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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: February 1, 2014

Decadent scones for World Nutella Day

Written by: Susan Axelrod

Shutterstock photo

In case you need a excuse to indulge in Italy’s most significant import to America since pizza, it’s World Nutella Day. (Yes, there’s a website and even a Facebook page.)

Slathering the iconic chocolate-hazelnut spread on anything improves it immensely. Want your kids to eat their vegetables? Swirl in a little Nutella (just kidding … maybe).

These scones — a far cry from their British roots — are an example of how Nutella takes food to the next level. Raisins: meh; Nutella: mmmmm.

Local pastry chefs are among the many fans of Nutella. At Silly’s, for example, you can dig into Karma Nutelleon pie: graham cracker crust with Nutella, dulce de leche & flaked salt.

The recipe is from Baked Explorations, by the geniuses at Brooklyn’s Baked Bakery. From the book’s introduction: “If you have not tried Nutella, I beg you to stop everything, go to the nearest grocery store and buy at least two jars: one for baking and one for a daily midday boost directly from said jar to your mouth.”

Go ahead, it’s World Nutella Day after all.

What are your favorite ways to eat Nutella? Let us know in the comments.

Nutella Scones. Photo by Ted Axelrod

Nutella Scones

Makes 8

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark, unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons ( 3/4 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Nutella

Preheat the oven to 375 and place the rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until combined.

Add the butter. Use your fingertips to rub it into the flour until the butter is pea sized and the mixture is coarse.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and cream. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until the dough just comes together. Gently and briefly knead the dough with your hands. Add the toasted hazelnuts and knead gently to incorporate.

Flatten the dough into a rectangle approximately 6 by 12 inches (it does not need to be precise) and spread 1/4 cup of the Nutella on top. Starting from a short side, roll the dough up to make a cylinder about 6 inches long, stand it on end and gently flatten it into a disk about 1 3/4 inches high.

Cut the disk into 8 wedges and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean.

Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool completely, placing the baking sheet with the parchment or Silpat still on it underneath the rack.

Heat the remaining 1/4 cup Nutella over low heat or in the microwave until pourable. Pierce the tops of the scones a few times with a fork. Use a spoon to drip the warm Nutella in a zigzag pattern over the tops of the hot scones. If you want to serve them right away, put them in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to set the Nutella.

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