These vegan Nutella Thumbprints are made with hazelnuts and cacao while the caramel filling is made with dates OR mascarpone, depending on your dietary needs. Both options are delicious!
Ohhhh yeah, I’m bringing them back. Bringing what back, you ask? My infamous Nutella Cupcakes, which continue to be one of my most popular recipes.
These Nutella Thumbprints are quite similar, though slightly smaller in size and instead of the entire cookie being Nutella flavored, only the outer layer is. Miguel took them to work and he said they were gone within an hour, so I consider that a success.
I figured since I bombarded you with breakfast recipes last week, I’d bring you something a bit more…chocolatey.. on this Monday morning. I try to include a variety of recipes each week (i.e. one breakfast, one dinner and one dessert or something of the sort), but it doesn’t always work out that way. I’m trying to this week though!
Oh and very brief weekend recap (because I must!): Friday night Miguel and I stayed in, ate pizza and watched Manchester by the Sea, which I really enjoyed though it was the opposite of uplifting. Saturday I was uuuuuber productive in the morning/early afternoon before heading out to an early dinner with some friends. However, I was (and still kind of am) feeling a little sick (sore throat and congested, if you’re dying to know), so I stayed in with Layla Saturday night while Miguel went out with some friends, and then Sunday was spent working in the morning and at my mom’s house later in the day to celebrate my stepdad’s birthday. All and all, a chill weekend.
And now back to the thumbprints!
For the filling, you have two options. If you want to keep these vegan, use date caramel as the filling (you can find the recipe here). If you aren’t vegan and don’t care if these cookies are, I used mascarpone plus my healthier salted caramel sauce for the filling. Both options are delicious, though I’m partial to the mascarpone, as you can see in the photos. A third option to keep these vegan would be to combine my salted caramel sauce with dairy free yogurt. So many choices, all very, very delicious.
Oh and I just have to say—I know it may seem like I’m obsessed with mascarpone (because I am), but what typically happens is that I buy a container of it but only use half of it in a recipe, so then I basically have to use up the rest of the mascarpone in a second recipe. Like, I HAVE to. It’s a must.
If you try these Nutella thumbprints, be sure to tag @thealmondeater and use #thealmondeater on Instagram—I love to see your creations!
- For the cookies: combine hazelnuts, cocoa powder and dates in a food processor and pulse for 20-30 seconds; add syrup, vanilla and cinnamon and pulse until everything is combined.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop mixture out little by little--you're going to roll a small amount into a golf ball-sized ball, place it on the baking sheet, and then use your thumb to make a hole in the middle.
- Repeat this process until there's no more cookie dough left. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator to allow cookies to firm up while you make the filling.
- If you're using the mascarpone cheese option (the one I used in the photos), simply combine mascarpone and caramel sauce in a bowl and stir it well with an electric mixture. Add filling to the middle of each cookie and enjoy!
- If you're using the date caramel, simply combine all ingredients in a blender, blend, and then add the filling to the middle of the cookies.
- Cookies should be stored in the refrigerator.