A few weeks ago, I received back to back notifications on Instagram. For a second I thought the app was malfunctioning and had tagged me in the same item twice. I then realized that two of my best friends had tagged me in the same @ChocolateCoveredKatie post: Homemade Nutella Banana Bread Muffins.
Guess I’m predictable, huh?
I have a dangerous relationship with Nutella. You could cover just about anything in the spread and I would eat it up in two seconds flat. This winter, I had to ultimately ban myself from buying jars of it at the grocery store, because they would just “disappear.” It was like I had a little Nutella-addicted elf raiding my pantry. Turns out it was just me.
It doesn’t take a nutritionist to figure out that Nutella isn’t exactly the healthiest thing on the market. Let’s just say that it’s a good thing you have to walk a lot in Europe – otherwise I would’ve gained 50 Nutella-induced pounds in my four months abroad.
So when I saw Chocolate Covered Katie’s post for a healthy, homemade version of the infamous spread, I could’ve cried with relief. And then to stuff it inside of a muffin? Genius.
I encountered an unexpected challenge, though. I couldn’t track down any hazelnuts! Well, more like my mom and brother couldn’t during their respective grocery store trips. Hey, I can’t do it all. Since the third time is a charm, I got myself to the local Whole Foods. They have everything under the sun, so I figured it would be a no brainer. But even that trip took me a while. There are three nut sections, and I only found one hazelnut option buried in the last section. I thought hazelnuts were pretty mainstream…but I guess they’re all chillin’ in the Nutella factory.
The small, two-cup container of nuts cost me $8. I debated putting them back and putting that money towards my mani/pedi fund, but I’d been dreaming about this recipe for so long that I had to make the sacrifice.
Once I got home and reread the Healthy Nutella recipe, I realized I had to roast the hazelnuts and then take the skin off of them. What had I gotten myself into? The roasting was straightforward, but the skin removal felt like it took me years. By the time that was finished and the muffin batter was made, I was ready to retire to my room to read my new Cosmo.
I continued anyway, and began the process of mixing the spread in the food processor. It takes a while to turn nuts into a buttery substance, and I thought my Dad may kill me if I interrupted the ESPYs one more time with the obnoxiously loud processor. Sweets over sports, as they say. Alright, maybe they don’t say that.
Chocolate Covered Katie hadn’t posted a cohesive recipe – she posted one for the muffin portion and one for the Nutella portion, but I wasn’t sure about the stuffing step. I googled “how to stuff muffins with Nutella” and surprisingly got a lot of hits. I placed one layer of muffin batter into the liners, then placed a dollop of Nutella, and topped it off with another layer of batter. It looked like a significant amount of Nutella, but spoiler alert, it wasn’t. When the muffins eventually came out of the oven, I was disappointed to cut into them and see the tiny trace of Nutella inside. So use my Nutella-deprived sacrifice to your advantage, bakers, and lay that stuff on thick.
This is probably obvious, but I used the full-sized muffin option in CCK’s recipe and I omitted the chocolate chips. I’m all about chocolate, but I didn’t want to take away from my hard earned hazelnut spread. I doubled the batter because CCK noted that omitting the chips would significantly decrease the amount of muffins you could get out of it.
I reduced the baking time from a suggested amount of 19-21 minutes to 14 minutes, and the muffins came out perfectly.
I had a ton of homemade Nutella left over even after doubling the muffin batter, so luckily I was able to make up for the small amount of stuffing by slathering it on the muffins. Full disclosure: I added some Nutella to the middle of my muffin before taking these photographs!
I’m a huge proponent of microwaving any and all baked goods before consuming, so I put some extra spread on my muffin this morning and zapped it for 12 seconds. Perfection.
Despite my initial disappointment with the muffin-t0-Nutella ratio and the tedious stripping of the hazelnuts, this recipe was DEFINITELY a winner in my book. My mom thought so, too. These are right up my alley and I will totally make them again. They’d be a perfect addition to brunch and are just as decadent when eaten as a dessert! The best of both worlds.
Go bananas, you nuts.
Anything with Nutella has my name all over it! YUM!
Thanks for the shout out H…. Could you tell by the rising tv volume? Dad