Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies

5 from 2 votes

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Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies are a soft buttery nut cookie recipe filled with a tart citrus filling. Great for spring, Easter, and holiday platters like Christmas.
A closer view of the Italian Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies on a small plate.

These Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies celebrate Italian flavors in a soft cookie recipe. A nut based dough is filled with a pocket of tart citrus for a great balance of flavors.

A small pile of Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies on a counter with ingredients around them.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies are a delightful and flavorful variation of the classic thumbprint cookie.

These cookies feature a buttery hazelnut cookie base filled with a tangy and sweet lemon curd.

These Italian inspired cookies elevate the tart citrus filling with a ground nut dough.

These Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies combine the nutty flavor of hazelnuts with the bright and zesty taste of lemon, creating a delightful treat that’s perfect for various occasions, from holiday gatherings to afternoon tea.

They make a great cookie to eat all times of year, especially in the spring and as a bright option for Christmas holiday cookies.

Chocolate lover? You should also try our Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies.


These are the ingredients you need for the recipe. Full quantities and instructions can be found below.

Hazelnuts – classic Italian nut! But you could swap for almonds or walnuts if preferred.

All Purpose Flour


Unsalted Butter

Large Egg Yolk – save the white to make breakfast!

Vanilla Extract


Lemon Curd – you can make your own or buy it premade near jam in your store

A closer view of the Italian Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies on a small plate.

Instruction Overview

This is an overview of how to make the cookies. Find full details and instructions in the full recipe card below.

First toast and skin the nuts. Toasting the nuts brings out their flavor more!

Blend the nuts with the flour and salt. I like to leave it a touch coarser like rough sand for texture, but you can also blend to a find ground if desired.

Beat your sugar and butter in a stand mixture.

Add the egg and vanilla to combine.

Mix in your nut mixture.

Portion the dough and place on silicone mat or parchment paper lined baking sheets.

Press indents into the cookies using a measuring spoon.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until just setting.

Remove and re-press the spoon to fix the indents as they will have risen some.

Fill each indent with lemon curd.

Finish baking and let cool completely.

Kim’s Tips

I used homemade lemon curd. And because it was whipped, the air travels to the top when baking which makes them look this pale yellow. If you want a darker yellow, your best bet is to use jarred lemon curd which you can normally find near jam in your grocery store.

I like to not fully grind the nuts so there is a little texture to them still. But if you want a smoother texture, make sure they are finely ground.


Why are my thumbprint cookies falling apart?

If falling apart when raw, your dough might be too dry.
If falling apart after the first bake, your oven might be running hot.

Why are my thumbprint cookies spreading?

This tends to happen when butter is too soft. Your oven might be running too hot. You can help this by chilling the dough after portioning and shaping, before the first bake.

How do you keep thumbprint cookies from cracking?

This is tricky. Your dough might be a little too dry which can happen with overly dry flour or your environment (altitude, heat, humidity). They will still taste great!
To prevent this, you can reduce the flour by 1/4 cup at first and add in more to mix if needed based on how the dough comes together.

Can you freeze unbaked thumbprint cookies?

Yes! Both baked and unbaked thumbprint cookies will freeze well.

Should you refrigerate thumbprint cookies?

No, thumbprint cookies can be kept at room temperature in an air tight container. They are best within a week.

A small white plate with Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies surrounded by nuts and lemon.
Pin of Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies with title at top.

More Italian Cookies

Italian Cookies

A closer view of the Italian Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies on a small plate.

Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies

Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies are a soft buttery nut cookie recipe filled with a tart citrus filling. Great for spring, Easter, and holiday platters like Christmas.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: International
Keyword: Holiday, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 22 cookies
Calories: 117kcal




  • Preheat oven to 350℉ (177℃) with racks in the middle upper and middle lower positions.
  • Put your hazelnuts on a baking sheet. When the oven is hot, bake to toast for 7 minutes on the lower rack. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave the oven on at 350℉.
    ¾ cup hazelnuts
  • Rub the hazelnuts to remove most of the skins. Some left is fine. Discard the skins.
  • In a food processor, combine the toasted hazelnuts, flour, and salt. Process until coarsely ground, approximately 15-20 seconds. (See note 1).
    5 ounces all purpose flour, pinch salt
  • Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or large bowl with hand mixer). Beat on medium high speed until soft and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
    8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 ⅓ ounces granulated sugar
  • Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract to the butter. Beat until well combined.
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 large egg yolk
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the nut mixture to the butter. Mix until well incorporated.
  • Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • Scoop out dough into 1 Tablespoon portions (I use a measuring spoon to do this). Press the dough together to make sure it is well combined, and shape into a ball.
  • Place each dough ball on the baking sheets approximately 1-2 inches apart. They will spread out a little but not much.
  • Use the back, rounded end of a half teaspoon to press a hole in the middle of each dough ball. If it sticks, spray the back of the spoon with some cooking spray.
  • Bake at 350℉ (177℃) for 10 minutes, until they are just setting.
  • Remove the trays from the oven and re-press the half teaspoon into each cookie to reshape the indentations. If there are cracks in the side walls, the lemon will leak out.
  • Pour a little of the lemon curd into each cookie indentation until it is full.
    ½ cup lemon curd
  • Put the cookie sheets back in the oven, rotating which one was on top, and bake another 8 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.


  1. A coarse grind of the nuts gives you a little texture and a beautiful speckled effect. If desired, you can finely ground instead.
  2. I used homemade lemon curd, which is why the yellow part looks so light as the air I whipped in rose to the surface during baking. Jarred lemon curd is more likely to result in a darker yellow as it has not been recently whipped.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 139IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
By on December 15th, 2023

About Kim

Kim has grown up with a passion for cooking good food! You can find her in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes, making dog treats, and eating Italian food!

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2 thoughts on “Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprint Cookies”

  1. 5 stars
    The combination of sweetness, creaminess, and tartness that come from the lemon is dellectable. It’s textures is neither soft or hard and crunchy, it is unique in a good and great way!

  2. I’m always looking for unique cookie recipes, and your recipe did not disappoint me! They had the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness, and I couldn’t stop eating them.


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