Yes, you read that right. The topic of today’s blog post includes an ingredient near and dear to my heart. Consumed while living abroad, traveling abroad, and now several times a week at home, Nutella is an anomaly in my pantry, a place filled, for the most part with savory or salty foods. As some of you know, I am not a huge dessert person, and sweets don’t normally excite me too much. All of that changes with Nutella. Nutella is good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack, depending on the context of the meal.
And when I saw three of my nieces having their once a week Nutella on bagels this Sunday, I got to thinking that I needed a Nutella-related holiday recipe.
Since I have a ton of Kerrygold butter and I have made shortbread in the past, I decided to make Nutella shortbread.
As usual, I did a little Google searching for Nutella recipes and found a great one by a fellow Foodbuzz blogger, There’s Always Room for Dessert. For some reason, when I went back to the original recipe, it was scrambled on the screen, so I will do my best to walk you through it with all of the credit for the idea going to the abovementioned blogger!
1 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter
3/4 cup Nutella
a dash of vanilla
a sprinkle of salt
I started by taking the butter out of the refrigerator early in the day so that it would be soft enough to mix in with the other ingredients. Once ready to get baking, I used a bowl scraper and eventually my hands to knead together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and Nutella. I don’t have a fancy mixer, but my hands did the job just fine, and it was kind of fun!
The result was eventually a buttery, sugary dough-like substance.
To this, I slowly kneaded in the flour, a little at a time until everything was blended together. To prepare for the final step, I lightly buttered a glass pie plate and pushed the shortbread dough into the plate until it was evenly spread out.
This shortbread bakes for 45 minutes at 300 degrees, and it needs every second, even a bit more. Whatever you do, don’t touch the surface when you take the shortbread out of the oven. The concentration of butter makes it incredibly soft, and the hot sugar will burn you! Let it cool for several hours before going near it, even though the smell in the kitchen will make it almost impossible to wait!
When it was cool enough, I scored the shortbread into small pie pieces and gave it a try.
This shortbread is really good, but it was a little too sweet for me. I think the next time I might cut the sugar by half; the Nutella gives it enough sweetness and flavor without needing that extra hit of sugar.
This would be a great recipe to bring to a cookie swap or as a hostess gift in a decorative box lined with wax paper. You could always also leave the Nutella out and add other mix-ins like chocolate chips instead. The great thing about shortbread is how versatile and delicious it is!
My goal has been to try a new baking adventure each week. I think my next task is going to be an olive oil cake.
Before I head off for the day, I wanted to let you know two bits of good news: I have a brand new niece born yesterday. Her name is Nora Claire, and I can’t wait to meet her over the next couple of days! I also passed my Level 2 wine exam! Everyone thinks, haha, wine exam, must be easy, but this thing was a beast! It showed me how much I have learned and how much more I have to learn. I am happy to be off to a good start. Thanks for all of your well wishes!
Are you attending any cookie swaps this season or bringing cookies to any parties? What are your favorite cookies or bars to make?