Sea Salt Nutella Brownies
The richest, chewiest, most flavorful Nutella brownies, courtesy of everyone’s beloved chocolate-hazelnut spread. Top them with a generous sprinkle of sea salt, and don’t even try to resist. This is my go-to for potlucks, and *the* recipe that persuades everyone to start making brownies from scratch!
One thing about being a food blogger, even an aspiring one, is that you really no longer feel able to mail it in for an office party or potluck. I mean, yes, you could simply volunteer to bring drinks, or a sandwich platter from the local shop, but wouldn’t that sort of look.. bad? Somewhere between lazy and disingenuous? If you spend nearly all your free time making and taking pictures of food, and sharing that with the world, it seems reasonable to expect you’ll be able to come up with something to share in real life, no?
Of course, the cold hard reality is that food bloggers, just like everyone else, have weeks that are busy or bad, when all the trains ran late, the baby didn’t sleep, the dog ate your shoes, etc. And, of course, sometimes (often) those weeks coincide with parties or long-awaited plans or office events that cannot be rescheduled to suit.
When that happens, you can bet I’ll be bringing these brownies. They are the easiest, most delicious, most reliably crowd-pleasing dessert I know how to make.
I’ve made these Nutella brownies countless times, with a number of small adaptations from the genius recipe originally developed by Shelly Jaronsky in The Cookies & Cups Cookbook. Essentially, all of the chocolate flavor comes from Nutella. We’ll add a few chocolate chips for texture, and because, is adding chocolate chips ever a bad idea? But basically we’re eating baked Nutella, and that is a beautiful thing.
As I’ve written the recipe below, it calls for a full 400 grams of Nutella, which for my fellow Americans translates to about 1 1/3 cups. They sell convenient 400 gram jars of Nutella at every grocery and corner store here in Belgium. And it’s just so darn efficient to use the entire jar for one batch of brownies, no?
A little mixing – butter, eggs, sugar, flour, the usual – and your batter is ready to go. Swirl some more Nutella on top (til that jar is gone, remember??) and sprinkle generously with sea salt. It may seem like a small touch, but let me tell you, everyone notices and enjoys it. I mean, everyone loves a good simple brownie, right? If the rich chocolate hazelnut flavor weren’t enough to set these apart, the sea salt takes you right to the next level.
A Few Tips for Making Nutella Brownies:
- Use a square baking pan that’s either 8- or 9-inches square. If yours is 8 inches, the brownies may need a few extra minutes to bake; if 9 inches, check them on the early side. I love pans like this one, with sharp square corners!
- Be sure to line your pan with parchment paper. Aluminum foil would work, as well. Lining makes it SO EASY after baking to lift all the brownies out of the pan and cut them neatly.
- Don’t hesitate to scrape down the bowl a few times while you’re mixing the ingredients together. You want everything well blended, and don’t need to worry about over-mixing until you incorporate flour at the end.
- Fleur de sel is a fantastic sea salt to use for these and many other treats in the kitchen. I usually just buy it at the grocery store, but it is on Amazon, too!
Better Than Box Mix – Really!
Despite my love of cooking and baking from scratch, for a long time brownies were the one item I continued to make from a box, simply because they are so good. (And yes, I do still keep a box in the pantry for true emergencies. Nothing wrong with that – the Ghirardelli mixes are damn tasty!) But, this recipe for classic chewy chocolate brownies – made in one bowl! – started my shift to homemade brownie heaven, and these Nutella beauties have brought me the rest of the way.
Truly, I’ve taken these so many places, and can’t begin to count how many people have asked me for the recipe, all saying some version of the same thing – “I usually make brownies from a box, but THESE are something else!” 🙂
Now it’s time to try them yourself!
If you try these brownies or any other recipe on the blog, please remember to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!
Sea Salt Nutella Brownies
- 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups (400 grams) Nutella, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang to easily lift the brownies out of the pan when cool. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the butter on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add brown sugar and beat on high speed until creamed, 1-2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla extract, and beat on medium-high speed until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.
- Add about 1 cup of the Nutella and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and mix until batter is smooth and fluffy. Add flour, mixing on low speed just until combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips by hand.
- Scrape batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Drop generous spoonfuls of the remaining Nutella across the top, and, using a butter knife, swirl Nutella into the batter. Top with a generous sprinkle of sea salt.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
- Set pan on a wire rack and allow brownies to cool completely. Then, lift out the parchment, cut brownies into squares, and serve.