I was never a PB&J kind of kid; jellies are usually too sweet for my liking, and though I still haven’t read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, I have a healthy distrust of manufactured foods, especially peanut butter (though that doesn’t stop me from consuming all those processed goods!).  My mom only recently allowed the regular use of butter (mayo is still banned) at home, so when I was a kid, I didn’t have much in the way of spreads to put on my breads…

…until Nutella.  Modified from the traditional gianduia, Nutella is a chocolate/hazelnut spread by Ferrero (includes the famed Ferrero Rocher) that is fabulous in, on, around anything and by itself.  It’s creamy and delicious, yummy and nutritious, and so fabulous, it can be used in lots of baking and I buy it from Costco in obscenely large jars. :D  Below is the easiest, simplest recipe I often employ:

Nutella Brownies/Mini Cupcakes
Adapted from Kirbie’s Cravings

Ingredients
1/2 cup Nutella
1 large egg
5 tablespoons flour
(additional: chocolate, nuts… even raspberries)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a bowl, mix Nutella, egg, and flour until fully incorporated. Spoon batter evenly into 12 lined/greased mini-muffin cups.

(This is the fun part! If you’ve got anything extra on hand, little chocolates or some chopped nuts, or a dozen small berries, top each brownie off with whatever you want.  I usually do some chocolate, like above, peanut butter chips or toffee pieces).

Bake! The recipes I referenced all say 11-12 minutes, but my oven’s a little weird, so at 350, it usually takes me 15-17 minutes to get it right. Go with the 11-12, and just add a few minutes if an inserted toothpick comes out gooey. :)

Last step: nom nom (is officially entered in the Oxford English Dictionary).

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