It’s that time of year again! :-) In 2007 two bloggers, Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle at Bleeding Espresso, decided that the world needed a day to celebrate everyone’s favorite chocolate-hazelnut spread. The idea caught on and this year World Nutella Day is celebrating its fifth anniversary! Last year was my first time participating and thankfully this year I remembered the date again and jumped at the excuse to buy a jar of Nutella :-).
However– confession time– I didn’t actually buy Nutella!
Our neighborhood store is part of the Rimi supermarket chain, and Rimi is constantly coming out with more store-brand products. In general they’re quite affordable (although not always the cheapest option) and of quite good quality. Wanting to show some loyalty to the store brand and also save a little cash, I opted to try the Rimi Delights metspähklikreem (hazelnut cream).
Did it taste exactly like Nutella? Not quite– I think Nutella has a more intense chocolatey flavor and this tastes more strongly of hazelnuts. I’m OK with that, though, so I hope Nutella will forgive me for purchasing a knock-off this year.
I wanted to utilize the hazelnut cream in some kind of simple, portable, somewhat healthy snack. I looked at some oatmeal cookie recipes but really didn’t want to add butter and sugar to the already-rich Nutella. Then I thought of the perfect recipe– 5-Ingredient Granola Bars at How Sweet It Is. I’ve been wanting to try one of her amazing recipes for a while, and figured I could use hazelnut cream in lieu of the peanut butter in the recipe.
The recipe calls for brown rice syrup or honey, but I didn’t think they’d require the extra sugar (in the end I did actually add a few spoonfuls). In order to make up for the lost liquid and also add some nutrients, I mixed a few spoonfuls of ground flax seeds with water (also known as a flax egg– I hoped this would also help to bind the bars together).
The bars smelled amazing when baking– like the richest chocolate cookies. When they came out of the oven we could barely wait to dig in. After allowing them to cool for a few minutes, J went to cut a bar and got… crumbles. The bars didn’t hold together at all, so instead of granola bars, I accidentally made Nutella granola! I’m not even disappointed, because it is chewy and delicious.
After cooling the bars stuck together a little better, but they’re still very brittle and crumbly. I hope to successfully make those granola bars one day, but for now I’m happy with this serendipitous new recipe! I made several alterations to the original recipe, so I’ll be posting my recipe for Nutella granola tomorrow. Happy Nutella Day to all and to all a good night!