sweets

homemade nutella

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aka NUTELLA!!  And gianduja if you are extra fancy.  The good news it that you can make this recipe, keep one for you and have some pretty snazzy treats to give away for the holidays!  I love giving (and receiving! hint hint wink wink) homemade food gifts. Something about the time and effort that goes into anything handmade always turns my head and heart.

There is nothing to this.  No special (or any) talent needed. It's super easy to have young children help too.  Just be sure to get some fun jars (I used weck), tags and twine and done!

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chocolate + hazelnut spread

adapted from bon appetit

makes enough to fill 4 8-oz jars

2 c raw hazelnuts

1 lb bittersweet chocolate (roughly chopped)  I used Valrhona

1/2 c butter, at room temperature cut into small pieces

1 c heavy cream

1 T bourbon (optional)

1 t kosher salt

sea salt to sprinkle on top (very optional)

Preheat oven to 350º

Toast the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet until golden, about 15 minutes.

Don't be afraid to get some color on them as it really adds to the depth of flavor. Let them cool and rub them in between a kitchen towel to remove (most) of the remaining skins.

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Pour the toasted nuts into the bowl of a food processor and whiz until a smooth(ish), buttery paste forms.  The end result will have a little texture but your don't want big chunks of nuts.

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Or maybe you do?  Totally up to you. The original recipe calls for 1/4 c of sugar mixed in with the nuts at this point.  I don't like things overly sweet but its up to you.  This would be the one and only time to add it though.

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Place the chopped chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.  Give it a stir and all of the chocolate will most likely melt together.  If not, give it a little more time but at no more than 30 sec intervals.

Add the butter and whisk together.  Add the salt and heavy cream until smooth.

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Combine the chocolate mixture with the nut paste and whisk it all together.

Put into glass jars and allow to cool before putting on the lids.

Make ahead up to 4 weeks before.  Keep refrigerated and bring to room temperature before using.  It can safely sit at room temperature for up to 4 days.