Nutella is one of those fascinating sweet treats that some people go wild about and other people have never even tried. I was in this latter camp until college. I so, vividly remember sitting in an Italian class one day and over hearing a conversation about the infamous Nutella and how it was so good that the only way to really eat it properly would be to have a huge glob of it on a spoon. (now that I am a self proclaimed fan, I will attest that this is, in fact, the best way to go about eating it)
I don’t remember where I was or how it was prepared, but one day I finally tried it. And, to be honest, I was pretty lukewarm about it at first. I think I expected it to taste like pure chocolate and when it didn’t, I was disappointed. You’ll be happy to know, though, that after a few more tastes, nutella took hold over me and has become one of those snacks for which I’ll sneak into the cupboard, armed with a spoon in hand.
One of my favorite ways to eat nutella is on a crepe with sliced bananas or strawberries. Perhaps one day I’ll post my method for this on here because, really, it’s just too good to keep to myself.
Today’s recipe, from Sugarlaws, is for Peanut Butter Nutella Bars, the most decadent dessert I’ve ever personally made. A batch of these literally weighs about 10 pounds. These bars are so dense and rich that it’s difficult to eat more than one at a time. They fill the mouth with wonderful sweetness and chocolate, hazelnut, peanut butter goodness and once you start with them, it’s hard to stop.
These bars are fairly easy to make but do take a bit of time to prepare. First, the peanut butter is creamed with confectioners sugar and ground up graham crackers and is then put in a 9×9 square pan and left to rest in the refrigerator for an hour. The second step involves melting chocolate and adding nutella before spreading that mixture onto the peanut butter mixture and letting it rest in the refrigerator for another hour. For the last step (or the best step!), nutella is spread on the top of the bars, it’s all refrigerated again, and then the product is luscious, rich squares bursting with flavors of peanut butter, chocolate and hazelnuts. The taste is so, overwhelmingly sweet and glorious.
Oh, and if you’ve never tried nutella before, you might want to give it a try! I can’t promise you’ll love it, but if you do, you’ll be that much happier about it.
Peanut Butter Nutella Bars
Yield: 16 bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
1 cup butter, at room temperature
12 sheets of graham crackers, broken up in a food processor
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup Nutella, divided into 1/4 cup and 3/4 cups
1. In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, confectioners sugar, vanilla and peanut butter until well combined and smooth. Pour this mixture into a buttered 9x9 square pan lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. In a metal or glass bowl over a small pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate and 1/4 cup of nutella, stirring often until melted and mixed well. Be careful not to burn this. Spread the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter crust and spread it evenly throughout. Refrigerate for an hour.
3. Spread the rest of the Nutella (3/4 cup) over the top of the bars and spread it evenly. Refrigerate for one more hour.
4. Once completely set, remove the bars from the refrigerator and cut into squares before serving.