I have been dreaming of this day! World Nutella Day! Yippee! A day dedicated to my favorite spread. My darling Nutella. My love and affection for Nutella runs deep; I once even wrote you a love letter, Nutella.
Yes, this is how Nutella got it’s own special World Nutella Day! Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso , solemnly declare Saturday, February 5th “World Nutella Day 2011″ – a day to celebrate, to get creative with, and most importantly, to EAT Nutella. You can read the rest of the story about how they came up with this FABULOUS idea!
Nutella is not just an amazing spread that I can’t stop baking with. It is more to me than a tempting and delicious baking accompaniment. Besides the obvious pasta, Nutella is one of the things that evokes such powerful food memories for me. I have such fond memories of simple lunches on the beach in Sicily when I was a little girl. Days spent idling away in the sand and in the crystal clear water with all of my cousins.
Here is how our day would begin, every day, all summer long: we would wake up in the morning and off we would go the short walk to the beach. The path started from the patio where we ate our meals all day long. A patio that had a table big enough to seat my seven cousins, myself, my brother, and all my aunts and uncles every day in the summer months. Our bags would be packed with some towels, our beach toys, and our Nutella pannini. We would take long walks. Some exploratory walks would take us hours. We would then come back and dig in the sand with our nets and look for clams. Who knew or cared about sun protection? My Zia Angela would be waiting for us at the house cooking her heart out just a few steps away; my dream house.
A house that was built by my Zio right on the beach. The garden consisted of vibrant green vines hanging heavily with juicy grapes. They were growing beautifully in the hot Mediterranean sun. Grapes that they would harvest in the fall and make into their potent and delicious wine. One year when we were living there we got to see them making the wine. A delicious wine that I remember tasting that burned my tongue with its spicy flavor. My parents weren’t with my brother and I that one summer. Would they mind that we were tasting wine?
Here I am. Little blonde me in a sea of beautiful brunettes. I’m sitting next to my Zia Angela and some of my gorgeous cousins.
Here is a photo of my daddy with his sister Angela the last time they saw each other in 2003 in Sicily. Too many years have passed since he saw his five siblings in Sicily. Unfortunately, illness can make traveling difficult. Photos, letters, and memories is what he has for now. They are sitting in front of the doors to her kitchen. Looking at the photo I can just smell the wood burning oven’s smell drifting out. I’m dreaming of her pizzas. My daddy always said Angela was the best cook of his four sisters.
This week I did a guest post for my gorgeous friend Lindsey
. I made her these incredible brownies. This is the basically the same recipe only this time I thought the brownies needed a touch of espresso! Hard to believe they were even better!
Spooning in the Nutella. I may have put in a little more than 4 tablespoons.
Folding in the Greek yogurt. I think it made it even more moist and smooth.
This time I made the brownies in a mini muffin pan and also in a regular muffin pan lined with red liners. With this exact recipe it made 12 mini muffins and 5 regular sized ones. I filled it almost to the top. It would probably make one tray of 12 regular sized muffins…depending on how high you fill each cup.
Ginger Espresso Nutella Brownies
Yields: approximately 12 brownies
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground espresso (I use Lavazza )
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons Nutella
extra Nutella to spread on top
candied ginger, chopped to garnish
Spray 2 mini muffin pans or 1 regular size muffin pan. You could use a 9 x 9 inch pan. If you use the 9 x 9 inch pan, line the pan with parchment paper and spray the parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Melt the butter in a small pan on medium-low heat. Poor the butter into a medium sized bowl and let it cool a couple of minutes. While the butter is cooling, in a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, ground espresso, and cocoa powder. Add the sugar to the melted butter and beat until combined. Next, beat the eggs, vanilla, and salt into the butter mixture until smooth. Mix in the flour/cocoa powder mixture. Fold in the Nutella and Greek yogurt.
Spread the batter into your prepared pans. The mini muffin bakes in about 20-25 minutes. The regular size pan in about 35-40 minutes. The 9 x 9 inch baking pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. If you used the 9 x 9 inch pan, pull out the brownies with the parchment paper. Spread on some more Nutella on top and some candied ginger give it a little oomph.
Now if this Ginger Espresso Nutella Brownie isn’t enough…you have to check out some other desserts I’ve made with Nutella in recent months! I have gone a little Nutella crazy! I can’t wait to bake more with Nutella! Ti amo Nutella!!!
Crostata alla Nutella
Pumpkin Butterscotch Nutella Bread
Caramel Apple Bundt Cake with Nutella Ganache
Nutella Skillet Brownies
Now don’t go asking me to pick a favorite! That’s like asking me to choose which is my favorite child. Well, not exactly. We’re tallking Nutella. Ok…are you ready? THIS was my all-time favorite of all the Nutella desserts I’ve baked so far. Holy NUTELLA and PEANUT BUTTER! My eyes are glazing over again. YUM!
Nutella Ganache Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting
My darling friend Paula
just launched an incredible website
dedicated to Nutella! Check it out
when you get a moment. You won’t want to leave:)