Every year I hand make gifts for the holidays. Whether it’s homemade vanilla extract, cookies, truffles, ornaments, or even bread, I think that the extra effort and thought that goes into making something yourself is priceless.
This year, while looking through the Bon Appétit Holiday Issue for possible Christmas cookie inspiration, my boyfriend said “you should make this.” I looked at the recipe and agreed – I would absolutely have to make this delicious looking homemade nutella.
The recipe was very straight forward (though if skinned hazelnuts existed in my area, I’d be much happier) and I made cute little recipe cards to go along with the gift. I only send recipe cards with edibles when I know they taste delicious and the recipient most definitely will be recreating on their own. Which they will, because this spread is delicious. It might taste better because I skinned those hazelnuts with my own two hands, and worked my biceps while attempting to whisk the thickening ganache. But I think it tastes better than the stuff in the store because I know exactly what’s in it. Cream, butter, nuts, good quality chocolate, sugar, and a dash of salt. Not to mention that my packaging is super cute.
Here are some pictures that went out with my family’s holiday card this year. Every year it takes us a while to figure our how to use the timer on my mom’s fancy camera. Every year we have to take a bajillion re-takes while trying to pretend it’s Christmas even though it’s Thanksgiving. But it’s tradition, and it’s worth it. Just like these precious bundles of perfection.
It’s also my sister’s birthday today – Happy Birthday Ariel!
Gianduja (Homemade Nutella)
- Yield: 4 cups (8 Servings)
- Ready In:
This recipe from Bon Appétit, December 2012. If you have a heat-proof stand mixer bowl, use it - it'll save you a lot of trouble.
- Roast the hazelnuts for 13-15 minutes at 350° (until golden brown). If they are not skinned yet, rub them in a kitchen towel to remove skins.
- Combine the hazelnuts and sugar in a food processor for about 1 minute, or until a paste forms.
- Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Melt chocolate until smooth, then remove from heat and whisk in butter until incorporated. Whisk in cream and salt, then nuts. (If you have a heatproof stand-mixer bowl, melt the chocolate in it, then use the whisk attachment from your mixer.)
- Place chocolate hazelnut spread into container(s). Top with chopped hazelnuts (optional). Allow to cool. Keeps up to 4 weeks. (Note: you can replace hazelnuts with any nut)
- Cuisine: Italian