Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

img_3806When I say hazelnut, do you think Nutella? Hazelnuts have recently gained a well-recognized and fashionable status thanks to the famous Italian hazelnut-cocoa spread. But despite the great popularity of Nutella (and the popularity is indeed substantial!), hazelnuts do not have a prominent presence in American cupboards or baking repertoires. Almonds, yes. Pecans and walnuts, of course. And even cashews, sure. But where’s the love for the hazelnut?

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Hazelnuts offer the same nutritional wealth of other nuts – just 1 oz. provides 4g protein and about 3g of fiber, along with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, various B vitamins and many other essential nutrients. But despite the nutritional benefits, recipes featuring hazelnuts are generally lacking.

As a native of the Northwest – a major hazelnut-producing area – I have a special fondness for this nut. During the holidays, hazelnut thumbprint cookies frequently graced our holiday table. And to this day, the smell and taste still conjure nostalgic thoughts of Seattle winters and family festivities. So I thought it was high time to devote more recipe love to this wonderful nut. And thus I’m proud to introduce these Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies!

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These brownies have the classic, well-loved taste of Nutella, but with an extra nutty boost from toasted hazelnuts studded within. And because they’re made with nut flour and olive oil, they’re are not only flourless, but they also contain a better balance of healthy unsaturated fats. So whether you’re new to using hazelnuts or just looking for a better type of brownie to make, this is a delicious place to start!

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

  • Servings: 16 brownies
  • Print

INGREDIENTS
    • ⅔ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 5 tablespoons light olive oil
    • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ⅔ cup almond or hazelnut flour
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts
    • ¼ cup Nutella (optional)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease an 8×8” baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate chips and olive oil, stirring frequently until the mixture is fully melted and glossy. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a small bowl or standing mixer, whisk the sugar and eggs until light in color and frothy. Slowly beat in the melted chocolate mixture, adding a little at a time to prevent curdling the eggs. Add in the vanilla and beat until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond or hazelnut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the nut flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Fold in the hazelnuts.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. If desired, drizzle Nutella on top and lightly drag a knife through the batter for a decorative marbling effect.
  6. Bake brownies for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are crisp and the middle appears nearly set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

NUTRITION FACTS*
Serving Size: 1 brownie (with Nutella)

Calories: 190
Total Fat: 13g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 25mg
Sodium: 90mg
Total Carbohydrate: 18g
Dietary Fiber: 2g

Sugars: 15g
Protein: 3g

*nutrition facts are estimations

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