Thursday, March 8, 2012

Milestone Treat

There are milestone birthdays and milestone events like graduations and first recitals and all that jazz. I've had a few and I've shared a few, namely our 30th birthdays this year. But this milestone is like an ultimate. My best friend is the proud co-editor of a book, an actual book. I can hold it in my hands and flip through the pages. Her name is printed on the cover. Important people have read and reviewed it. It's the milestone of milestones.

I'm so very proud of her, and she knows. But I want to give her a little something to make sure she knows good and well. And this is the perfect milestone gift. Homemade Nutella. We had been talking a few weeks ago about our Nutella cravings, and she even ordered a Nutella latte! So this is the perfect little homemade treat to let her know just how great she is.

So how does it taste? Like heaven. It's like a crunchy hazelnut butter with bittersweet chocolate -- much better than the commercial version. I'd totally put it in a latte, sandwich, cracker ... or just a spoon. And it's not totally sinful either, made with almond milk, organic cane sugar and a lot more than 56 roasted hazelnuts. Yeah, I know for sure. I rubbed the skins off all of them! A LOT more than 56!

Anywhos, go make this homemade Nutella -- keep a jar in the fridge, and give one to someone special, even if there's no milestone event, because friendship is a milestone in itself.

Crunchy Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
adapted from Fueling Endurance Performance
makes about 2 cups

2 cups of hazelnuts
3 tablespoons of organic cane sugar
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of unsweetened chocolate almond milk
50g (half a bar) of bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon of coconut milk

1. Roast the hazelnuts in a 300 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until they start to get fragrant. In batches, put rub the hazelnuts so their skins come off.

2. Place the hazelnuts, sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor and grind until you get a coarse meal.

3. Melt the chocolate with the coconut milk in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.

4. Add the chocolate mixture and almond milk into the nuts. Grind until you reach the texture you like. You can add more almond milk to your liking. Just taste often.

5. Spoon the hazelnut butter into jars and store in the fridge. Don't forget to share.

Happy Milestone Day Mia!

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