It’s the holidays! And we’re celebrating with Nutella Truffles.
Because, hello. Why the heck not?!
Growing up, Nutella was a prized possession in my house. It was kept on a high shelf and my Mom would use it to cheer us up when things were bad or sad. She would also spread a thin layer on a graham cracker and hand it to me before early morning soccer games when I really didn’t want to go.
In college, every semester, I was sent back to school with a jar.
When we traveled to Italy or Germany, we stocked up on those little packs with the cardboard breadsticks on one side and the Nutella cup on the other (they didn’t use to be so easy to find here in the US)
And somehow, amongst all this Nutella eating, I somehow learned the really important lesson of “less is more”. My mom has always been the queen of self-control—it’s really amazing. Of all things in the world, Nutella is one of the hardest to resist. I mean really, how easy is it to sit there with a spoon, and before you know it, half the jar is gone?!
But whenever my Mom gave us Nutella, it was always spread in the thinest layer on a single piece of bread. Then she would carefully twist that white cap back on the jar and place it high on the shelf before sitting down with us to eat them—making sure to slowly savor each bite.
During my late teen and college years, this restraint was easily forgotten. And my pants were pretty tight. But in the years since, I’ve found this quiet lesson come back to me over and over again.
It’s okay to have that spoonful of Nutella, but if you overdo it now, you won’t enjoy it later.
And these truffles were actually the result of an attempt at Nutella-making gone awry. Things were going so well—the roasted hazelnut butter was smooth and delicious, the cacao and vanilla made it chocolately and amazing. But when I added the sweetener, the whole mixture seized up.
Knowing that anything starting from roasted hazelnuts and chocolate couldn’t be a total loss, I rolled them up and made truffles.
And they’re incredibly Nutella-y, creamy and delicious—at only 47 calories a piece! Which would make it so easy to eat the whole batch… but 2 is a pretty good exercise in restraint!
1 cup hazelnuts
1 tablespoon cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon honey
sea salt (optional)
2 tablespoons hazelnuts, chopped finely (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Toss the hazelnuts on a sheet pan and roast for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. lace roasted hazelnuts on one half of a clean kitchen towel and cover with the other half. Rub them together to help some of the skins fall off (don’t go crazy—some skins are okay, but removing what you can will give you a creamier truffle!)
2. In a food processor, add the hazelnuts (leaving behind as many skins as possible) and buzz for 2 minutes until hazelnut butter forms.
3. Add in the cacao powder, vanilla extract and salt. Pulse for 30 seconds to combine, then add the maple syrup and honey. Buzz for another minute until the mixture starts to tighten up and solidify.
4. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls, then sprinkle with sea salt or roll in extra chopped hazelnuts.