Ok, I’ll confess right off the bat. It’s World Nutella Day, and I didn’t technically use Nutella. See, the Nutella that is prevalent in most stores in the States is the kind in a plastic jar, with partially hydrogenated this, that, and the other. You can’t really pronounce the ingredients unless you have a doctorate in linguistics. The European version, which has more normal ingredients, is not as easy to find. So, I decided to use Choco Dream which is a natural Belgian cocoa spread with hazelnuts. Same delicious taste, ingredients I can pronounce.
World Nutella Day was brilliantly created by Michelle at Bleeding Espresso and Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy. When I missed National Chocolate Cake Day last week, I knew I had to participate in Nutella Day (which, in my opinion, is way better than chocolate cake anyway, because it’s got chocolate *and* hazelnuts).
I love Nutella. I was one of those weird Europeans kids who always had it around the house. :) Now, I can’t keep it at the house because, well, I’ll just sit and eat it like a person would sit and eat a pint of ice cream.
I really wanted to make nutella rice pudding for this, but let’s just say I procrastinated too much and I didn’t really have the time to make the pudding and, more importantly, the time to eat it. I decided to make some incredibly easy to whip up nutella-cherry squares.
This recipe was inspired by these raspberry oatmeal squares that I have made a few times. They’re so easy to throw together and taste delicious. I definitely changed the recipe quite a bit. My only problem was the nutella was kind of a bitch to spread. So, next time, I’ll probably microwave it for a few seconds to get it more of a pouring consistency. The combo of the buttery oat crust, nutella & cherries is delicious. How could it not be?!
Nutella-Cherry Oatmeal Squares
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1.25 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella or Choco Dream)
2/3 cup cherry preserves/jam/jelly
1.5 cups oats, divided
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9″ square baking dish.
Beat together the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until just incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture to combine. Stir in 1.25 cups oats. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the baking dish.
Spread the nutella over the crust (again, you may want to microwave for a few seconds), and then spread the cherry jam over the nutella. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of oats and the chopped hazelnuts to the remaining flour/crust mixture. Crumble the mixture over the nutella and jam.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a rack before cutting into squares.