A Southern Grace: rooting for the underdog

October 10, 2017

rooting for the underdog


Nocciolata brownies. Sometimes it's good to see an upset.

As long as it's not my team being beaten by the little guy, I'm all for it. It's exciting and shakes things up. Nutella is clearly the top seed of the hazelnut-chocolate spread world, but there's another player you should consider: Nocciolata.

"Soft, fragrant, and with all the flavor of Italian hazelnuts, Nocciolata is almost a sin of gluttony." Doesn't that sound wonderful? It's the creamiest chocolate spread I've ever used and since it's made of an organically farmed hazelnut paste (16%!), sweetened with organic cane sugar, and free of palm oil, hydrogenated fat, and artificial flavors or colorings, I feel pretty darn good about eating it too!

It tastes very similar to Nutella, but they differ very much in their spreadability. Nocciolata is SO soft, there's absolutely no risk of ripping up your piece of bread as you slather it on. It also happens to be a dynamite ingredient in brownies.

These brownies are sturdy yet moist, and my husband (the biggest brownie aficionado I know) said they were "good...really good, actually", which is high praise from him. He didn't know what I did differently in making these, and when he said they were less chocolatey and more nutty, he was pretty spot on! There's no deceiving his finely-tuned brownie taste buds.

I also like the subtle ombre effect created by the swirls of Nocciolata. It's not blatant like a cream cheese swirl, but it's just as lovely! Nocciolata is a bit more costly than Nutella, but I do believe it's worth the extra expense and I urge you to try it!

Alotta Nocciolata Brownies
(printable recipe)
Makes 9
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups chocolate hazelnut spread (I used Nocciolata), divided use
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides to easily lift the brownies out of the pan when cool. Spray with nonstick spray and set aside.
With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
Add the brown sugar and beat on high speed for another minute, until creamed.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat on medium-high speed until combined.
Beat in 1 cup Nocciolata and mix until smooth and fluffy.
Add the flour and salt, mixing just until combined.
Pour the batter into prepared baking pan.
Drop teaspoonfuls of the remaining 1/4 cup Nocciolata on top and using a knife, swirl it into the batter.
Bake the brownies for 30-35 minutes. If the toothpick comes out with only a couple moist crumbs, the brownies are done.
Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Once cool, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares.


Rosa said...

They look fantastic! One of my favorite chocolate pastes (I'm not a fan of Nutella)...



Angie's Recipes said...

Grace, these brownies look out of this world!

Agness of Run Agness Run said...

This is such an awesome and mouth-watering treat, Grace! Can't wait to give it a try!

Emma - Bake Then Eat said...

OMG I could eat a whole pan of these delicious looking brownies.

Tania | My Kitchen Stories said...

oh my god what a great recipe Grace. Dangerous

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

These brownies looks amazing Grace, will definitely have to try this brand.

Marjie said...

I have a house full of brownie fanatics; I'll bet they would love these. I am happy to say that I don't eat chocolate flavored baked goods; that saves my derriere from the temptation of these.

lisa is cooking said...

I love those swirly tops! Nocciolata sounds delicious too. I'll be keeping an eye out for it.

Pam said...

They look delicious and perfect for chocolate lovers!

Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen said...

I loooove Nutella but have never heard of Nocciolata. I need to go find a jar immediately so I can indulge in some of those gorgeous brownies!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I'll be on the lookout for a jar of Nocciolata. Sounds tasty, and when the husbands give their seal of approval, you know it's a winner!

gloriadelpilar_1994@yahoo.com said...

absolutely love these brownies Grace !

Food Gal said...

The Italian brands of Nutella-like spreads are so much better. They actually taste prominently of hazelnuts, not sugar. I concur that they are definitely worth the extra cost when you really want a special treat.

Adina said...

What amazing brownies. I was never much into chocolate, but still I can never resist a brownies, there is hardly a more decadent and seductive cake. :)