Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Totenbeinli - Hazelnut Cookies

If you love hazelnuts, then you'll love this recipe. The nuts aren't hiding in the shadows, they are the main star. So when you bite into each cookie you are guaranteed to get a good helping of whole ones, and the ground ones will linger in your mouth helped along by the sweet tang of the lemon zest. I love the simple pleasures in life. Hazelnuts are one of mine.

I'm pretty frugal when purchasing ingredients, so when I use 'expensive' ingredients (like these nuts were) then I like to use them in recipes that I feel will show them off at their best. And this Swiss recipe of my mum's is one of my favourite ways to do so. Roasting the hazelnuts adds to the experience even more. Btw "Totenbeinli" means "dead legs" in English. Creepy name, delicious taste.


75g butter/margarine
200g sugar
2 eggs
The grated zest of half a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp clove powder
1 pinch salt
50g hazelnuts, ground
200g hazelnuts, whole
250g flour (you may need to add extra)
1 egg yolk (this will be used as an egg-wash. You could skip it but it gives a nice yellow sheen to the tops of the cookies)


First you'll need to roast the hazelnuts. I find it easiest to cook them in the oven on a roasting tray, just spread them out and cook them at 200 Celsius for 5 minutes or so, until they are golden. You'll need to babysit them as they will go from golden to burnt, pretty quickly. Then to remove the skins, just grab a clean tea-towel and roll the nuts around in it, the friction will slough the skins right off.

Now onto the dough...
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and lemon zest, beat until fluffy and foamy. Mix in the ground hazelnuts and the whole hazelnuts.
Fold in the flour, you may need to add more if you find it too sticky. You now want to turn it out on to a floured surface and knead it a wee bit.
Roll the out the dough, until approx 1cm thick. Cut into finger-sized sticks, approx 1cm wide and 5cm long.
Beat an egg yolk and brush onto the tops.
Bake at 200 Celsius for 18-20 minutes until lightly golden.


  1. Yes I do love hazelnuts and I love this recipe. Thank you.

  2. I love hazelnuts and have a huge pack in the freezer waiting to be used in a good recipe. So I am gonna bookmark these since it looks just too good.

  3. I love your variation on these, we are going to try them out. Try these from this blog as well sometime

  4. Sandra: Glad I could help out a fellow hazelnut lover.

    Bergamot: Oh yum a huge pack of them, I'm so jealous, have fun!

    Sharon: Thanks for the link, I've never seen Linzer cookies made like that before, they look so good! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  5. An old post, but glad to find it so I can share with my Mum in Ireland. Thank you.

    1. You're welcome Jim, hope she loves them as much as I do.


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