Feb. 5 is World Nutella Day, so celebrate your love of this chocolate-hazelnut spread the best way you know how: by baking up some delicious treats featuring the Italian sweet and learning a thing or two about its origins.
Pietro Ferrero could never have predicted that his simple chocolate-hazelnut spread would one day become an international sensation. Now fondly recognized as Nutella, the spread was originally created in Alba, Italy, in 1946, when chocolate was scarce and expensive following World War II. Hazelnuts, on the other hand, were plentiful in the region, and Ferrero, the owner of a small confectionary, figured out how to combine them with chocolate for a treat anyone could afford. The rest was delicious history!
Pinterest is filled with recipes galore for Nutella cheesecake crust, Nutella brownies and Nutella frappuccinos, just to name a few. Frozen yogurt shops, such as Pinkberry, have traded their standard chocolate flavor for chocolate hazelnut. In New York City and Chicago, celebrity chef Mario Batali’s restaurant Eataly now features an entire Nutella bar. Even Hershey, perhaps the most recognized face of plain ol’ chocolate, has jumped on the bandwagon with its own hazelnut spread.
What started as a simple, affordable confection has become such a phenomenon that in 2007, parent company Ferrero declared Feb. 5 as World Nutella Day. So enjoy the day with a delicious mini pie full of the creamy, chocolatey stuff!
Mini Nutella Cream Pies
Creamy and rich, these mini pies made in muffin tins put your favorite chocolate spread center stage.
Prep: 10-15 minutes
Bake: 15-20 minutes
Makes 12 pies
1 (2-pack) box premade pie dough
1 (13-ounce) jar Nutella
1 (7-ounce) jar Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
6 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese
¼ cup milk
¾ cup plus ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Chocolate syrup, to serve
Hazelnuts, crushed, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-well muffin tin and set aside.
- Roll out the pie dough until it is ¼ inch thick. Using a pastry cutter or large glass, cut out 12 circles, each 3-4 inches in diameter. (You will have to re-roll out the dough.)
- Press the dough rounds into the wells of the muffin tin, pressing the dough up and over the edge a bit. Prick the bottom of each pie crust and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the Nutella, marshmallow creme and mascarpone cheese until thick and creamy. Then, add the milk and mix to combine. Gradually, add in the ¾ cup confectoiners’ sugar until smooth and thick. Set in the fridge until ready to use.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the heavy whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar, beating on high with an electric mixer for 5-7 minutes or until thick and fluffy.
- To assemble the pies, fill each shell with the Nutella mixture, followed by a swirl of whipped cream. Top each pie off with a drizzle of chocolate syrup and some crushed hazelnuts. Serve room temperature or chilled.