Chewy, gooey flourless chocolate hazelnut brownie bars, made with creamy hazelnut-cocoa spread, flaky sea salt and crunchy hazelnuts.
Chocolate and hazelnuts. Like Bogie and Bacall, they were made for each other. Nutella, that creamy confectional marriage of cocoa and hazelnuts, is an international craze — a fun fact alleges that one jar of it sells every 2.5 seconds throughout the world.
These dense, rich bars have a short list of ingredients in the recipe (and no flour or dairy products), putting the spotlight directly on the main characters.
The story goes that gianduja, a sweet chocolate-hazelnut paste, was invented by chocolatiers in Turin, after Napoleon blocked the cacao trade in 1806. Hazelnuts helped the scarce chocolate go a lot further.
Hundreds of years later, a pastry chef named Pietro Ferrero came up with the process for manufacturing the thick spread, making it accessible and affordable for the masses. Find it now in a pantry near you!
This recipe is adapted from a nut butter blondie recipe I bookmarked months ago, but when I decided to make it I turned to my favorite spread instead of almond butter.
Why not double-down on the flavors?
I love Nocciolata spread — it’s a bit more spendy than the plastic supermarket tubs, but it’s organic, doesn’t include palm oil, and not as sweet. Use whatever spread you like, and try reducing the sugar by a tablespoon if you have something sweeter, like Nutella.
Get the ingredients for this recipe:
Tips for making gooey, chocolatey brownies:
- Use good quality dark chocolate, at least 70% cacao. You’ll need one 3.5 ounce bar for this recipe. Smack the bar on the counter to break it into pieces.
- If you can’t wait for the brownies to cool at room temperature, pop them in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Use a knife blade dipped in hot water to facilitate slicing.
gooey chocolate hazelnut brownies
Yield 12 - 16 bars
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3.5 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a piece of parchment paper so that it hangs over two sides - this will make it easier to remove the brownies.
- Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl with the vanilla and chocolate-hazelnut spread until smooth. Stir in the sugar, baking soda, salt and half of the chopped chocolate. Continue stirring until blended.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it into the corners. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate and the hazelnuts over the top.
- Bake 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the flaky sea salt over the top.
- Let cool in the pan completely. Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan and cut into squares (you can chill the baked brownie in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before slicing if you find them too gooey).