Part of the fun of doing the World’s Pickiest Eater event a couple of weeks ago was that I had carte blanche to buy Nutella in quantity. I may have gone a little nuts. So now I have many many many many jars of the stuff. I’m not a chocolate person. Perhaps because I no longer need it medicinally (women read between the lines) I just don’t ever crave it. Except for the occasional super strong cup of hot chocolate. But I do love the Italian flavor bomb Gianduia. Actually it’s not a bomb. Gianduia is chocolate mixed with hazelnuts. It shows up everywhere in the Italian pantheon of sweets from confections to gelato, to pastry fillings. And of course, in those jars of Nutella which Italian children and adults alike dip into much like we do peanut butter. When I take culinary groups to Italy we always do a class at chocolatier Robert Cattinari, just north of Florence in Agliana. He makes an artisanal nutella that’s addicting, but I have so little of it I’m always reluctant to use it for anything but spoon in the jar.
So now that there are at least 20 jars of Nutella around me I have permission to go wild. The first foray into baking with it are these very simple and totally satisfying Nutella “Pop Tarts”
Simply take your favorite Pate Brisee or Buttery Pie Crust recipe and roll it out more thinly than you would for a pie. You may cut the dough into small rectangles or as I did, use a biscuit cutter to make circles. Put a nice sized dollop on half the circles or rectangles then top the filled piece with another rectangle or circle of dough. Seal the edges by pressing firmly with a fork.
Make an egg wash with 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream or half-half, beaten together with a fork.
Place the “pop tarts” on a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet. Brush the egg wash on the little gems. Place baking sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until pastries are golden brown.
Remove from heat and take to the office where you will be hailed as a god or goddess.