Sunday, February 12, 2012

Homemade Nutella

Spreadable deliciousness.

























As I mentioned in my last post, I am a firm believer that chocolate and Valentine's Day must be paired together.  Of course this does not mean I like giving boxes of chocolates to my loved ones on Valentine's Day...or any other holiday for that matter.  I am very fond of homemade gifts, giving and receiving.  I think it is much more special to give away a box of chocolate cookies or some homemade nutella.  If you have been following Baked Perfection for a while now,  you know I have paired up a couple times with OhNuts.com.  They offer to send me some nuts and I get to make whatever I want with them.  Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.  This time I decided to go with their hazelnuts and immediately I knew I was going to make homemade nutella. I conveniently found a recipe on the Oh Nuts Blog and went with it.  I found the homemade version to be a little nuttier than the store bought stuff, but equally as delicious.  As you can see from the photo, I like my nutella with french or sourdough bread, but it is great on absolutely anything.

Homemade Nutella
recipe adapted from OhNuts.com

recipe yields about 1.5 cups

2.5 ounces (approx. 2/3 cups) roasted unsalted hazelnuts
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 ounces (approx. 1/2 cup) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place hazelnuts on an ungreased baking sheet and place in oven to toast. Stir every 3-4 minutes until brown and fragrant, approximately 10-12 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Add the cooled hazelnuts to your food processor.  Continue to process for several minutes (5 or more) until the hazelnuts are processed into a liquid.  Scrape down the sides of your processor and process again until there are no lumps remaining.

Meanwhile, combine the chocolate, condensed milk, and honey in a heat proof bowl.  Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate,  condensed milk, and honey together.  Stir the mixture frequently until evenly melted and smooth.

Add the warm chocolate mixture to the food processor with the liquified hazelnuts.  Process for 1 -2 minutes until smooth and the mixture becomes shiny and smooth.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month.







Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chocolate M&M Cookies for Valentine's Day

You can't have Valentine's Day without some chocolate.

























Well I suppose you could have Valentine's Day without chocolate, but I think you would be missing out.   I have made variations of these cookies numerous times and really think they are the perfect fit for a sweet V-Day Treat.  The chocolate is rich, but not over the top and the cookies are almost brownie like.  I would definitely prefer a box of these cookies over a box of chocolates!  I used the adorable V-Day M&M's but you could use any color M&M or substitute chocolate or white chocolate chips if you don't want to use M&M's.  I think peanut butter chips would be a nice idea too.

Chocolate M&M Cookies
recipe from Baked Perfection

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3
 cup baking cocoa
1 3.4 oz package of instant chocolate pudding Mix
1
 teaspoon baking soda
1/2
 teaspoon salt
1
 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3
 cup granulated sugar
2/3
 cup packed brown sugar
1
 teaspoon vanilla extract
2
 large eggs
1 2/3
 cups M&M's

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Combine flour, cocoa, pudding mix, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by well-rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.