Monday, February 10, 2014

Nutella Swirl Brownies

This has been a pretty tough winter so far, hasn't it? And worse for some parts of the country than others!

After our stellar beginning with our October 4th&5th blizzard (go here if you don't remember that storm!), we've been pretty normal. Cold, snowy, and windy.

But who wants winter to end when you can snuggle next to the fire (or your heater, or your furry friend) with Nutella Swirl Brownies?

Oh yeah, let's go there!

This recipe came to our house through my daughter's friend, Mia, who lives in Norway. Mia is great. We got to know her this summer when she stopped by to meet Carrie in person (they're internet friends), and toured our part of the States.

Believe it or not, she loves chocolate as much as we do!

She sent this recipe to Carrie, who promptly made a batch. Or two. Or three. Maybe more.

These brownies are fabulous!

Nutella Swirl Brownies

You start with the brownie recipe on the back of the Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate.

(By the way, did you know that the man who started the Baker's Chocolate company was named Baker, and that's how the company got it's name? I always thought it was because they made chocolate for bakers.)


4 ounces Bakers unsweetened chocolate (that's a whole box)
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup Nutella (that's about half of a 13 ounce jar)

That may seem like a lot of sugar, but remember: you're using unsweetened chocolate.

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Break the chocolate into small squares. In a large bowl, heat the butter and chocolate together in the microwave until the butter is melted. Stir until they're well combined and all the chocolate is melted. You may need to heat the butter a bit more to make sure it's done.

Add two cups sugar, and stir well.

Add the eggs and vanilla, and stir again. In fact, don't stir - beat that batter so those eggs are completely incorporated into the batter.

And then add the flour and stir until it's all smooth, chocolaty goodness :)

Pour it into a 9"x13" baking dish. I like to line mine with parchment paper. It seems awkward at first, but when it comes to getting the brownies out of the pan, it's heaven!

Now, open the jar of Nutella.

What? You already opened it? The jar is half empty?

 /Jan shakes her head./

Well then, take as much Nutella as you have - up to 1/2 cup - and drop it by tablespoonfuls on top of your brownie batter.

By the way, you don't have to use Nutella. Peanut butter is delicious! Or cream cheese! Or - wait for it - make cheese cake batter and use some of it to swirl in your brownies!

Oooh, oooh! Or marshmallow cream! How decadent is that?

Take a knife, and swirl that Nutella (or whatever decadent ingredient you've chosen) into the batter.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes, or until done. Either stick a knife or toothpick in the middle (if it comes out clean, the brownies are done), or use the touch test (lightly touch the top of the brownies with your finger - if the top springs back, they're done).

While we're waiting for the brownies to bake, let's talk about cowboys :)
It's time for the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo, and we have cowboys, cowboys, cowboys!

I wish I had more pictures to show you, but we'll try some of these....

Father and son cowboy boots.

This is the G Bar G Saddles booth in the vendor hall. This family
has been handcrafting saddles since 1965. You'll have to go
check out their website here. These are the real deal.
The vendor hall is fabulous. Saddles, boots, hats, furniture, gloves, western clothing (the real stuff, not the dude ranch bling), stock fencing, stock trailers, trucks....

...and the petting zoo, featuring Osama bin Llama.

And there is nowhere else you can go - except the county fair - where you see this:

Okay, I hear the timer ringing, so let's get those brownies out of the oven.

Now's the hard part - you have to let them cool. Thoroughly.

While we're waiting, we are NOT going to discuss football.

Okay. Remember how we lined the pan with baking parchment? Once your brownies are cool, just lift the parchment out of the pan and lay the brownies on a cutting board.

Isn't that nice and neat?

Next, cut the brownies and serve.

Everybody grab a glass of milk and dig in! I've saved a cozy spot for you right by the fire.


  1. I luv brownies! so by 'beat the batter' does that mean a handmixer or will a spoon do? not sure if I still have a mixer...and definitely not sure I can let brownies cool thoroughly...that's gonna be hard!

    1. I used a spoon. You give your arm a mini workout, but you don't have to beat it very long, and the batter is soft, so it isn't a hard workout :)

      And you can eat the brownies warm...they just won't be a pretty. But sometimes, pretty food is at the bottom of my list of priorities! After all, it's chocolate!

  2. Oh, my gosh. This should be illegable. WOWZA, Jan!!!

    1. My advice? Cut the brownies very small. Eat one. Put the rest where boys can find them.

      If you don't, you'll end up eating the whole pan....

  3. Wow, those sound amazing!! But I'm afraid I would snort one up my nose right now from laughing so hard at that trash can!!! :) :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Isn't that trash can a hoot? I wish I had taken a picture of the sign that warned people about the presence of animals - something about how they could be anywhere in the convention center at any time.

      And I believe it. One day while driving past the building, I had to wait for at least a dozen cowboys - and their horses - crossing the street. I'm sure they went right in the front door :)

  4. Oh, Jan, you live in a whole other world! I'm envious! I can't believe how expensive those saddles are...and that there are so many different kinds. That's an eye opener. You wouldn't want to leave one of those babies lying in a tack room...or do only English style riders use tack rooms? I'm culturally challenged here.

    And the brownies. Drool....y'all at the café are trying to do me in by chocolate, I can just tell. Isn't Nutella a wonderful thing? I could just kiss whoever invented it.

    1. You're right, Kav. It IS a whole 'nother world out here! I'm enjoying every minute :)

      I spent my growing up years wishing we could move west - I loved cowboys, horses, the whole shebang. But for some reason, my dad had this job, and he couldn't just up and leave it behind to become a rancher. I never understood that ;)

      But now we're living in the west, and I never get tired of it.

      And aren't those saddles fabulous? They're an investment for a cowboy, and it's important to get the right one. It's definitely one of the tools of the trade.

      One of the things I love doing is browsing through the ranch supply store where two of my sons work. I usually stick with the pet supplies and household goods, but on Saturday we took a detour through the equine section. Wow! Saddles, lariats, horse blankets, saddle blankets...they have everything!

  5. Oh, Jan, I love that recipe. I use it all the time and it's one of my faves. And I've done the peanut butter version (and making it for peeps today for pre-Valentine GOODNESS!!!!) but I've never tried Nutella. MUST GET SOME AT SAM'S CLUB!!!!

    The problem is then it's HERE.

    Like right here.

    And when it's here, well.... It Must Be Eaten.

    The equine section of this store is a dream come true. What a great place. I'm falling in love with the food, the smell of leather and the thought of cowboys.

    Have I mentioned how much I loved being able to write a rancher book set in Montana and COWBOYS???????