Buttery hazelnut cookies filled with a jewel-like center of sweet raspberry jam, these Raspberry Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies (Hallongrottor) are both eye-catching and irresistible.
Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to making these simple and delicious classic Swedish cookies at home!
Why This Recipe Works
These Raspberry Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies belong in your baking repertoire because:
- They contain toasted ground hazelnuts which add both flavor and richness;
- The raspberry jam filling is a perfect fruity counterpoint to the buttery cookie; AND
- Baking the cookies in mini paper baking cups (the traditional Swedish way) keeps the interior texture soft with just a little crispness on top. Yes, they are thumbprint cookie perfection!
Just a few things to note about the ingredients for these Raspberry Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies:
- Hazelnuts. Ground hazelnuts are not typically found in thumbprint cookies, but are a wonderfully rich and and welcome addition, especially as a counterpoint to the fruity raspberry jam.
- Vanilla and almond extracts. Including both vanilla and almond extract may seem strange, but they work very well together here, neither one overpowering the other.
- Raspberry jam or preserves. I use the Trader Joe's brand of Raspberry preserves, and I prefer to buy a brand with seeds as the flavor seems to be better. This recipe calls for heating and straining the jam prior to filling the cookies so there are no seeds in the filling of the finished cookie.
- Mini baking cups. In Sweden these cookies are traditionally baked in little paper baking cups, which is not only a lovely presentation, but also keeps the cookie a little softer in texture as the baking cups offer a little protection from the heat of the oven. You can definitely skip the baking cups and just bake these cookies right on a parchment -lined baking sheet, but I prefer the tender texture of the cookies when they are baked inside these little paper liners.
How To Make This Recipe
These Raspberry Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies come together very easily and in no time at all:
- First toast your hazelnuts in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Wrap them in a clean kitchen towel and let them steam for a few minutes and then rub them vigorously with the towel to remove the skins. If some of the papery skin stubbornly clings to the nuts, don't worry about it. There is no need to remove every last bit of it.
- Next, place the flour, salt and hazelnuts in food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground.
- Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and extracts and mix until completely incorporated. Add the flour mixture on low speed and mix until the dough JUST comes together.
- Form the dough into tablespoon-size balls using the palms of your hands. Place each one in a paper cup. Divide the cups between two rimmed baking sheets.
- Using a rounded teaspoon, make a divot in the center of each dough ball. This works so much better than actually using your thumb and/or fingers (that's how they got the name, thumbprints) and creates a nice even well for the filling.
- Bake for about 16 minutes, rotating the baking sheets half way through the baking time. Once the cookies come out of the oven and are still hot, carefully reinforce the divot in the center with a clean teaspoon (it will have puffed up slightly during the baking process).
- While the cookies are baking, make the raspberry jam filling. Simply heat the jam on the stove until it's bubbling. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard the seeds.
- Spoon the warm seedless jam into the well in the center of each cookie. Allow it sit for a few minutes to set up. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired and enjoy!
Here's how to make your Raspberry Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies the very best they can be every time:
- Use the mini baking cups if you want your cookies to be soft and tender. The baking cups protect the cookies while they are baking and create a soft and tender texture in the final result.
- Don't over mix the dough after you've added the flour/hazelnut mixture. This can lead to tough cookies. A quick mix until the flour is JUST incorporated is all you need.
- Take the time to reinforce the well in the center of each cookie after they come out of the oven. It will have puffed up slightly during the baking process. Press down gently with a clean rounded teaspoon while the cookie is still warm to create more room for that delicious raspberry filling.
- Use a clean rounded teaspoon to carefully spoon the warm jam into the cookies. This offers more precision than a regular spoon and helps prevent jam from dripping onto the edge of the cookies.
Hallongrottor (or hallongrotta, singular) means "raspberry caves" in Swedish. The perfect name for this buttery little cookie with a divot in the center filled with raspberry jam!
I haven't tried it, but I suspect almonds might be delicious here as well.
In Sweden these cookies are traditionally baked in little paper baking cups, which is not only a lovely presentation, but also keeps the cookie a little softer in texture as the baking cups offer a little protection from the heat of the oven. You can definitely skip the baking cups and just bake these cookies right on a parchment -lined baking sheet, but I prefer the tender texture of the cookies when they are baked inside these little paper liners.
They keep well in a sealed container at room temperature for 2 days. But try to keep them in a single layer as the jam will stick to whatever is stacked on top of it.
You can! The best way to freeze them is to store the unfilled cookies in a tightly sealed container or freezer bag for up to two months. Simply take out as many as you want to serve and defrost at room temperature. Warm and strain as much raspberry jam as needed to fill them.
I do hope you will give these cookies a try! They have very quickly become a fika (and quite honestly breakfast in my case....not going to lie) favorite around our house, and I know you are going to love them, too! Looking for more tasty Scandinavian cookies to go with your afternoon cup of coffee? I've got several here on the blog:
Hazelnut Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies (Hallongrottor)
- 26 mini paper baking cups
- Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Transfer nuts to a clean kitchen towel and wrap them inside allowing the nuts to steam for a minute or so. Vigorously rub the nuts between the kitchen towel to remove the skins (don’t worry if all the skins don’t come off).
- Transfer the toasted hazelnuts to a food processor along with flour and salt. Process until the mixture is finely ground.
- Place butter and sugar in the work bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and extracts and mix until fully combined. Slowly add flour and hazelnut mixture and mix on low until just combined.
- Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls using the palms of your hands. Place each dough ball inside a mini baking cup. Divide the filled mini baking cups between two rimmed baking sheets. Press the back of a rounded teaspoon in the center of each cookie.
- Bake cookies for 16-18 minutes or until just golden brown on the edges, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Immediately after the cookies come out of the oven, reinforce the well in the center of each cookie with a clean rounded teaspoon. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the raspberry filling. Heat the jam in a saucepan over medium low heat until bubbling. Pour through a fine mesh strainer, stirring and pressing on the seeds to extract as much of the jam as possible. Discard the seeds. Carefully spoon the warm jam into the center of the cooled cookies. Allow jam to set slightly before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
If you loved this recipe, give it a star review! Also, snap a picture of your Raspberry Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #truenorthkitchen and tagging me @true_north_kitchen.