Nutella cinnamon rollsAh, any excuse to use Nutella, right?

Well, not exactly. I really like cinnamon rolls, but Mr. Squid, not so much. Whenever I make cinnamon rolls I tend to be the one to finish off the pan (even the kids get a little bored with the standard variety). I wanted to craft a roll that my crew wouldn’t be able to resist. In the past, I’ve tried adding golden raisins instead of regular ones, dried cranberries, orange frosting instead of the powdered sugar glaze. But nothing seemed to really set the cinnamon roll apart from something you could get at pretty much any decent bakery.

Then, I opened the cupboard–Nutella.

For the uninitiated, Nutella is a creamy mixture of chocolate and hazelnuts. And like many tasty discoveries, Nutella came about by accident.

In the 1940s, Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker in Italy, was trying to make his rations of chocolate go just a little bit farther so he added in crushed hazelnuts, which were plentiful in the area. I learned more about Ferrero when I visited Nutella’s website. Along with historical tidbits, I found that if I saved 5 proofs of purchase, I could get a Nutella t-shirt (I’m going to start clipping!).

So here’s the deal on making the Nutella cinnamon roll. I have the complete details below, but for a quick summary, just spread Nutella in place of butter on the dough before rolling, then sprinkle with chocolate, coconut, almonds, walnuts, cinnamon that you’ve pulsed in a food processor.  It’s almost like a German chocolate cinnamon roll. I finished these off with–what else–a glaze made from Nutella.

These are good without frosting too!

Recipe

Servings: 24 rolls

Prep time: 45 minutes + 1 ½ hours rising + 30 minutes baking

Ingredients

I jar Nutella

2 Tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup coconut

1 teaspoons cinnamon

dash of salt

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup  walnuts

1/4 cup almonds

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Frosting ingredients

2/3 cup Nutella

2 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream

1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 batch of easy-to-make bread

  1. Prepare the bread recipe above, substituting one of the cups of warm water with warm milk (for a total of 2 ½ cups liquid—so 1 ½ cups water, 1 cup milk). Proceed to the step where you divide the dough into two equal parts. Instead of making loaves of bread, divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 9 x 13” rectangle.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the filling ingredients (except for the Nutella) until the mixture is crumbly.
  3. With a kitchen knife gently spread the 3-4 tablespoons of Nutella over the dough (straight from the can:).
  4. Sprinkle 1/4 of the coconut blend over the first dough rectangle. Going from one long side to the other, roll up the dough, careful to make the dough tight enough so that the filling will stay in but not so tight that it can’t rise.
  5. Cut the rolled dough into 6 equal pieces Place the pieces onto a large cookie sheet that has been lightly greased.
  6. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  7. Let the rolls rise for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the rolls are lightly browned. Let the rolls cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan before frosting.
  8. In a small bowl whip together the frosting ingredients, adding more powdered sugar until the glaze has a slightly thicker consistency than corn syrup. Drizzle over rolls and let the frosting set before removing from the pan.
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