Chocolate Hazelnut Crack Ups

By • October 19, 2009 • 21 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe came about when I discovered that Nutella has roughly the same composition as peanut butter. I swapped out most of the peanut butter, reduced the sugar, and added cocoa to one of my favorite peanut butter cookie recipes (Food and Wine Magazine, December 2003, recipe by Elizabeth Woodson), and voilà, a new cookie was born.

This is the basic cookie recipe, but I like to coat them in something crunchy and salty before baking. My favorite option is to toast panko bread crumbs with butter and kosher salt until fragrant and golden brown. If the breadcrumbs are large, crush them into pieces slightly larger than traditional breadcrumb size. Cool the mixture and use it to coat the cookie balls before baking.
alice y

Food52 Review: WHO: Alice y has been a member of Food52 since 2009 and this is her first Wildcard win.
WHAT: Like your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe, only drastically improved by Nutella.
HOW: Mix Nutella, peanut butter, sugar, baking soda, an egg, salt, and cocoa powder together. Form the dough into balls and place them on a baking sheet, slip into a hot oven, and hold your breath for 8 minutes (but not literally). Devour accordingly.
WHY WE LOVE IT: You’d be hard-pressed to find cookies that are easier to make. In 20 minutes flat, you’ll have cookies so chocolatey, nutty, and shiny that it'll seem like you spent all day baking. Bonus: They’re gluten-free, which means they’re perfect for bolstering the dessert spread at your next holiday party.
The Editors

Serves 2 dozen 1-inch sized cookies

  • 3/4 cup Nutella or other brand chocolate hazelnut spread (look for one with a fat content similar to the peanut butter, around 11 grams per 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together until just combined.
  3. Roll the dough into 1/2-inch thick balls (feel free to vary the size). Place balls one inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake 8 minutes. Let cool on the parchment for one minute and then transfer to a wire rack. Eat while they’re still warm and gooey, or cool completely (or both).
Jump to Comments (21)

Tags: can be made ahead, chocolate, cookies, gluten-free, hazelnuts, Holidays, travels well, wheat-free

Comments (21) Questions (1)


6 days ago Susan

These are amazingly yummy and super easy but seemed extremely sugary the first time I made them (although hubby and kids didn't seem to mind or even notice as they devoured them). Second time, I left out the sugar (I noticed Nutella itself has something like 22 grams/sugar in a couple tablespoons) and they were very good but much flatter. I don't know if added sugar makes them puffier or if it was just that the dough was warmer at that point or what. Anyone know if I put the dough in fridge will it cook up puffier? Or maybe sugar makes dough puffier? Maybe I'll try next batch w/half the sugar. Thanks for the GREAT recipe. These are in my Christmas cookie rotation for sure!


11 days ago Loretta Meyer

I followed the recipe exactly but I used freshly ground peanuts. You can grind your own at many grocery stores, I use "The Fresh Market". Also, I baked them for 10 minutes. They were perfect and so light and tasty.


12 days ago Fawn

This recipe is now vegan, I wonder why it showed up when I checked "vegan" on the filter list? Categorized incorrectly.


12 days ago yasemin

All the biscuits united and got runny while baking. I had a whole tray of a thin layer cookie which i had to cut by knife :(


13 days ago babytiger

Thanks for the recipe. Just made a batch and they are great. 8 minutes worked for me in a convection oven.


16 days ago alice y

Hi everyone! This is my recipe and I am so excited it worked for folks! If you Google "Food and Wine Magazine, December 2003, recipe by Elizabeth Woodson" you will get to the original recipe which is flour-less (not sure if linking is allowed). I included the peanut butter because it amps the nutty-ness and helps with texture. The photo above is from FOOD52 which is why they are bigger. Including espresso powder or using hazelnut butter sounds awesome! Happy baking!


16 days ago Corj

Made these last night. They really do work without flour but mine needed 10 minutes to hold together. I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa and added a teaspoon or so of instant espresso powder. Delicious. I split my batch in half adding peppermint oil to 2nd one, also delicious. Cookie also tastes great once cooled and could really not be a simpler recipe.


15 days ago Dina Moore-Tzouris

mine also took 10 minutes in a viking oven(on regular, not convection)--but nevertheless they are DELICIOUS! might try again without the PB, adding the equivalent amount of additional Nutella, since I found the peanut butter flavor overpowering--but I am nit-picking. These were not only tasty, but super easy and a great last minute cookie to have in your toolbox.


16 days ago Amy Waller Senglin

No Flour? Perfect!


16 days ago Margaret Roth

Tested it out, delicious. I would cut to half the salt and yes indeed it turns out deliciously without flour!


16 days ago velia

Did you forget the flour?


16 days ago mhall

Let me just add that if you use the Biscoff spread, it will no longer be gluten-free because the cookie spread is made with wheat flour which contain gluten.


16 days ago mhall

The description says gluten-free which means no flour. As far a substitute for peanut butter, you can use Biscoff Creamy Spread. It's a vegan spread from a Biscoff cookie. It's a European alternative to peanut butter and can be found in your local grocery store.


16 days ago Lisa

Did anyone make these without flour? I may just experiment with a PB cookie recipe with flour, but adjust the PB to the Nutella:PB ratio in the recipe. I'd love to know if anyone tried this before I spend the time and money on a flop.


16 days ago ustabahippie

I too want to make these without peanut butter. What about all hazelnut spread? Safeway (I know, I know) has a good one with sugar, not HFcorn syrup as in Nutella, and it's cheaper.


16 days ago cmbomberg

This makes 1-inch sized cookies? Either this is a misprint or the photo is very misleading.


17 days ago Artemis Voutsinou

I agree, flourless peanut butter cookies work because peanuts have quite a bit of fiber on their own. It does seem weird.
Selena, I think almond or hazelnut butter could work; they're generally a little runnier, though.


17 days ago lisa cooper

I had the question about the flour.


17 days ago Romney Lewis

I was wondering the same thing Karen, it just does not seem right without flour.


17 days ago Karen

No flour?


17 days ago selena

what else can we use besides peanut butter? That ruined it for me.