Friday, April 12, 2013

Nutella Swirl Brownies



     Don't you just love Fridays?  This day of the week marks the end of a week of hard, sometimes tedious, work.  This last week seemed especially long for some reason.  Maybe because it was my first week back from spring break.

      I was craving brownies today.  And since it's Friday, I can take some time to go through the process.  So the moment I got home, I started thinking about what I could do to jazz up these brownies.  I looked around, and there on my counter was a big jar of Nutella, which my mom bought at BJ's a couple of weeks ago.  There was still a good amount left in there.  It was perfect.

      Honestly, I can eat Nutella straight from the jar with a spoon.  It's delicious, and the flavor can't get much better.  But by blending Nutella into a chewy, rich brownie, you create the perfect treat which satisfies all of your cravings.  And yeah, brownies on their own are great, but....

      ...these are phenomenal. The brownie part is perfect.  Chocolatey, moist.  The Nuttella part takes it to another level.  It adds a subtle hazlenut flavor, making the brownie taste like a Ferrero Rocher.  Chocolate and hazelnut may be as perfect a match as chocolate and peanut butter.  It's a love triangle.

      So, how do you celebrate Fridays?  With baked goods, or maybe by watching the Brides-Day marathon on TLC?

       I hope you enjoy!
First, make the nutella part by mixing nutella with an egg and  some flour.

To make the brownie batter, start by whisking together the flour and cocoa powder.

In a large bowl over simmering water, melt together the chocolate and butter.

Add sugar and salt.  Then add vanilla. 
Stir in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.  You should still be able to see some flour. 
You will now have two batters.  Either can be baked on it's own, but this couple is meant to be.
Spray a square pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper.
Pour the brownie batter into the pan.  Then drop spoonfuls of the nutella batter on top.  
Swirl around the two batters with a toothpick, skewer, or chopstick. 
Bake until a toothpick comes out with crumbs. 
You should wait for the brownies to cool completely in the pan before removing  and cutting them.  This may be difficult, but it makes cutting the brownies easier.   
Enjoy!

Nutella Swirl Brownies

makes 16 2-in square brownies
adapted from the Baked brownie

Ingredients

For Nutella Swirl:
3/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
1 large egg
2 tbs all-purpose flour

For Brownie:
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs all-purpose flour
1 tbs unsweetened, preferably dark, cocoa powder (sift if lumpy)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp espresso powder
5.5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease or spray a 9"x 9" square pan, line with parchment paper, and grease/spray again.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the the nutella and egg for the nutella swirl until well blended.  Stir in flour.  Set aside.  
  3. In another small bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder for the brownie. 
  4. Place the butter in a large bowl set over simmering water.  When the butter is melted, stir in the espresso powder and chocolate until melted.  Stir in the sugars and salt.  Remove the bowl from heat.  Then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until blended. Stir in the vanilla.  
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients until just incorporated and a bit of flour is visible.  Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan.  Drop spoonfuls of the nutella mixture on top and swirl into the brownie batter with a toothpick or skewer.  Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.
  6. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan, for at least 30 minutes.  Remove the brownies and cut into squares.  Enjoy or store in an airtight container.





     

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