When it comes to holiday goodie-giving, you’ve got the go-to regulars, like fudge and sugar cookies, and you’ve got the last-minute, like store-bought chocolate bars, but sometimes you need something impressive.  Something extra special.  Something that says, I just ground my own hazelnuts for this stuff, yo.  When I was flipping through a recent issue of Bon Appetite and came across something titled “Better-Than-Nutella” I was intrigued.  Then I saw the ingredient list and I was sold.  This stuff is crazy good, sinfully decadent, and perfectly perfect for gift giving this holiday season.    Or for stashing in the back of your fridge for midnight snack binges.  Your call.

If you can find hazelnuts without skins, buy them!  I will not try to fool you by saying it’s no big deal to remove hazelnut skins.  It’s actually one of the most annoying things ever.  However, the finished product here is so crazy good that it’s worth the labor of love.
**EDIT:  Some readers have noted this easy way of skinning the nuts.   However, others who have tried it have found that boiling the nuts sometimes removes some of the natural oils and consequently the nuts don’t reach a creamy/buttery stage.  So keep that in mind if you try it!
I recommend buying the nuts in a grocery store that sells bulk items- they shouldn’t be too expensive there.  You only need 10 ounces and they were less than $5/lb at both stores I shop at.

First thing we’ll do is toast the nuts.  Toasting brings out the oils and adds flavor and depth.  Place the nuts (skins and all) in a dry skillet or baking pan and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

Even if your nuts have skins on them you should be able to see some of the light colored nut so you can tell when they turn toasty brown.  After they come out of the oven, let them cool completely.

If your nuts have skins on them like mine, you’ll need to remove as much of them as you can.  Put about half at a time in a dish towl and rub them around vigorously.  You can kind of make a little pouch out of the town and rub the bundle between your hands.  When you open it up you can pick out the ones where the skins fell off easily and rub away at the rest.  You might have to do this several times and you may find yourself muttering naughty words under your breath.  Keep your eye on the prize, people. (And if you missed the edit above, check out these tips for easier skin removal!)

Once those are cool, pop them in a food processor, or high-powered blender (like a Blendtec or Vitamix).  I used the new twister jar Blendtec has and it worked like a charm.  You’ll notice I didn’t remove EVERY last spec of skin from my nuts- that’s nearly impossible.  Just get off as much as you can.

Blend those nuts up with a little sugar.  At first you’ll get a crumbly mixture

And the more you blend you’ll get a nice nut-butter consistency.  The original recipe calls for granulated sugar, but I found in some of my batches the sugar left a grainy consistency, so I used powdered sugar instead and it was perfect.

 Once you blend that up, set it aside while you melt your chocolate.  Place a metal or glass bowl over a pot of simmering water to gently melt the chocolate.  If you’re careful, you could melt it in a glass bowl in the microwave as well.

Remove the pan from heat and whisk in some room temperature butter.  If you use unsalted butter you’ll want to add 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt as well.  I just use regular salted butter and add no additional salt.

Once the butter is whisked and incorporated, you’ll add in a cup of heavy cream.

You know the Mom in the Nutella commercials who tells you that it’s made with healthy ingredients like skim milk and totally part of a nutritious breakfast when spread on whole wheat toast?  Yeah, don’t confuse me with her.

Add in your nut butter and that’s it.  While it’s warm it will be a pourable consistency; pour into jars.  This makes about 4 cups, so you can get four 8-oz jars, or 8 4-oz jars.

I love Weck Jars and was happy to see them sold at World Market recently.

Once the mixture comes to room temperature it will thicken and have the consistency of peanut butter (or Nutella).

This is to be served at room temperature since it will be too hard to spread once it’s chilled.  It can stay at room temp for 4 days, but I keep it in the fridge and then bring it to room temp before serving (or warm in microwave very briefly, like 5 seconds)


The chocolate is creamy and smooth, but there are small bits from the nuts in there adding awesome texture.


This is a gloriously decadent and impressive holiday gift.  It’s yummy on toast or with dippers like pretzels or graham crackers.  If you have a Fred Meyer store (or I believe Kroger sells this label)  these little buttery cookies are amaaaazing with this stuff.

 

 

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43comments

  1. 1
    Carlee says:

    Oh my gosh this looks amazing! Homemade stuff is always better!
    Carlee
    Almost Endearing

  2. 2
    Rachel says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I love it all!

  3. 3
    Morgan says:

    Oh Mercy! This looks so delicious! plus it will give me a chance to try grinding up nuts in my vitamix. Im thinking v.t. gifts? I’m building a house right now and living in a camper so I’m all for holiday treats that dont include baking :)

  4. 4
    Patti says:

    I’m so happy you talked about the little jars, because they are stinkin’ cute! You know how some people (like Kate and I) have a fetish about cute jars!

  5. 5
    Lisa Davis says:

    I about fell out of my chair this morning when I saw your post!! Guess what I have been doing the last 3 days?!?!? Making batch after batch of this exact recipe after I saw it in Bon Appetit!! Let me share what my daughter and I have learned.
    1. Boiling unskinned hazelnuts for 3 minutes makes the skins slide off the nuts like butter! Add 1-2 T. baking soda to water when you add the nuts and you are golden!! Use a DARK pan, the water turns black from the skins and so will your pan! :(
    2. Pat dry the nuts and toast as usual.
    3. You are totally right about the granulated sugar! Powdered sugar is better.
    4. We liked using milk chocolate better than the semi-sweet chocolate.
    5. On one batch I added only 2 tablespoons butter instead of the half cup thinking it might keep the spread less “tight”. Less butter?? Can that EVER be a good idea??? Nope! More butter is better! Always!! :)

  6. 6
    Kate says:

    I saw this post and thought of you
    http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/how-to-peel-skin-hazelnuts/
    totally making this, this weekend.

    • 6.1
      Lisa Davis says:

      You have no idea!! Our first batch (pre-knowledge of boiling method) was taking literally ONE hazelnut at a time and scraping it with a microplane rasp to get off the skin. Never again. Never. I’d rather do laundry! (shudder)

  7. 7
    Emily H says:

    Um, this looks delish. A little off topic, but, okay, so who loves the movie “Tangled?” I cried three times! Remember Rapunzel’s “favorite” was “Hazelnut Soup?” I’m curious!! I think our girls at OBB should try to tackle perfecting a Hazelnut Soup recipe. I wonder if its sweet, savory, or sweet and savory?

  8. 8
    Lauren says:

    Those little jars are just too cute!

  9. 9
    Cindy says:

    Is it possible to get the homemade Nutella completely smooth? I thought the Blendec could do the trick, no?

  10. 10
    Krista says:

    Love the jars! Whete did you find them?

  11. 11
    Flossie says:

    Really wanting to know where you get those kind of jars from. Do share :)

  12. 12

    I can’t wait to try this – Nutella is one of my faves! This would make great gifts to give to friends :) Love the jars

  13. 13
    Stephanie says:

    First of all, totally amazing. Definitely making this.

    Second of all, would this work with the Nutella Sandwich Cookies y’all posted a couple weeks ago, or do you think the texture might not make it come out quite right? Mmm…

    • 13.1
      sara says:

      I had a feeling someone would ask that! Honestly, I’m not sure- you never know how things like this would change the outcome in baking. I have a feeling the actual baked cookies might have issues, but what would be awesome is making the dough with a jar of nutella and filling them with this homemade stuff. THAT would be amazing. But let me know if you experiment with it!

  14. 14
    garysgirl says:

    Oh My Word Yum!!!!! I want some right now!! :)

  15. 15
    Jenn says:

    Yum. That is all.

  16. 16
    Phuong Dinh says:

    I made this for parents and they loved it :D hihi. By the way, just like everyone else, I love those jars too !! too adorable :D

  17. 17
    april callison says:

    Is it better than the real thing?? Just saying. That’s hard to top.

    • 17.1
      sara says:

      I was skeptical April, but I’m going to say all of my taste-testers agreed it really is better than the real thing. It’s a little different, but it’s straight up butter, cream, chocolate and hazelnuts- it’s hard to go wrong there!

  18. 18

    Can you make this sugar free and if you can HOW?

  19. 19
    Maria says:

    Oh my! You make this seems dangerously easy… YUM!

  20. 20
    Bre says:

    ohh yummy!How long does it take to make?

  21. 21
    JP says:

    I saw a recipe for home made chocolate hazelnut spread on America’s Test Kitchen feed, and they suggested that you put the hazelnuts in one bowl with another bowl covering it and then shaking it like crazy to remove the skins. The boiling method sounds easier to me, though. When I lived in Germany, Nutella had not even come to the U.S.A. At the time, I could not figure out how such a luscious product was not available here. But I am sure that homemade would be even better!

  22. 22

    I have to admit that even with the boiling method, hazelnut peeling is still a pain in the butt. I just get the pre-skinned kind. Almost as cheap and I am so much more sane now!

    And this looks AMAZING! Going to make this for my sister-in-law for Christmas. :)

  23. 23
    Holly says:

    I’m not the biggest hazelnut fan… but I will say the idea with the waffle butter crisps is totally a good idea! At the school on Friday, one of the teachers made a cream cheese-icingish spread to put on these crisps with kiwi and pomegranate seeds to share in the teachers lounge and it was so so good!

  24. 24
    Kathryn says:

    Genius! May I bask in your awesomeness?

  25. 25
    Sarah says:

    Homemade Nutella, you complete me.

  26. 26
    April says:

    I was wondering if anyone tried grinding the nuts is a food processor. A plain ol’, nothing fancy food processor? Does the nuts really turn to a creamy consistency like in the blender? Wish I could get my hand on a Blendtec or Vitamix….

    • 26.1
      Stephanie says:

      We tried it in our food processor and had a hard time getting the nuts to turn into butter. I think it was too many nuts for our poor little food processor to handle. I fear we may just have to buy a blendtec to get the result we want. What an awful Christmas present that would be ;)

  27. 27
    Gretchen says:

    Could you please share how much this recipe yields? I have little 4 oz. jam jars and am hoping to fill 4 of them.

  28. 28
    Nicole says:

    This looks so good and I wanted to make it as part of my holiday gift baskets, BUT I ran into an issue with the nuts. I followed all directions roasting and removing skins, let the nuts cool, and put them (along with powdered sugar) in the Blendtec– never made it past the crumbly stage no matter how many times I blended or what speed I used. Despite my best efforts, it simply did not become “creamy”. Any suggestions as to what may have happened to cause this situation? Is there a kind of oil I could add to help the hazelnuts come together into a creamy consistency or do I have to start from scratch with new nuts? Hazelnuts are much more than $5 per pound where I live so I am hoping for the best here…

    • 28.1
      Sheila says:

      I had the same problem I used a blender and never had the “creamy”that I should had, so I mix the chocolate/butter/cream on the blender with the crumbly hazelnuts, and is actually very taste but Im getting a food processor and doing the right way tomorrow see if works I don’t want to put those on my gift baskets. Wish me luck

      • Sheila P LO Monaco says:

        I still had the same problem I agree with Rachael must be the water boiling technique. I had no sucess

  29. 29
    Rachel says:

    I wouldn’t use the boiling technique to remove the skins. I did that today and then my hazenuts never reached the creamy stage after about 40 minutes in the processor. I did some reseach and some sites say boiling the nuts for nut butter reduces the amount of natural oils in the nuts, therefore they will never reach a creamy consistency. Now I have 2 lbs of crumbly hazelnuts, a bunch of melted chocolate and a burned out processor. Anyone else have this problem?

  30. 30
    Rachel says:

    Follow up to my previous comment, in case anyone runs into the same issue I did: I added 1/4 cup almond oil (the oil from the top of the jar of almond butter I had) and a tablespoon of the butter that was meant for the chocolate. It made a paste, rather than a butter, but I was able to whisk it into the chocolate and it appears to have fixed my problem.

  31. 31
    Rach says:

    I just made this using 10 oz natural peanut butter instead of the hazelnuts. I also used whole milk instead of cream. It is so luxurious! My two little girls and I were licking all of the spoons and bowls. Thanks for the recipe!

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