15 Delicious Ways to Utilize Nutella

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iStock

In 1964, the Beatles kicked off the British Invasion by making their first American performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, Roald Dahl published "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and a tiny jar of hazelnut-flavored chocolate spread changed the dessert world forever.

Nutella, a sweetened hazelnut cocoa spread from Ferrero, debuted on April 20, 1964. Since then, it's evolved into a global phenomenon with a passionate fan base (as recently illustrated by the "Nutella riots" in France). The brand even has its very own holiday—World Nutella Day is celebrated February 5.

While many opt for the spoon-to-mouth Nutella experience (it's the most efficient method, after all), fans have uncovered dozens of unique ways to use the spread in the kitchen and beyond. In celebration of World Nutella Day, here are 15 of our favorites.

1. NUTELLA PIZZA

A Nutella pizza.
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It's not delivery, it's your new favorite dessert pizza. To make, just spread Nutella on top of baked pizza dough and add any toppings of your choice—strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, nuts, various drizzles. Bake for 5-10 minutes and top with powdered sugar.

2. NUTELLA COFFEE SWEETENER

Nutetlla toast with a cup of coffee.
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If the idea of caffeinated Nutella helps get you out of bed in the morning, this homemade creamer is easy to whip up in advance. Or, simply replace your regular sugar or sweetener with a small teaspoon of Nutella to stir into a fresh cup of coffee.

3. NUTELLA-COVERED BACON

Nutella-covered bacon.
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You've heard of chocolate-covered bacon, but adding the nutty kick of Nutella takes this treat up a notch. This salty-yet-sweet concoction is great for breakfast. Or dessert. Or appetizers.

4. NUTELLA ART

Nutella art on a plate.
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Can you find Nutella in the arts and crafts aisle? Not yet, but a quick look through the #NutellaArt hashtag on Instagram has us thinking someday that'll change. Fans are creating beautiful works of Nutella art—from the Mona Lisa to Pikachu—and we can't decide what's more impressive: the intricacy of the artwork or the self-control to leave Nutella on the plate.

5. NUTELLA SOAP

Wooden spoon full of Nutella.
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Nothing screams "clean" like soap made out of a sugary hazelnut spread, right? Apparently true fans don't care, and they've come up with their own recipes for "Nutella soap." But, spoiler alert—it's really just soap in a Nutella jar. Either way, we'll take it!

6. NUTELLA QUESADILLAS

Nutella and banana quesadillas.
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Since stuffed crepes are difficult to make at home, Nutella quesadillas are the next best thing. With a little Nutella, a tortilla, and your favorite toppings (sprinkles, bananas, whipped cream, the works) you can make a less authentic but just as delicious portable dessert.

7. NUTELLA S'MORES

Pile of s'mores.
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Step up your s'mores game with an alternative to chocolate bars—Nutella! The recipe is about as simple as you can get—spread Nutella on a graham cracker, toast a marshmallow, combine—but the unexpected flavor will win over any campfire crew.

8. NUTELLA HOT CHOCOLATE

Mug of hot chocolate.
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Give your hot chocolate a hazelnut makeover by swapping out those old powder packs. Instead, warm 3 tablespoons of Nutella and 1 1/3 cup of milk in a saucepan (or in the microwave). And if you want to spike it? A shot of peppermint schnapps or Bailey's will spice it right up.

9. NUTELLA CANDLES

While we don't condone setting your Nutella on fire, many fans have crafted ways to clean out the jars and make their own DIY, Nutella-branded candles. Don't trust yourself with DIY? You can buy ready-made Nutella candles on Etsy.

10. NUTELLA SNOW GLOBES

A snowglobe.
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If you want to show your brand loyalty while decorating for some seasonal cheer, Nutella snow globes allow you to create any wintry, glittery, chocolatey scene you'd like. This DIY guide can walk you through it.

11. NUTELLA JAR ICE CREAM DISH

Bowl of ice cream with hazelnuts.
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It can be so hard to get those last bits of Nutella out of the jar. But once you're down to the last serving, scoop some ice cream directly into the jar. The "topping" may be on the bottom of the jar, but by the time you've finished your dessert, the last remnants of Nutella will be cleared out.

12. NUTELLA RAVIOLI

Nutella ravioli.
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Your Italian nonna may cringe, but Nutella fans have gotten uber creative, whipping up their own "Nutella Ravioli." You can either stuff wonton wrappers with the hazelnut spread and top them with mint leaves and powdered sugar, or use crescent roll dough for the pastry pockets.

13. NUTELLA MARTINI

Nutella martini.
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A basic chocolate martini will no longer do once you've tried adding Nutella. This recipe calls for double the chocolate and hazelnut flavors, courtesy of Frangelico and Godiva Chocolate Liqueur in addition to a tablespoon of Nutella.

14. BOOZY NUTELLA MILKSHAKES

Nutella milkshake.
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Few things beat a boozy milkshake, especially when Nutella is the core ingredient. This Nutella milkshake recipe calls for vodka, milk, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a healthy scoop of Nutella.

15. NUTELLA PIGGY BANK

Need a cute place to store your laundry quarters or stash those pennies that you never spend? Wash out an empty Nutella jar, use an X-Acto knife to slice a small rectangular slot in the lid, and enjoy saving up for another jar of your favorite hazelnut spread.

A Shrine to Brine: The Mysterious Case of Missouri's Highway Pickle Jar

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iStock.com/MorePixels

No one knows how it started. No one knows who was responsible. Some may even have dismissed it as an aberration, a glitch in the scenery that would soon be corrected. But eventually, drivers in and around Des Peres, Missouri who took a highway off-ramp connecting I-270 North to Manchester Road began to notice that a jar of pickles was sitting on a dividing barrier on the ramp. And it wasn’t going anywhere.

Since 2012, the pickle jar has confounded drivers and internet sleuths alike, according to Atlas Obscura. Some have speculated that someone was trying to send a secret message or share a private joke. Perhaps someone pulling off to the side due to car trouble felt the need to place the brine-filled jar on the concrete wall and then forgot about it. Maybe someone thought it would be a kind of three-dimensional graffiti, incongruous amid the bustling traffic. Maybe it’s an indictment of commerce.

Whatever the case, once the pickles appeared, advocates refused to let them go. Jars that end up toppled over or otherwise damaged are replaced. Sometimes they reappear in protective Tupperware or with a holiday-themed bow. Sightings are photographed for posterity and posted on a Facebook fan page devoted to the jar, which currently has over 4200 members and has morphed from a place to theorize about the mysterious jar's origins to a place where people swap pickle-related recipes and stories.

There are dry spells—no one has posted of a pickle sighting in several months—but followers remain optimistic the jar will continue to remain a presence in Des Peres even if the motivation for placing them near the roadway remains as murky as the briny juice inside.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

Why the Filet-O-Fish Sandwich Has Been on the McDonald's Menu for Nearly 60 Years

McDonald's has introduced and quietly killed many dishes over the years (remember McDonald's pizza?), but there's a core group of items that have held their spot on the menu for decades. Listed alongside the Big Mac and McNuggets is the Filet-O-Fish—a McDonald's staple you may have forgotten about if you're not the type of person who orders seafood from fast food restaurants. But the classic sandwich, consisting of a fried fish filet, tartar sauce, and American cheese on a bun, didn't get on the menu by mistake—and thanks to its popularity around Lent, it's likely to stick around.

According to Taste of Home, the inception of the Filet-O-Fish can be traced back to a McDonald's franchise that opened near Cincinnati, Ohio in 1959. Back then the restaurant offered beef burgers as its only main dish, and for most of the year, diners couldn't get enough of them. Things changed during Lent: Many Catholics abstain from eating meat and poultry on Fridays during the holy season as a form of fasting, and in the early 1960s, Cincinnati was more than 85 percent Catholic. Fridays are supposed to be one of the busiest days of the week for restaurants, but sales at the Ohio McDonald's took a nosedive every Friday leading up to Easter.

Franchise owner Lou Groen went to McDonald's founder Ray Kroc with the plan of adding a meat alternative to the menu to lure back Catholic customers. He proposed a fried halibut sandwich with tartar sauce (though meat is off-limits for Catholics on Fridays during Lent, seafood doesn't count as meat). Kroc didn't love the idea, citing his fears of stores smelling like fish, and suggested a "Hula Burger" made from a pineapple slice with cheese instead. To decide which item would earn a permanent place on the menu, they put the two sandwiches head to head at Groen's McDonald's one Friday during Lent.

The restaurant sold 350 Filet-O-Fish sandwiches that day—clearly beating the Hula Burger (though exactly how many pineapple burgers sold, Kroc wouldn't say). The basic recipe has received a few tweaks, switching from halibut to the cheaper cod and from cod to the more sustainable Alaskan pollock, but the Filet-O-Fish has remained part of the McDonald's lineup in some form ever since. Today 300 million of the sandwiches are sold annually, and about a quarter of those sales are made during Lent.

Other seafood products McDonald's has introduced haven't had the same staying power as the Filet-O-Fish. In 2013, the chain rolled out Fish McBites, a chickenless take on McNuggets, only to pull them from menus that same year.

[h/t Taste of Home]

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