I've had a half used jar of vegan hazelnut spread in my cabinet just daring me to eat it with a spoon. So instead I decided to turn it into nutella bars and I'm not mad about it. These chocolate chip cookie bars are filled with chunks of hazelnuts and stuffed with a layer of Nutella. They might just be my new favorite thing.
Chocolate and hazelnut are such a perfect combo! When I found vegan hazelnut spread at my local grocery store, it was like my dreams had come true. If you're a Nutella lover like me, then you may also like my nutella filled cookies or these hazelnut brownies.
Why You'll Love These Stuffed Cookie Bars
- They are super easy to make.
- They bake all at once, so there is no standing by the oven to shuffle batches of cookies.
- They have chocolate and hazelnuts, duh!
- They are gluten free and dairy free.
- Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour - I use Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Flour Blend in all of my recipes. You can use the flour blend of your choice just make sure it has xanthan gum. Different flour blends may produce different results. For the best outcome, weigh your flour.
- Baking Soda - Baking soda will not only help to leaven the cookie bars, but also give a nice golden brown color.
- Sugar & Brown Sugar - The white sugar provides the sweetness and the chew, while the brown sugar provides the softness.
- Eggs - One egg and one egg yolk to provide structure. I haven't tried this recipe with egg replacements, but I think flax egg would work well.
- Butter - I use Miyokos Plant Butter of Country Crock Plant Butter in all of my recipes. If you're not dairy free, regular butter will work fine in the same measure.
- Vanilla & Salt - To provide depth of flavor.
- Hazelnuts - Freshly toasted and chopped hazelnuts add a little extra crunch to these cookie bars. Don't skip the toasting and removing of the hazelnut skins or you'll end up with a bitter flavor.
- Allergen Free Chocolate Chips - I used Nestle Simply Allergen Free chocolate chips here, but Enjoy Life brand is good too. If you're not dairy free, regular semi-sweet chocolate chips will work fine.
- Chocolate Hazelnut Spread - There are now several dairy free options available in hazelnut spreads. I used the Nocciolata brand, purchase from Whole Foods. Justin's also makes a great product. There are several other dairy free brands available both in stores (Whole Foods has a good selection) or online.
See recipe card for full ingredient list with quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
- Not Dairy Free - use dairy butter and regular Nutella in the same measure.
- Make it Vegan - Replace the eggs with flax egg.
The dough for these bars will be prepared with the same method you would use for mixing cookies.
STEP 1: Roast the raw hazelnuts for about 8 minutes at 350 degrees.
STEP 2: Place the warm hazelnuts inside a clean dish towel and rub the towel and nuts together to remove the skins. Discard the skins. Roughly chop the nuts and set aside.
STEP 3: Combine the sugar, brown sugar and vegan butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until fluffy.
STEP 4: Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar. Beat another 60 seconds until combined.
STEP 5: Add the baking soda, salt, and gluten free flour to the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until just combined.
STEP 6: Add the chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts to the cookie dough and stir until they are evenly incorporated.
STEP 7: Transfer about ⅔ of the cookie dough to your pan and spread it into an even layer.
STEP 8: Dollop the nutella over the cookie dough. Use an offset spatula to spread it all the way to the edges.
STEP 9: Dollop the remaining cookie dough on top of the nutella filling. You don't need to spread them out, it will melt in the oven. Then bake!
Place raw hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and dump the hazelnuts into a clean kitchen towel. Close the towel up and use the fabric to rub against the nuts and to rub the nuts together.
When you open the towel, you should see a lot of the papery skin has been removed. Repeat a couple of times (with the same towel) until you don’t see anymore skin flaking off.
Once cooled, place the cut bars into an airtight container and store at room temperature for 3-4 days.
If they become dried out over time, you can refresh them with 10-15 seconds in the microwave.
If you want to freeze the entire pan of baked bars. Remove from the pan and do not slice. Once cooled, wrap in several layers of plastic wrap and then wrap in aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw to room temperature before slicing.
To freeze individual slices, wrap each slice in plastic wrap and place together in a freezer bag. Store for up to 3 months and bring to room temperature before serving.
If you’re using name brand Nutella, you may wonder if it’s gluten free and the answer is yes. It does not contain any gluten ingredients.
No, one of the primary ingredients in name brand Nutella is milk. If you’re following a dairy free diet, you will want to purchase an alternative chocolate hazelnut spread. The good news is, there are plenty of options that are dairy free! Check my ingredient notes above for links to my favorite brands of dairy free nutella.
More bars to bake:
If you try this recipe, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
Chocolate Chip Nutella Bars (GF)
- ¾ Cup Vegan Butter can substitute regular butter
- ⅔ Cup Light Brown Sugar
- ⅔ Cup Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 ¾ Cups Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend (259 grams) I use Bob's Red Mill
- 1 Cup Roasted Hazelnuts roughly chopped
- ¾ Cup Allergen Free Chocolate Chips
- ½ Cup Chocolate Hazelnut Spread measure this with your heart!
To roast hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spread raw hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes.
- Remove from oven and pour into a clean kitchen towel. Use the towel to rub the nuts to remove the skins.
- Coarsely chop the nuts and allow to cool while you mix the cookie dough.
To make cookie dough
- Combine butter, brown sugar and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy.¾ Cup Vegan Butter, ⅔ Cup Light Brown Sugar, ⅔ Cup Sugar
- Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Beat about 60 seconds more until the egg is incorporated. Scrape down the bowl.1 Egg, 1 Egg Yolk, 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Turn the mixer to the lowest setting and stir until the dry ingredients are just combined.¾ teaspoon Salt, ½ teaspoon Baking Soda, 1 ¾ Cups Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend
- Add chocolate chips and chopped hazelnuts. Stir until they are evenly incorporated.1 Cup Roasted Hazelnuts, ¾ Cup Allergen Free Chocolate Chips
- Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Spread about 60% of the cookie dough into the lined pan. The dough is a bit sticky, so I use an offset spatula to get it into an even layer.
- Dollop the hazelnut spread on top of the dough. Spread it around a little to make a nice layer.½ Cup Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
- Dollop the remaining cookie dough on top of the hazelnut spread. You don't need to smooth it out as it will melt in the oven.
- Bake for 30-33 minutes. I check mine after 20 minutes and if it's already brown, I lightly cover with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent it looking burnt on top. The bars will be done when the edges are golden brown and the center no longer jiggles.
- Cool before slicing.
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.