Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Marbles Recipe

As a small gift to celebrate the holiday season, I give you this recipe drawn from my cookbook. It appears in the mignardise chapter, in which I give recipes for sweet bites to serve at the end of a meal — in place of, or in addition to dessert, with coffee or tea.

For these particular treats-on-a-stick, you’ll make your own hazelnut marzipan (wait, come back! it’s really easy, I promise!), shape it into small balls, and dip them in chocolate. They are fun to assemble, and they make a lovely closing note to a festive meal. You could also keep them on hand for nibbling as you decorate the house, wrap up your gifts, or cuddle up with a steaming mug to delve into a good book. (You’ll find the recipe at the bottom of this post.)

Speaking of gifts, I hope you’ll consider bidding on some of the fantastic items that food bloggers around the world are offering for our Menu for Hope fundraiser. You could also bid in someone’s name, and give that person the gift of a good deed, plus a chance to win the item come January. Read on for more information on the campaign, and the prizes I’m offering.

Last year I made a few suggestions of holiday-worthy recipes from the archives, and to those I would now add:

~ Cheese thins,
~ Green pea cilantro spread,
~ Jerusalem artichoke soup with bacon,
~ Champagne and saffron mussels,
~ Lamb and orange khoresh (Persian stew),
~ Gratin dauphinois (potato gratin),
~ Spaghetti squash gratin with walnuts,
~ Brussels sprouts with onions and squash seeds,
~ Saffron-roasted cauliflower.

~ Raspberry dacquoise,
~ Green tea and red bean cake roll,
~ Maple pecan ice cream,
~ Vanilla poached quince.

Have you tried this? Share your pics on Instagram!

Please tag your pictures with #cnzrecipes. I'll share my favorites!

Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Marbles Recipe

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Serving Size: Makes about 25 marbles.

Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Marbles Recipe


  • 120 grams (1 cup) shelled hazelnuts, toasted and husked*
  • 100 grams (3/4 cup) confectioner's sugar
  • A pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup or agave syrup (grease your measuring spoon with a little vegetable oil)
  • 85 grams (3 ounces) high-quality bittersweet chocolate


  1. Combine the hazelnuts, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl, and form a well in the center. In a small bowl, combine the honey with 1 tablespoon hot water, and stir to dissolve. Pour into the center of the hazelnut mixture, and stir with a fork to blend.
  2. Knead the hazelnut paste for a minute or two, until it comes together and you are able to shape it into a ball. (It will be a little sticky, but it will dry as it chills.) Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour, and up to a day.
  3. Remove the hazelnut paste from the fridge. Scoop out rounded teaspoons, and shape them into small balls, about 2 cm (3/4 inch) in diameter, with the tips of your fingers. Line them up on a plate, and plant a toothpick vertically in the center of each. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and place the plate in the fridge.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (i.e. a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water), stirring from time to time.
  5. Dip each of the marbles in turn in the chocolate, holding it by the toothpick and swirling it around gently to coat. Leave the very top uncoated, so the hazelnut paste shows. Lift from the chocolate, let the excess chocolate drip down for a few seconds, then set on the parchment paper, toothpick pointing skyward. Let rest somewhere cool (but not the refrigerator) for 2 hours, until the chocolate coating is dry. The marbles will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature in an airtight container.


* If your hazelnuts are skin-on, rub them in a kitchen towel just after toasting to remove most of their brown papery skin.


  • Priscilla

    Ooh, these look great! I was wondering if you ever substitute a different nut?? I’m not sure I can get hazelnuts at the Food Lion! What do you think would be appropriate?

  • Priscilla – You can absolutely substitute other kinds of nuts: almonds, cashews, pecans…

  • mmm. chocolate and hazelnuts are always a good combination. I think the hardest part is skinning the hazelnuts, I find sometimes the skins are really difficult to remove.

  • Julia

    I’m laughing right now, because those are totally the fancy, french-cuisine version of a delicacy local to Ohio: the Buckeye. Buckeyes (named after an inedible horse chestnut that looks not unlike the finished product) are made with peanuts, not hazelnuts, but are otherwise identical to these.

  • These are perfect little dessert appetizers for a holiday cocktail party. People don’t have to get their fingers all sticky from the chocolate – the toothpick is a great touch. I love the photo!

  • Oh Clotilde ! This recipe, from my favorite French food blogger, will be a perfect companion to my bottle of champagne.
    Happy Solstice ! I am so glad to have found you this year :)

  • This looks really good and very easy to make, even with children. Thanks!

  • How lovely! Thank you for all the ideas, Clotilde, and have a merry Christmas. :)

  • Marcia

    This sounds delicious and a way to use the 1/2 lb of skinless raw hazelnuts I bought last week. Also, bought some chocolate that would be perfect to dip these in.

    I think I could use almond marzipan too as the center. Mmm

    To Julie–Buckeyes are a knock off of this French recipe, dated to 1970. It is named for aesculus glabra; Ohio Buckeye which is the state tree.

  • Danielle

    Lovely! I’ll substitute agave syrup for the honey to make it a vegan dessert. Might also add a teaspoon of coconut oil to the melted chocolate to make it look shiny!

  • dory

    I was looking for something festive to make for my vegan sister. Now I know. These look perfect, and are really pretty! All I have to do is substitute agave for the honey.


  • Joan

    hazelnut marzipan…YES!

  • Just in time for the holidays! Thank you for posting this recipe. I’m going to the market right now to get some hazelnuts!

  • I love using grade B maple syrup in place of honey to veganize recipes. I actually use it instead of sugar too since I have a bad reaction to sugar.

  • These look delicious! And I love that they’re just a small bite, perfect to serve with coffee, enough to feel satisfied by.

  • What an elegant display and lovely dessert to have for the holidays!

  • Clotilde,
    I made these a few years ago from your book for my mom’s birthday party and they were such a hit. Most people couldn’t believe they were homemade. Lovely to see them on your blog, and a nice reminder that I need to make them again!

  • Rachel

    This is the only mignardise recipe from your book that I have yet to make, so thanks for jogging my memory!

    Hope you’re having a lovely Christmas.

  • deb

    My family are marzipan fanatics and my husband’s family are hazelnut fanatics… I think you know where this is going. I cannot wait to give these a spin. Hope you and yours are having a lovely holiday, Clotilde!

  • What a brilliant combination! Chocolate and hazelnuts have always been my favorite, as well as marzipan, having grown up in Italy, not to mention Nutella. Seems we have much in common when it comes to love of good food. Check out my blog when you have the chance. I’ll be checking in to yours from NY. Happy New Year!

  • Looks easy to make and delicious. Chocolate together with hazelnuts is a great combination.Thank you for sharing.

  • Eva

    Hi! Looks like something I used to make with my mom when I was a kid. We loved the combination of sweet almond and chocolate…

    We just made lobster with a delicious vanilla and lime sauce… sounds weird but is really a match made in heaven… check out my blog for the receipe!

    Happy new year everybody!

  • Perfect holidays recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kay

    The term ‘buckeyes’ immediately came to mind, and I’m not even from Ohio!

  • Bea

    Joyeux Noël Clotilde et très bonne année !

  • My only question is, how does one resist eating all 25 before the guests arrive? ;)

  • YUM…these are certainly divine looking. I think I’ll make them with almond marzipan. I’ve bid for your book at Menu For Hope. Now shall sit back & wait impatiently!
    Happy Holidays Clotilde! Have a wonderful 2010.

  • Antonin@Frogs And Men

    These look delicious…has anyone tried them with other nuts (waluts, I’m thinking would be delicious…). Merci!

  • Jill

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m allergic to almonds so I assumed I couldn’t have marzipan. Now that I know it’s possible to make myself a whole world has opened up.

    Starting with these little jems!

  • Looks like I’ll be making this for Halloween. My pre-schoolers’ choice!

    • So pleased to hear it, Michelle, thank you for telling me!

Get the newsletter

Receive FREE email updates with all the latest recipes, plus exclusive inspiration and Paris tips. You can also choose to be notified when a new post is published.

View the latest edition of the newsletter.