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Rich, Velvety Hazelnut Chocolate Bars with Crème Fraîche

Hazelnut-Chocolate Bars

Hazelnut-Chocolate Bars

Chocolate ganache is typically made with heavy cream; here we use crème fraîche to add a welcome tangy note to these deeply chocolaty bar cookies.


  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup 1½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut
  • into ó-inch chunks
  • 4 ounces crème fraîche
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate roughly
  • chopped
  • ½ cup hazelnuts toasted and roughly
  • chopped


  • ►Heat oven to 325°F and line a 9-inch-by-9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
  • ►Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter, a few chunks at a time, pulsing between additions, until dough pulls away from sides of bowl.
  • ►Transfer dough to prepared baking dish and press with your fingers so dough evenly covers bottom of dish. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes (and up to 3 days if covered with plastic wrap).
  • ►Transfer dish to oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until firm to the touch. Cool on a rack for 20 minutes.
  • ►While shortbread is cooling, warm crème fraîche in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until smooth and bring to a simmer. Put chocolate in a medium bowl. When crème fraîche is fully melted and slightly steaming, pour over chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk into a smooth ganache.
  • ►When shortbread is cool, spread ganache over the top. Let set for about 30 minutes, then sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Let set for another 30 to 60 minutes, then refrigerate for about 20 minutes before cutting into 16 bars.

Photographed by Beryl Striewski

Leigh Belanger

Leigh Belanger is culture's former food editor. She's been a food writer, editor, and project manager for over a decade— serving as program director for Chefs Collaborative and contributing to local newspapers and magazines. Her first book, The Boston Homegrown Cookbook, was published in 2012. She lives and cooks in Boston with her family.

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