My daughter came home from school yesterday and announced that some of her friends were eating “melted chocolate sandwiches” for lunch. She glared at me in a way that only 5 year olds can and waited for my explanation. How was I depriving her of this amazing lunch fare that she discovered? I knew this one was not going to go away on its own (come on moms, you know you use the “they will forget about it” excuse just as much as I do), so I set out to make it right.
I know some people have a serious love affair with Nutella, but honestly, I think it tastes like frosting. It has loads of sugar, palm oil, and synthetic flavorings added, which I’m not interested in. I don’t know how many frosting sandwiches are appropriate in the food guide pyramid, so let’s do Nutella healthier, homemade, and delicious.
For this recipe, I used half almonds and half hazelnuts because I wanted to mellow the hazelnut flavor a bit for the kids. I have found when you are not heaping spoonfuls of sugar into something, you can actually taste the flavors of the food much more. Hazelnuts are delicious, but they do have a strong taste. This spread turned out better than I imagined and is amazing right off of the spoon. Also try it over oatmeal, pancakes, or toast. We will have melted chocolate sandwiches in the lunchbox tomorrow and a mom win for the books.
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup raw hazelnuts
- Large pinch salt
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips (I used 60% cacao Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips)
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- Preheat oven to 300°. Spread almonds and hazelnuts onto a large rimmed being sheet, and roast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until starting to turn golden brown.
- Pour the roasted nuts into a food processor, add the salt, and process until you have a smooth nut butter, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times.
- In a double boiler*, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly until all of the chips are melted.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the nut butter in the food processor, add in the almond extract, and process again until it is combined.**
- Store in a small glass jar. I keep mine in the refrigerator, and it will firm up but become soft again when left out on the counter for a few minutes.
- *Note: I do not own a double boiler, but a small saucepan balanced over a larger saucepan of water works great, especially if the saucepans have handles on both sides.
- **Note: Do not add the almond extract directly to the melted chocolate, it will cause the chocolate to seize up. I learned this the hard way.