Book Club Brownies with Nutella Frosting

Newt had the most excellent idea: a summer book club for her friends and their mamas. We had our first meeting earlier this week and we discussed Kathryn Fitzmaurice’s lovely The Year the Swallows Came Early. We talked about everything from achieving your childhood dreams to discovering that your parents are not perfect.
Chocolate covered strawberries are featured in the book, so we had to have some (there is even a recipe at the back, though we subbed coconut oil for Crisco). But given the er…specific timing of book club this month, more chocolate was called for, if you know what I mean.
I modified a cocoa brownie recipe from Smitten Kitchen and added Nutella frosting inspired by My Baking Addiction (though the brownies would have been delightful even unadorned).
Warning: this is not a health food. Two tiny squares had enough sugar to keep me up until 2am. But while I was awake, I was feeling happy.

Book Club Brownies with Nutella Frosting
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 25
Rich, dark and fudgy brownies topped with Nutella frosting. Forget the book, let's just eat.
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • ½ cup minus 1 Tablespoon white whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts (optional)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup Nutella
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Up to 1½ cups powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line 8x8 pan with foil. Grease.
  2. Place butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave on high, 30 seconds at a time (stirring with a wooden spoon after each round) until butter is melted and mixture is very warm.
  3. Stir for a few moments to cool a bit.
  4. Add vanilla. Stir.
  5. Add eggs, stirring well after each one.
  6. Add flour and stir until well mixed and batter is shiny.
  7. Fold in nuts.
  8. Bake for 25 -30 minutes or until set and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Prepare Frosting: With a wire whisk or hand beater, beat together butter, Nutella, vanilla, and cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time until desired consistency.


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