Considering I had made it 26 years without ever truly eating Nutella, until a fateful day last September when I realized its gloriousness and mixed it into banana bread, I felt like I needed to celebrate today and join in “the chocolatey hazelnut wave across the blogosphere.” The choice of what to create was easy. After all, one of my favorite combinations thus far has been orange + Nutella [as you saw when I created my Orangella Sara(h)bars]……I figured what could be better than Orange-Hazelnut Nutella Brownies?
The answer? Nothing.*
*Brownies are, after all, the best baked delicacy in my opinion. Well, aside from any frozen, creamy treat. They must be fudgy, not cakey, and are best eaten not-yet-cooled from a baking pan.And since I am a lazy baker, you should easily be able to follow and make this recipe at home. Why? Because it begins with boxed brownie mix…and doesn’t get much more complicated after that.
[Yes, the Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie mix is my favorite. Mainly because it ALWAYS seems to be on sale for $1.00, but also because it is delicious. Yes, it has hydrogenated oils in it…but, remember, when you are baking…who cares about “healthy”?]
…if you get a little pulp in there, no worries. It will just make for a citrus surprise in someone’s brownie bite later on. 😉
Stir up the batter, just until everything is incorporated.Then, add in 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (preferably roasted or toasted…and if you want to go through the trouble to blanch them—which means remove the skin—then rock out with your bad self, but I’m not worried about it), 1/4 cup Nutella, and about 1 tablespoon orange zest.**Grate the orange peel on the super-fine part of a cheese grater if you don’t have a microplane. [I don’t have one, so don’t feel like you should.^]
^Wow, that just made me sound like the be-all, end-all authority on baking. Clearly, that I am not. Perhaps Tricia deserves that title, but not I.
Pour/spread the batter into a 13 x 9 pan…or, if you are like me and live with a bunch of people, resulting in various kitchen items vanishing mysteriously at regular intervals, divide it into two 8″ square pans.Pop the brownies into a 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes (or just follow the package directions).
When they are ready to come out of the oven (a toothpick or fork inserted in the center comes out clean…or just slightly chocolatey*), put 3 Tbsp. Nutella and 1 Tbsp. orange marmalade (optional, but adds a little extra orange oomph!) into the microwave for about 30-40 seconds.
*Undercooked is better than overcooked. Well, except for when we’re talking about chicken. Or turkey.
1 box “family size” (13×9) fudge brownie mix [recommended: Betty Crocker]
2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1/2 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts, separated
1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp. Nutella, separated
1 Tbsp. orange marmalade (optional)
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine first 4 ingredients (brownie mix through orange juice). Stir in orange zest, 1/4 cup hazelnuts, and 1/4 cup Nutella.
2. Bake brownies according to package instructions (generally 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes), just until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
3. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, heat 3 Tbsp. Nutella + 1 Tbsp. orange marmalade (if using) for 30-40 seconds. Drizzle over warm brownies.
4. Sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts over Nutella drizzle.