What if I told you that Nutella thumbprint cookies might be the easiest cookie recipe you’ll make this year? Nutellotti only require 3 ingredients and less than 30 minutes of your time. Add a 4th ingredient – whole hazelnuts – and you’ll have show-stopping hazelnut thumbprint cookies on your table with very little effort.
What are Nutellotti?
Nutellotti are Italian cookies made with Nutella. Any hazelnut spread, really, but Nutella is definitely the most famous and widespread. The famous hazelnut spread gives these cookies their name, along with the suffix -otti to recall the word biscotti, Italian for cookies. “Biscotti” in Italian is a general term that includes all sorts of baked cookies, not just the hard ones with nuts as they’re known in English (those are called cantucci in Italian).
Nutellotti are one of those recipes that regularly pop up on your feed if you follow Italian food channels and bloggers. At a total count of 3 ingredients, they might be the easiest thumbprint cookie recipe you can find. In fact, they are famous for being the typical student house baked goods, as they are easy, cheap and made with what can be considered student house pantry staples: Nutella, flour and one egg.
How to make Nutellotti
To stick with the basic nutellotti recipe all you need are the three ingredients mentioned above: hazelnut spread, flour and one egg. In this nutellotti recipe we are trying to make things a bit more interesting by adding a 4th ingredient: whole hazelnuts. Those are used to top our Nutella thumbprint cookies and make our nutellotti even more delicious.
To make nutellotti cookies you need to combine the hazelnut spread and the egg in a bowl and give it a nice whisk to combine. The awesome thing is that you don’t even need a mixer: you can just make everything with a fork! Remember that this is a student recipe and not all student apartments come with such amenities as an electric hand mixer. Mine didn’t, alas, and I had to borrow my flatmate’s mom’s.
You should also try these soft and chewy hazelnut cookies!
When the egg has been incorporated and the mixture looks homogeneous, sift half of the flour and mix it in. When smooth, sift the remaining flour and keep mixing until your dough comes together. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes, as this recipe is really easy. Shouldn’t get too lumpy, either.
Divide the dough into small balls. To ensure my nutellotti would all come out the same size, I weighed mine at 15 g each. Place your dough balls on an oven tray lined with baking paper. To make thumbprint cookies you just need to press a finger in the centre of each ball to create a little well in the middle.
Bake your nutellotti in the preheated oven at 175°C for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven tray as soon as you take them out and let them cool to room temperature before adding any filling.
Nutellotti shouldn’t grow much in size in the oven, but you can expect them to flatten down a little, or the bottom of the thumbprint hole to lightly rise, so that it will not appear as deep as it was when unbaked.
Nutella thumbprint cookies
The traditional nutellotti finish features a little hazelnut spread piped into the thumbprint hole. When your cookies have cooled to room temperature, add 2 tsp Nutella to a piping bag and fill the thumbprint holes with the hazelnut cream.
Keep them simple and your three-ingredient nutellotti cookies are already ready to impress. But if you want to take your nutellotti to the next level you just need one simple step to turn them into show-stopping hazelnut thumbprint cookies! Gently press a whole hazelnut into the Nutella-filled thumbprint hole and your simple nutella biscuits will have become a thing of beauty that looks much more complicated than it really was.
Toasted hazelnuts are to be preferred, as toasted nuts possess a beautiful depth of flavour. If you don’t have access to whole hazelnuts, you can as well top your nutellotti with coarsely ground hazelnuts. These are generally easier to find among baking ingredients in stores, and are also generally cheaper than whole hazelnuts.
Can I use a different hazelnut spread?
I have made nutellotti several times and I have always used Nutella. As provider of the sugar and fat needed with the egg and flour to make these cookies, original Nutella works perfectly with the proportions listed in this recipe. I believe that using other brands could yield similar results, but you may have to adjust the amount of flour due to a potentially different fat content in a different cream.
Just in case you bought a large jar and don’t know what to do with leftovers, you can also try this Nutella panna cotta! Just in case. If you want to eat it on bread I’m not here to judge. That’s my favourite way to enjoy the delicious hazelnut spread!
Nutellotti, Nutella thumbprint cookies
- 180 g Nutella + 2 tsp divided
- 130 g flour
- 1 egg
- 24 whole hazelnuts
- Combine the Nutella and egg in a bowl and whisk with a fork.
- When combined, add half of the flour, sifted, and stir in.
- Sift the remaining flour and mix it in until you get a homogeneous dough.
- Divide the dough and roll it into small balls (about 15 g each).
- Place dough balls onto an oven tray lined with baking paper.
- Press a finger in the middle of each ball to create the thumbprint cookie effect.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 175°C (350°F) for 10 minutes. Immediately remove the cookies from the hot tray and let cool to room temperature.
- When coole dcompletely, add 2 tsp Nutella to a piping bag and pipe a little hazelnut spread into each thumbprint hole. Top with a whole hazelnut.
This recipe was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated in July 2020 with new text, process shots and a recipe card.