Twist the top off a 13-ounce jar of Nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread, and it's like opening a cookbook. There are hundreds — maybe thousands — of ways to use this creamy concoction.
An Internet search for recipes using Nutella shows 28,300,000 results. Of course, not all will reveal a top-notch recipe, but you get the idea.
Many of the results are about the San Diego mother who is suing Ferrero, the Nutella maker, for claiming that the product is a "nutritious" part of a healthy breakfast. Nutella contains hazelnuts, cocoa, sugar, skim milk and oil, but mostly sugar and palm oil. Two tablespoons of Nutella contain 11 grams of fat and 22 grams of carbohydrates.
That's why many Nutella lovers will hide their jars. Sometimes they sneak spoonfuls when no one is looking.
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If you have a jar hidden, or in plain view in the pantry, you can get a little creative and have Nutella at every meal.
An easy way to find recipes using Nutella is to go to Pinterest.com and search for Nutella. Photos will pop up, and when you see something you like, you can go directly to the recipe. You'll find ideas for Nutella Rice Krispies treats, cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, doughnuts, banana bread, crepes, waffles, pizza, hot chocolate, French toast, mousse, ice cream and ganache-covered cheesecake — and even homemade Nutella.
You also can follow Nutella on Facebook. According to Allfacebook.com, Nutella's page ranks third in number of fans, with more than 11,221,800. Two years ago, bloggers Sara Rosso and Michelle Fabio designated Feb. 5 as World Nutella Day, and it has a growing following.
According to the company's home page, Nutella's origins date to 1946, when Pietro Ferrero, who owned a bakery in Alba, Italy, began grinding the hazelnuts that were plentiful in the Piedmont region to extend his cocoa supply. In 1964, the spread was officially renamed Nutella.
Bloggers across the country have touted Nutella and created recipes. Jenna Weber, a Southerner living in Northern California, writes Eat, Live, Run, and guest blogger Lauren Brennan posted this recipe for no-bake Nutter Butter Nutella pie.
"Nutter Butter cookies and Nutella all whipped up into a fabulous dessert that takes minutes to make," Brennan said. "When I went grocery shopping and came home with a jar of Nutella and a pack of Nutter Butters, I really had no intentions of using them together. But then this brilliant idea popped into my head and I just had to make it."
No-bake Nutter Butter Nutella pie
24 Nutter Butter cookies
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup Nutella
1/4 cup cream, or more if you like a thinner ganache
To make crust: Spray 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Place cookies into a food processor and grind into fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into a bowl and mix with melted butter. Press into prepared pie plate. Refrigerate until chilled.
To make filling: With a mixer, whip cream cheese and sugar together until well blended. Stir in vanilla and Nutella. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Stir in whipping cream, then increase speed and whip 3 minutes, or until very thick. Pour into chilled pie crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.
To make ganache: Microwave Nutella and cream together until a thin sauce forms. Drizzle over pieces of pie. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Chef Cathy Shambley at Showfoodchef.com was inspired by pastry chef Christina Tosi at the acclaimed Momofuku in New York to create this pie.
Nutella crack pie
Oat cookie pie crust:
9 tablespoons butter, room temperature
51/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rolled oats
1/2 cup flour
1⁄8 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄8 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
11/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup Nutella
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 egg yolks
Powdered sugar for garnish
To make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper, and spray with non-stick spray.
In a mixer, beat together 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg and continue to beat thoroughly. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and beat until well blended.
Spread oat mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheet and cook 15 to 18 minutes until done. Remove and cool cookie completely.
When cookie is cool, break into crumbs and add to a large bowl with remaining 3 tablespoons butter and 11/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Rub together with fingertips until crumb mixture is moist enough to hold together in a clump when squeezed in your hand.
Spread mixture into a lined baking tart pan (or two, depending on size) and using fingers, press crumbs onto the bottom and sides to form a pie shell (use the flat bottom of a cup or glass to help press in.)
To make filling: In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugars and salt. Whisk in Nutella, cream and vanilla on low speed. Whisk in egg yolks on low speed to avoid adding too much air, and combine well (this will appear to be very loose).
Put filling into tart shells, bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue to bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, until center is loose but not too jiggly. The time might vary according to your oven.
Cool on a rack, then keep in refrigerator for a couple hours so filling continues to set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
This is at its best when served chilled.
Nutella yogurt fruit dip
1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Nutella
Mix yogurt and Nutella in a small bowl until completely combined. Refrigerate until ready to use. Serve with freshly cut fruit.
Nutella Rice Krispies treats
1/2 stick butter
1 package (10 ounces) regular marshmallows or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup Nutella
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in Nutella until melted. Add cereal. Stir with wooden spoon or spatula until well coated. It helps to put a little non-stick cooking spray on the spoon to keep it from sticking.
Using a sheet of wax paper, evenly press mixture into a 13- by 9-inch pan coated with non-stick cooking spray. Cool and cut into 2-inch squares.