Hazelnut Balls

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Roasting the hazelnuts gives these cookies a distinctive nutty taste. They are easy to make and freeze very well.

Makes4 dozen

Preparation Time40 min

Preparation Time - Text40 minutes (includes toasting and cooling hazelnuts)

Cooking Time15 min

Cooking Time - Text15

Cooking Methodbaking


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursedessert, snack

Dietary Considerationegg-free, kosher, peanut free, soy free

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, snack, tea

Taste and Texturebuttery, crisp, nutty, sweet

Type of Dishcookie


  • 1 cup shelled hazelnuts (6 oz. approx.)
  • 1 cup sifted unbleached flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 325°F.

  3. While the hazelnuts are still hot, rub them in a dish towel to remove most of their skin (some skin will remain). Cool completely.

  4. Place the hazelnuts and the remaining ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture almost forms into a ball. Transfer the dough to a work surface and work it to a smooth ball.

  5. Place level teaspoonfuls of dough between the palms of your hands and roll into smooth balls. Place the balls on 2 ungreased baking sheets with a little space between them. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

  6. Remove the baking sheets from the refrigerator, place in the oven, and bake one at a time for about 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden.

  7. Remove from the oven, place the baking sheet on a wire rack, and let cool briefly (otherwise the cookies will crack), then place the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.

  8. To freeze the cookies, place them side by side in a foil pan lined with wax paper, cover with foil, and place in a zip-top bag.



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