Simple baking staples plus toasted hazelnuts are combined to make delicious yet classic vegan shortbread cookies. I drizzle them with an easy chocolate ganache and a bit of sea salt for an extra special treat that’s perfect to share at your next cookie swap or holiday party.
This post was updated in October 2019 with more tips and instructions
What’s better than a buttery shortbread cookie?!
Nothing my friends. Kidding, adding toasted hazelnut is totally better.
The subtle taste of toasted hazelnut combined with a shortbread cookie is pure heaven. This shortbread cookie recipe is so delicious and can easily be made vegan, making them a real crowd pleaser everyone can enjoy. Adding a sweet drizzle of chocolate ganache and flecks of sea salt helps make them extra special for enjoying at the holidays.
Baking cookies during the holiday season has always been a cherished tradition growing up. Finding new recipes as well as remaking family favorites, I am a baking machine around Christmas. I hope you give my vegan hazelnut shortbread cookie recipe a try this season and let me know what you think!
Ingredients for vegan shortbread cookies
Hazelnuts are definitely a more pricey, rare ingredient I use, but I would say these hazelnut shortbread cookies are a good exception (that and this vegan Nutella recipe of course!). The holidays tend to be a good time to splurge a bit, and sharing a batch of sweet vegan shortbread with family and friends is totally worth every penny!
Here are all of the ingredients needed to make my vegan shortbread cookie recipe:
- Brown sugar and cane sugar
- Vegan butter (I like Earth Balance or Miyokos)
To make the chocolate topping you’ll just need vegan dark chocolate chips and coconut oil.
How to toast hazelnuts
This vegan hazelnut shortbread cookie recipe, obviously, includes wonderfully flavorful and crunchy toasted hazelnuts. Follow these easy steps for toasting them at home:
- Firstly, preheat the oven to 375. Toast the hazelnuts whole on a baking sheet for 8 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Once cooled, roll hazelnuts with the palm of your hand to remove the skins.
- Place in a food processor and blend until they resemble a coarse flour.
How to make vegan shortbread cookie dough
- Using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until its nice and fluffy.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients.
- Combine dry with wet and mix until dough is formed.
- Fold in hazelnuts using hands.
Wrap the dough in plastic and let chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
After the dough is chilled, unwrap and slice into even discs. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the chocolate sauce by microwaving the vegan dark chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a microwave-safe bowl in short intervals, stirring between bursts.
Once cooled, drizzle the hazelnut shortbread cookies with a bit of homemade chocolate ganache and add a dash of sea salt to each.
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Other Add-Ins You Can Include in this Vegan Shortbread recipe
Not a fan of hazelnuts? No problem!
Swap the toasted hazelnuts with toasted pecans, cocoa nibs, or dried cranberries for other yummy shortbread flavors. You can even add orange or lemon zest, cinnamon, fresh chopped rosemary, or any combination of spices you like!
Key tips for making the best shortbread cookies from scratch:
Like in all baking, there are certain tips and tricks to making a perfect shortbread cookie.
- Make sure the butter is room temperature before starting. This will ensure your cookies are soft and fluffy.
- Start by creaming the butter with the sugar and slowly incorporating flour to create the dough.
- Be sure to refrigerate the cookie dough before baking. This will eliminate cookies from spreading when baking since the fat content will be more solid. This is crucial when cutting out shapes in shortbread cookies.
Can you freeze vegan shortbread cookies?
Definitely you can freeze these cookies. The best way to do so is by first flash freezing them for an hour or so on a plate or baking sheet. Then, transfer to a plastic freezer bag and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This cookie recipe is pretty simple and is great for holiday get-togethers or cookie swap parties!
Does this recipe double well?
Absolutely! I recommend doubling this vegan hazelnut shortbread cookie recipe if making for a party.
If you tried making these hazelnut shortbread cookies, let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!
Other vegan Christmas cookie Recipes You’ll Love:
- Vegan and Gluten-Free Thumbprint Cookies
- Soft Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
- Mexican Wedding Cookies
- Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
- Vegan Almond Joy Cookies
Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan butter room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place whole hazelnuts on baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool. Turn down oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl, add room temperature butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until butter and sugar are completely "creamed" or well mixed. It should be light and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, whisk flour and salt together. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in small increments, mixing in between.
- Remove skins from toasted hazelnuts and place them in a food processor. Pulse until completely grounded (should resemble coarse flour).
- Add hazelnut pieces into the dough and fold in pieces using hands.
- Shape cookie dough into a log that is about 9 inches long. Wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for 1 hour.
- Remove the cookie dough from the freezer and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice the cookie dough into 3/4-inch slices. Place cookies on non-stick baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool. Drizzle with chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
- In a small bowl, add chocolate chips and coconut oil. Mircowave in 30-second increments, stirring inbetween each increment, until chocolate is completely melted.
- If dough is too dry, meaning it crumbles, try adding 1 teaspoon of water at a time until it forms. Sometimes the butter used does not have enough water content and the dough will be crumbly.
- Using this recipe for a party? I recommend doubling the recipe!
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