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DIY

Homemade Nutella

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As you know from my post earlier this week, I am on an DIY kick! I’ve always like Nutella, but I haven’t been super crazy about it. When I traveled to Europe, There is Hazelnut in basically everything. It’s more subtle, though. I really enjoyed it and wanted to make something similar myself, that had fewer ingredients. When I found a DIY version, I had to try it. I loved the toasty flavor of the hazelnuts and the less sweet but super chocolate flavor that balanced it out. It’s fantastic on pretty much anything. I’ve been enjoying mine with toast and some fruit, for balance, and it’s absolutely delightful. I like that I can control what’s going into it. Hazelnut was almost impossible to find. I got mine at Whole Foods, but I also saw some on Amazon. We don’t have much reason to use hazelnut oil but it was worth the investment, now that I’ve tasted this version.

Homemade Nutella

Homemade Nutella

Instructions

  1. Place your oven rack in the upper-middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Roast the nuts until the are well browned and fragrant, about 12-15 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through the baking time.
  3. Lay a clean kitchen towel on the counter. Pour the roasted hazelnuts onto half of the towel and fold the other half of the towel over the top. Fold over the edges so it's somewhat sealed. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes, allowing the steam inside the towel help loosen the skin of the nuts. Once the skins have had time to loosed, roll the nuts around the inside of the towel to help remove the skins. They should come off fairly easily. If a few spots of skin remain, that's ok.
  4. Transfer the prepared hazelnuts to your food processor. Process until a smooth paste has formed, about 5 minutes. It should be fairly liquid. If it's still more paste like, keep pulsing until it's smooth.
  5. Add in the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, oil, vanilla and salt to the bowl and process with the hazelnut puree.
  6. Process until fully blended and glossy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Notes

Recipe from Everyday Annie.

DIY Vanilla Extract

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I LOVE a good DIY. I have been wanting to make my own extract for like two plus years. Why have I hesitated…who knows. Vanilla beans are not cheap, I happened to get mine off Amazon around the Holiday so they were not terribly expensive. The original recipe for this is from Smitten Kitchen. She has fantastic references for finding vanilla beans (David Lebovitz)…two sources I trust for cooking advice so win! The short and dirty of the recipe is buy beans, get a bottle, and buy alcohol (cheap vodka!). Let you just let it do it’s thing. You’ll want it to sit at least 2 weeks, though I’ve let mine rest for 6 and it is unbelievable. I’ve heard people say homemade is way better and you will never go back. I thought to myself, that’s a pretty big sell for extract….but my GOD they were right! It’s so good. I starting using vanilla in recipes that don’t usually call for vanilla, because it’s that good. I would say, if you are interested in making extract, DO IT! Do not wait years like I did.

I’m not going to insert a formal recipe here, because it’s not really needed. The original recipe I link to above has a lot of great references, so I highly encourage you to look that over too.

First, you want to get vanilla beans. Amazon is a great resource for some, and your local stores as well, though they tend to be much more expensive.

You will need to get a bottle to store your extract. I happened to have a bottle on hand that I recycled for this, but you can get them here. Or check Amazon.

Buy Alcohol. You do not need to get anything super fancy at all. You can leave the Kanye grade vodka for a special occasion, the cheap stuff will work perfectly. Some folks suggest other alcohol as a base, but I prefer the straight vodka.

The measurements are 1 whole vanilla bean for every 2 liquid ounces of alcohol. I did 8oz of vodka and used 4 (or 5) whole vanilla beans. Split each bean lengthwise and drop into your empty bottle. Fill with liquid and give it a few shakes. Place in a cool dark cabinet, away from the light. You will want to let this sit for at least 2 weeks, though I highly recommend the 6 weeks. I know, it’s basically torture but it’s worth the wait.

Not So Basic Pumpkin Spice Syrup

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I know some of you may be thinking, pumpkin already?! Yup! I adore the fall time. I live in Massachusetts, it’s stunning and a time to be celebrated, for sure. Maybe it’s the cooler morning air, or the solar eclipse, whatever it is, I had the itch to make something pumpkin. Before I go all out pumpkin crazy, I thought it best to ease in with this awesome syrup recipe. With the highly anticipated PSL and pumpkin flavored coffees making there return, why not get in on the action first? Be a rebel and make your own PSL syrup. Not only will you be a rebel, you will actually know what is being put into this syrup and won’t be consuming a ton of chemicals. You autumnal rebel you! Also, this syrup takes minutes to make and your house will smell better than a seasonal candle. I kid you not. It’s so yummy. Now I just pop 1-2 tbsp, depending on how sweet I want my coffee, right into my morning cup. You can also get fancier and make your own latte by steaming your milk and adding it to strongly brewed coffee.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Instructions

  1. Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Add in the cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and pumpkin. Whisk together to combine. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, without letting the mixture come to boil. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10-15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer and store in an airtight container. Keep refrigerated.

Notes

Adapted slightly from Annie’s Eats.