Sunday, September 13, 2015

Nutella Brownies

Dear lordy, has it really been almost three months since I blogged? 

That's embarrassing. Really embarrassing. But then again, I am hoping ya'll can forgive me because I've been exhausted from last semester (I still feel like I am trying to catch up on sleep), work has been crazy (but good!) and I've also been planning my wedding. On top of that, we are still working on our house and my last year of grad school started. I guess you could say that I've been a little busy. Nevertheless, I have still made time for cooking and baking, but you already knew that. So get ready. Here we go!

I will be the first to admit that there hasn't been a brownie that I have met and didn't like. And trust me, I've eaten and made a lot of brownies in my lifetime. Here are just some of the ones I have made:
  • Ghiradelli brownies (only the best boxed brownie ever - and my sister would agree!)
  • Protein Brownies (made with PB2!)
  • Cadberry creme egg brownies (layered with creme egg filling and topped with chocolate!)
  • Knock you naked brownies (a bunch of caramel and a surprise ingredient make these over the top)
  • Salted caramel brownies (there is something about that salt!)
  • Raspberry truffle brownies (there are chocolate truffles folded right into the batter - dangerous!)
  • Cookie dough stuffed brownies (enough said)
  • German chocolate brownies - (like your favorite cake, but in brownie form!)
  • Irish creme brownies (not just for St. Patty's day!)
  • Espresso brownies (don't eat these late at night!)
  • Brownies made in the crock pot (yes, you heard me right - crock pot!)
  • Roasted cherry brownies (seriously, so good!)
  • Black bean brownies (you'd never know they were made with beans)
That's all I can remember for now, but I am sure there are more. I told you I like brownies. You can make them in so many forms, there is a brownie for everyone! 

I recently came across a coupon sent by one of my local grocery stores for $2.00 off a jar of Nutella. I first contemplated even buying it. Why you may ask? Well, every time I opened the pantry, that jar would be saying, "eat me, Christina, eat meeeee!". As long as the jar isn't opened, I am good, but still, there are some days where I just want to stick a spoon in there. For all of you that have had Nutella, you know what I am talking about. I knew that $2.00 coupon was too good to waste and since it was already on sale, I had to get a jar. Seemed like a logical reason to me, no? Then came the hard part - what to make with it. Of course you can eat it right from the jar (which I am sure most people do), but I wanted to try to add it to something. And not just slapping it on to a piece of warm toast. Boy does that sound good though.

It finally came to me - Nutella brownie. Duh. Why did not think of this sooner?! Especially considering I had a bite of one just a few weeks ago. So good! These are a must make. Especially if you can avoid eating the whole jar of Nutella with a spoon. And no, I don't do that. Maybe just a spoonful or two. Maybe. Maybe not. 

Nutella Brownies (Just Add Sprinkles)

  • 8 ounces Semi Sweet Chocolate (chips or if you use a bar, chop it up!)
  • 1/2 cup Butter, cut into chunks (makes for easier melting!)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3  Eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup  Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8x8 inch or 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper (or non-stick foil), set aside.

  • Using a microwave (or double boiler, if you want) on low setting, combine chopped semi sweet chocolate and butter. Allow chocolate and butter to melt completely, stirring regularly to get the chocolate and butter to fully combine. Once chocolate mixture is completely melted and combined, stick chocolate in the fridge (keep it in the same bowl) for a few minutes to cool the chocolate.

  • In a separate bowl, combine cocoa powder, flour and salt. Whisk or sift ingredients together so there are no clumps of dry ingredients. Set aside.

  • Remove chocolate mixture from fridge. Add in sugar, mixing until thoroughly combined. Chocolate may be gritty from sugar. Add in eggs and vanilla extract, mixing completely. Slowly add in dry mixture and continue stirring. Batter should pull away from the sides of the bowl as it thickens up. Add in Nutella and fold it into the batter until fully combined. Be patient, this may take a few minutes and arm muscles!

  • Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Brownies are down when a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Brownies may seem super soft but will set as they cool. Allow at least 20-30 minutes of cooling time before serving and remember, these brownies are extremely moist, thick & fudgy (the best kind of brownie!). When ready to serve lift up sides of the parchment paper and transfer to a cool surface to cut into squares. 

  • Want to take these brownies to the next level? Serve them with vanilla ice cream, chocolate drizzle and fresh berries. YUM!

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