Nutella. That ubiquitous chocolate hazelnut spread that goes on just about everything. You know you love it. I’ve tried all the others out there, from the homemade versions to the fancy glass jars that cost an arm and a leg, but nothing satisfies quite like the original. Spread on toast, eaten straight from the jar, it’s a personal weakness that helps fuel this busy working mama.
In addition to all the weddings, tastings and showers that have been filling up my spring, I’ve also been hard at work redesigning the Locally Grown Weddings website. It was time for a new look and feel to all that we’re up to these days and I’m digging the new look. I’m an accidental techie – somehow the project fell into my scope of responsibility but I definitely needed some extra support when building the site. Fortunately, Aurora, our Locally Grown photographer, has an awesome buddy – Serge. He is the go-to guy for all the web things I just don’t get! And early on in my career, I learned that it’s important to thank the people who help you. When you’re in my line of work, it’s so much fun to bake up bits of sweetness as the way to express gratitude.
So how does all this tie back to my love of Nutella? Well, turns out Serge loves his Nutella, too! I was all set to make these cute little nutella sandwich cookies, but then the latest issue of Food and Wine arrived in my mailbox. They were featuring the best new pastry chefs in the country and their recipes when i came across Stella Parks brown butter and hazelnut brownies I knew I had to make those as my thank you gift. It’s like taking the elements that make Nutella so delicious and amplifying it by a million.
Rich, bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder make for an intense chocolate flavor that’s augmented by a hit of espresso. Brown butter (one of my favorite ingredients in the world) lends a richness and depth, while toasted hazelnuts are ground up and add just enough texture to bind the chocolate, butter, eggs and sugar together into a decadent and fudgy bar that is so addictive. These will definitely be on the list of yummy treats to gift people.