Hazelnut Swirl Blondies

Awwww yeaaaaahhhh!!! These are damn good. Like crazy good! Warning though: they’re incredibly rich.

I’m sure I’ve written about my obsession with/addiction to Nutella. When we were in Italy on our honeymoon I ate it every single day, sometimes twice a day (I’m not proud). I’m not allowed to buy it at home because I can easily eat an entire jar by myself in a day (again, not proud). Chocolate + hazelnuts = ummmmm, good!

I added the optional, toasted hazelnuts that make a wonderful crunchy surprise. Paul was skeptical about the nuts (he’s not a huge nut fan in baked goods), however I do believe his response to eating these was, “Oh yeah. These are good!” Success!!!

Side Note: If you’re having trouble finding already chopped up hazelnuts, you can find them at nuts.com (I love that website name, cracks me up every time – yes I’m that childish). All you’ll have to do is toast them, which is actually nice because your kitchen will fill with the lovely aroma of toasting hazelnuts.

Hazelnut Swirl Blondies (recipe care of Real Simple)

INGREDIENTS: Cooking spray, ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, 1 ½ cups packed dark brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ cup toasted unsalted skinned hazelnuts (optional), chopped, ⅓ cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella), ¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Melt butter in a large pot over medium, stirring occasionally to ensure butter doesn’t brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar until well-combined. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, and kosher salt to butter mixture; stir until batter is smooth. Stir in hazelnuts, if using. Transfer batter to baking pan. Spread in an even layer and smooth top. Dollop chocolate-hazelnut spread in tablespoonfuls on top of blondie batter. Drag a wooden spoon or a skewer through spread to swirl it slightly (it won’t be evenly spread out over batter). Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake until top of blondies is set and edges are golden (center will still be a bit gooey), 22 to 24 minutes. Transfer baking pan to a wire rack and let blondies cool completely, about 2 hours. Using parchment paper overhang as handles, remove blondies from pan and slice.

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