At the beginning of 2007, a couple of bloggers (the women behind the blogs Ms. Adventures in Italy and Bleeding Espresso) decided to name 5 February “World Nutella Day“, a chance to celebrate the beloved chocolate hazelnut spread. That was soon after I had started reading food blogs, and I thought it was a cute idea and enjoyed reading about all the Nutella recipes people submitted. The next year, 2008, I already had my blog and could have participated in the Nutella blog post round-up, except that I totally forgot about it until long after Nutella Day was over. Bummer. I would’ve wanted to do something. Then, the next year, the exact same thing happened again. I just totally forgot. January is a busy month for me at work, and things like blog-writing and reading get put on the back burner, so I hadn’t had a single reminder of World Nutella Day. But I most certainly was not going to let that happen again, oh no.
This year I got myself a jar of Nutella and got to work. I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d bought Nutella. I love the stuff, so having a jar around can lead to bouts of excess consumption.
My first inspiration came in the form of a flashback to my first grocery shopping trip in Brussels in 2008. There I had bought a jar of chocolate cream (just plain dark chocolate, not chocolate hazelnut), some goat cheese, and some plain biscuits. I would eat the three together and remembered it to be a mind-blowing combination, so I thought I’d try something similar with Nutella. I love making pressed sandwiches in our sandwich maker, so I rounded up some bread, Nutella, and goat cheese and got to work.
Spread one side of each slice of bread with Nutella, dotted some goat cheese on top, and pressed. The result:
A warm, crunchy sandwich filled with melty Nutella, which was balanced by the tangyness of the goat cheese. I would use even more goat cheese next time. This is almost too much to be called a snack; I could probably eat this as a special weekend breakfast. Does the addition of goat cheese mean I can call this a grown-up way to enjoy Nutella?
But that wasn’t enough. I was inspired to do even more. I just recently made my first-ever batch of biscotti and had so much fun that I wanted to make them again soon. Enter this recipe for Nutella biscotti.
I got a little bit frustrated because this recipe worked differently than the last one I made and needed quite a bit more time in the oven. However, it did fill our apartment with the most fantastic chocolate smell. Initially I didn’t love the finished product, but I realized that biscotti are not the type of cookie that’s meant to be eaten warm from the oven. The flavors didn’t come out well until they’d been sitting and cooling for a few hours. When I had one with a cup of green tea before bed… mmm. Rich chocolate flavor, and even though the Nutella taste isn’t that pronounced, crunchy hazelnuts bring back some of the nutty flavor. These are incredibly satisfying. So glad I have a bunch in my freezer now to enjoy whenever I want something crunchy and sweet with my coffee or tea.
Happy Nutella Day, everyone!