February 5th is the fourth annual World Nutella Day! If you go to the World Nutella Day website there are recipes, stories and more information than you could ever use on the delectable chocolate hazelnut spread. I’ve never liked peanut butter and my family thinks that I’m an alien from another planet because of that fact (well, maybe for a few other reasons as well). But Nutella, that’s an entirely different story. When my nephew came home from spending a semester studying in Vienna, he was addicted to Nutella, carrying a spoon and a jar of the stuff everywhere he went. With that kind of devotion I just had to try it to and loved it. Nutella was created in the 1940’s by an Italian named Pietro Ferro in response to the shortage of chocolate due to WWII. There were plenty of hazelnuts, so they were used to extend the chocolate and the yummy spread was originally called “pasta gianduja”. It’s great on toast and bagels, but I have to admit that I like to eat it right out of the jar.
So here’s to World Nutella Day! Enjoy!
Also, if you want to try making your own homemade Nutella, here’s a fabulous recipe!
If you have a bit of last minute gifting that still needs to be done and about a hour of time, I have a solution for you. Homemade Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread. Adrian had a post on her Flickr page and it looked so yummy that I just had to try it. The ingredients are hazelnuts, sweeten condensed milk, honey and chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli) and the recipe can be found here. The most difficult part of the entire process was finding hazelnuts, but after much looking and calling of grocery stores I found them at Whole Foods (hmmm, I should have thought of that right from the start — they carry them in bulk). A food processor is necessary to liquify the hazelnuts and a double boiler to melt the chocolate and sweeten condensed milk together.
I made three batches which filled two half pint and six quarter pint jars.
After a bit of taste testing, I can tell that this is going to become a holiday tradition!
I’m not a great cook by any stretch of the imagination, but one thing I do enjoy is baking. With all the beautiful fall follage and the chill in the autumn air, it seemed time to make one of my favorite cookie recipes — Great-Aunt Ett’s Oatmeal Cookies. I’ve added a few of my own ideas to the recipe (like adding walnuts, using olive oil instead of lard and adding flax meal, plus my mom put teaspoon values to the spices and oven temperature), but it’s still the same great standby that’s been in our family for ages.
GREAT-AUNT ETT’S OATMEAL COOKIE RECIPE
1 cup sugar
3 tblsp flax meal
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup milk
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts
Combine sugar, oil, flax meal, eggs,& milk; set aside.
Combine flour, soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg. Sift this mixture into the liquid mixture.
Add oatmeal and mix thoroughly. Add raisins and walnuts and mix thoroughly.
Drop from a teaspoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 9 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
Eat and enjoy!