, if you whip up this dough the night before (or even a few night before) all you have to do is slice, bake, and dunk when you are ready. Heck, you could whip up the dough in the morning before work. But who am I kidding, who wants to start off the day with 3 spoonfuls of cookie dough for breakfast?…


Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Photograph of shortbread cookies stacked on top of each other on a gray plate

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


    1. Hi Zahra! The cornstarch is important for creating a tender, melt-in-your-mouth cookie. You can also use arrowroot starch if you have it! I haven’t tested this, but you could decrease the sugar to 1/3 cup and use 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar) in place of the cornstarch. Hope that helps!

  1. Hello, I don’t have a stand up mixer, but have an electric handheld single whisk mixer. Would this still work in lieu of the stand up mixer with paddle?

    1. I tara, that should work just fine! Be sure to mix the dough well, you want it to look like wet sand, but hold together when pinched between fingers. Let me know how it goes!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe came up in my Instagram feed and I knew immediately it was going on my holiday cookie list. I love shortbread because it is so versatile; it can be sweet, savory and in between. And I felt confident that the combination of hazelnuts and cardamom would be delicious.
    The instructions are well written and I really appreciate that Lauren has measurements in both ounces and cups. It is so much easier to weigh out ingredients, especially flour, on a scale! I chose not to cut the dough in rectangles as she did because I needed some round cookies to add interest to my assortment, but it didn’t matter, they came out beautifully with my scalloped edged cutter.
    I had some Valrhona 72% dark chocolate disks and decided to use those instead of the Nestle chips I had in my pantry. Honestly, I feel like the “boujee” chocolate gilded the lily. The cookie itself is pretty darn perfect. Chocolate adds to the experience for sure, but there are diminishing returns to adding super fancy chocolate. I actually really want to try these again with a high quality milk chocolate. I think they would be wonderful. No matter the chocolate, I highly recommend this recipe!