I found my second love less than a week after I got married... Nutella. Mmmmm.... It's the European chocolate-hazelnut version of America's peanut butter. It was served at breakfast every morning, sitting next to fresh croissants, waiting to be generously spread on top of their flakey goodness. Who wouldn't enjoy chocolate for breakfast!?!? I enjoyed it so much, that I went through an entire jar of it on snacks while on our honeymoon, and brought another jar home with me - in addition to the single serving containers I put on my pastries in the morning.
Normally, Nutella is expensive in the US (And when we were in Italy, we discovered that PB is expensive there). But, one of my favorite stores, carries it in bulk. That's right - Costco carries two large jars of it at one low price! Perfect, when you are baking & needing large volumes for a single recipe.
NUTELLA CUPCAKES & FROSTING
Makes 12 Cupcakes
CUPCAKES (Adapted from I Heart Cuppy Cakes)
10 tbsp butter, room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups sifted flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup (12 tsp)z Nutella
Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.
Cream together butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes. Add in eggs on at a time, until fully incorporated. The batter may not look smooth, this is fine. Add vanilla.
Stir in flour, salt, and baking powder until batter is smooth and all flour is blended.
Fill each liner ½- 2/3 full. Top each with about 1 tsp nutella. Add remainder of cake batter so each ends up being approximately ¾ full. Swirl the batter & Nutella with a toothpick.
Bake for 20-22 minutes. Remove to wire rack and allow to cool before frosting.
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
4-5 cups confectioners sugar (or more to taste)
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon chocolate extract
1/3 cup of Nutella (or more to taste), softened
In your stand mixer with flat beater, cream butter. Add 3 cups of the confectioners sugar, then milk and vanilla and beat until the mixture is smooth, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the remaining confectioners sugar, beating about 1-2 minutes. (You can add more sugar to get a thicker consistency if you want.)
In a microwave safe bowl, soften the Nutella until it has a spreadable consistency, about 15-20 secs. Add the softened Nutella to your buttercream and fold into the frosting until well blended.