Happy World Nutella Day everyone! Here is the first of the treats I made: Nutella Brownies that I found on this page. I made these brownies for two 30th birthdays that are 5 months apart…allow me to explain.
My brother-in-law Tim turned 30 last September. Like me, he has an insatiable sweet tooth. So I gave him a “sweet a month” for a year. This weekend, my sister and brother-in-law’s friend Jen is turning 30. To celebrate, her husband rented a cottage in Collingwood for several couples, including Catherine (my sister) and Tim. Back in August, my sister had me over for a delicious birthday lunch. Jen happened to be over that day, and did a lot to help prepare, including picking up some absolutely gorgeous flowers (picture at left), and giving me some of her homemade fig preserves (the ones I used to make this sandwich). So I suggested to Catherine that for Tim’s bday treat this month, I combine it with Jen’s birthday as sort of a thank you for the help she was in my birthday. Cat thought it was a good idea, and given that the weekend falls on World Nutella Day, I pretty much had to go with something Nutellicious (don’t you love that new word I just made up? 😛 ).
I made this recipe as directed, except for: I *very* slightly reduced the sugar, I melted the butter in the microwave instead of over the stove, I sprinkled the brownies with chopped toasted hazelnuts before baking, and instead of simply baking in a greased pan, I baked in a greased and parchment lined pan. This is one of my FAVOURITE tricks for baking squares – it makes cutting and cooling squares so much easier. You just spray the pan with nonstick spray (essential to do this before lining with parchment paper so it has something to adhere to), line the pan with parchment paper, making sure that you have a generous overhang so you have “handles” to lift the squares out with, and then spray the paper with more nonstick spray. After the squares are baked and have cooled slightly, you can lift them out using the paper handles, and they will cool faster. They are also much easier to cut and separate, since you don’t have to worry about wedging out those pesky corner pieces and cutting all the way to the edge of the pan.
The result? Well, *technically* I didn’t eat any. Why do I say “technically”? Of course, I made sure to eat copious amounts of batter (as I’ve confessed before, it is a HUGE weakness for me – tasting as I bake). And then, of course, as I was cutting them, there are those corner pieces that don’t look quite right (I AM giving these as a gift here people) so I had to trim them up a bit, and some pieces were just too large, so I had to cut off the excess….and I couldn’t let those pieces go to waste, could I? 😉 So from the pieces I “didn’t” eat (don’t you just love my rationalizations – anyone else do “food math” like this?) – I thought the brownies were deliciously rich and fudgy. I thought they could have stood for a bit more Nutella flavour, but I’m not complaining – they were still amazing!
Hope you are celebrating WND with some delicious treats! Another Nutella post (or 2) are coming up…including the recipe I am making for the Super Bowl Party I am co-hosting (you heard that right)…neither me or my friend who I’m hosting with are football fans…we’re just in it for the food!
Happy WND everyone…and Happy 3-0 Jen (and Tim too)! 🙂